Director and former The Office star John Krasinski seemed to have made himself a name with his patented dry wit and broad comedy chops. He now stars alongside his wife, Emily Blunt, in a truly apocalyptic, monster survival-thriller that must be the most diverging and exciting thing the director has done of yet.
Following a family in the proceeding days and months after the emergence of a vicious monster of unknown origin, we watch as a family headed by Krasinski and Blunt attempt to live against the constant threat of attack. The mystery attackers in question operate on a sonic level, hunting anything that triggers their auditory sensors and chases them to an often violent end.
Krasinski, both in front of and behind the camera, creates a thoroughly interesting world and language for his film.
Having to limit their output of sound, the movie plays out in scenes of sign language and hushed whispers, allowing the camera to have the largest voice in the film, each movement and focusing of the lense creating a tighter circle around this family in peril.
While the direction and cinematography are consistently at the top of their game, it cannot be understated how convincing each of the portrayals come across.
The dynamics between Krasinski and Blunt spark with intimacy, alongside a completely compelling performance from deaf actress Millicent Simmonds, as the eldest child of the pair. Her performance brings a diversity and uniqueness to the film that further distances A Quiet Place from other recent horror films by way of profoundly caring for these parents in their attempt to keep their kids safe.
Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen operates with a palette of rich greens and yellows that are punctuated with the bright red lights of the family’s farm warning system that is both beautiful and aching in its enclosing dread. The design of the creature must also be lauded that, although kept off screen for much of the runtime, is another addition to recent creepy evolutions to the movie monster mythos.
While some may draw stylistic comparisons to recent films such as 10 Cloverfield Lane or Don’t Breathe, Krasinski’s film draws many more cues from the silent films and classic horrors of the 20th Century to create an experience that is already one of the year’s best and an exciting entrance to genre filmmaking from an altogether unexpected place. This is not one to miss.