In one of the stranger career trajectories I’ve witnessed, former “Office” co-star John Krasinski has turned to directing horror films, evidenced by his sophomore effort A Quiet Place, which he also stars in, alongside his wife, Emily Blunt. A Quiet Place isn’t just a strange case because its helmed by a former comedic actor, but also because it’s a brand of horror that’s almost disappeared entirely from cinemas, in that it relies on suspense, atmosphere, and characterization. With the horror genre more or less relegated to churning out easy cash-grabs, John Krasinski proves that the genre has more to offer than cheap jump-scares.
Set in a post-apocalyptic society plagued with terrifying creatures who hunt through use of sound, A Quiet Place sets itself up for a number of challenges that would be daunting for even the most experienced of filmmakers. It must communicate all of its exposition and and develop its characters without the aid of spoken dialogue, aside from a few brief scenes. Thankfully, Krasinski more than rises to the occasion, and turns these obstacles into advantages. The cast are allowed to focus on their performances rather than spewing exposition, and develop their characters with nuance and dimension, rather than depending on mere dialogue to this for them.
While I’ve praised A Quiet Place for its performances, which shouldn’t go unnoticed, it must be said that it excels at suspense, which is aided by the film’s sense of minimalism, which lends realism and authenticity to a fantastical concept. Not only that, but the filmmakers have given us endearing characters to root for, which I absolutely did.
If there’s one complaint that I have with the film, it would be that the creature design isn’t as inspired as the rest of the film. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with the same CGI-blemishes that have proven inescapable in creature-features since the release of Cloverfield. However, this doesn’t detract too much from A Quiet Place, since its emphasis is more on story rather effects. That, Hollywood how you do horror movies. 4/5
– Written by Gabe Theis