The Western Sun

Not your typical silent film

Spencer Otte, Entertainment Editor

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Anyone who watches enough horror films can predict when the biggest scares are coming. It usually involves a close up on the main character’s face or an object in the room, and most crucially, silence. The sudden explosion of noise is guaranteed to make the audience jump in their seats. John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) built an entire movie around that concept with The Quiet Place- a film in which sound means death.

The film’s premise is simple- Earth has been invaded by creatures that cannot see, but possess a sharp sense of hearing: . The consequences are made clear early on, when we see the Abbot family scavenging the town for supplies. When the youngest, Beau (Cade Woodward), turns on a toy rocket, the rest of the family barely has time to react before one of the creatures pounces out of the woods and strikes. Much of the film is focused on the lengths that Lee and Evelyn Abbot (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) goes to in order to survive day-to-day. The last half of the movie is an extended action sequence, one that is often heart-pounding as the survivors try to stay silent as the creatures are mere inches away. The ending, while satisfying, ends on a dissident note that, in tone, seems like it comes from a different movie.

The small cast has the difficult job of creating three-dimensional characters without the benefit of their voice. The children do this extraordinarily well, especially Simmonds, who, in the film, is in addition to struggling with a disability and the difficulties of adolescence, but the guilt of losing of her losing her brother and living through an apocalypse-level-event. Noah Jupe is also great as Marcus, the youngest surviving member of the family who conveys the constant terror of living in the universe of the film. Krasinski and Blunt are a real life couple, and their chemistry shines through. The two recently had their third child together, and one must assume that their determination to protect their children is influenced by real-life experience.

As the title suggests, most of A Quiet Place is silent. The Abbot family had an advantage from the start- they knew sign language because the oldest child, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf. Thus, the majority of the dialogue is communicated through sign language and subtitles. The sound design heightens the tension expertly- music is used sparingly and one can almost hear a pin drop in the theater.

For a first time director, John Krasinski managed an inventive and creative horror movie. A Quiet Place is a movie that must be seen in the theaters. The gimmick wouldn’t work nearly as well without the benefit of a theater’s sound system.

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Not your typical silent film