A Quiet Place: Jim Halpert’s a Director?!
We are used to seeing horror films with classic tropes, having a psychopath(s) as a killer, a legend turned real by speaking its name, nightmare entities, ghosts, demons, etc. But I think A Quiet Place takes a top position on ranks in the alien & horror genre, as it take will leave you speechless, literally. Now when building a horror film’s world we need to have some story, the lore, characters fighting for leadership or more freedom, finding the weakness, and that usually includes having dialogue between the group of survivors, but that’s not the case in a film that has little to no dialogue.
A Quiet Place is a film whose central plot revolves around the idea that noise will be your worst enemy, all because of unknown creatures attacking and killing anything that’s louder than a sneeze in a library. Imagine yourself at 3 am heating up a snack and trying your best not to make noise, only to send a city wide alert with the ding from the microwaved food, waking up an angry parent. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a silent film, not in the slightest, but the fear factor that this movie resonates is the complete silence there is and the intensity to hold your breath with the characters when they are in a deadly scenario.
Now as a quick overview, I want to say that John Krasinski is very much a loved person for his role as Jim Halpert on The Office and although this isn’t his first directorial work, he is sure now known as an up and coming director. A Quiet Place is a horror film that is out of the norm and although it isn’t the first movie to come up with a noise kills trope to induce fear, it is a major one in today’s game that uses it to its fullest potential in an incredible way. If you haven’t already seen it and need a new fright for a Friday night, then you should check this movie out or if not at least the trailer down below.
Unlike other films where antagonists are usually already established, or at least has some form of lore, this film’s creatures don’t have anything on them other than being blind and attracted to noise. We can see newspaper clipping and such information describing the creatures first appearance and it being unaffected by man made weapons, but ultimately the film starts us months from the first encounter with Lee Abbott played by John Krasinski, Evalyn Abbott played by Emily Blunt, Regan Abbott played by Millicent Simmonds and Marcus Abbott played by Noah Jupe living in a barn house out by the forest.
Seeing this family living as best they can while also maintaining little to no noise really makes you think if you could survive in such a world. Everyone in the film did an outstanding performance, especially having to act without much dialogue and to learn sign language just for the film is incredible.
Not to toot my own horn but I think I would be able to live such a life, especially being shown little secrets of how to make noise without the creatures coming after you.
To me this whole movie is about family…– John Krasinski, Vanity Fair, Scene Breakdown of “A Quiet Place”
Now with the quote above the director himself takes his movie as more so about family, and what lengths you would go to protect them. With that, going in to rewatch this film since its release in theaters I can definitely see what he means by this, all the way until the end which I will speak on shortly. Now we are very familiar with John and Emily’s acting career, they’ve been in many greatly shot films, so it’s no surprise they were great as partners in this film, not forgetting that they are actually married outside the big screen. John has had much success playing Jim Halpert on The Office, 13 Hours, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, etc. and Emily has been in many films from Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario, Mary Poppins, and now in Disney’s recent Jungle Cruise. But the actress I want to mostly focus on is Millicent Simmonds who, like her film’s counterpart, is deaf in real life which Krasinski said was a great importance when looking for the person to play this character.
As I mentioned, Millicent is deaf in real life and John has stated he also wanted someone that can help him properly bring out elements from a family who has a child that is deaf. John worked with Millicent to bring out the best in the film and that’s exactly what we get. Not only is Millicent’s character an important protagonist for the film, she is literally the key to defeating the creatures in the end. She brings out the real life qualities that people who are deaf experience for their entire life, if not entire majority. She plays her character well having the parents in the film being overprotective, putting extra safety for her and her just wanting to prove she is able to live while also being able to survive without them. She shows her frustration, dedication, and strength to prove she’s capable and in the end she was the one who figured out some sort of weakness for the creatures by using her hearing aid frequency to counter the creatures sensitive hearing.
Overall Millicent Simmonds is an actress I hope to see more of in future films, hopefully in more main character roles. John, Emily and Noah also bring a great dedication to learning sign language for the film as a family with a deaf child or family member would have that skill in order to communicate, it just brings hope for filmmakers to have more actors and actresses with disabilities without patronizing them.
Coming back to Emily Blunt’s performance, as I mentioned she isn’t shy of being on the big screen and this film sees no less of her great skills, having taken a nail to the foot, and giving birth in a bathtub and showing such pain all WITHOUT MAKING NOISE or at least until something louder made noise. She plays her role well as a mother but while I was watching I remembered when I first saw this movie in theaters, hearing everyone gasp as a nail entered her foot and seeing peoples grasp their arm rests while she gave birth in a bad tub all by herself, it really made this film as thrilling as possible. Not to mention John’s overall performance and ultimately sacrificing himself to save his kids, which goes back to the quote above. Everything we see his character do is to protect his kids and his pregnant wife, doing whatever it takes to get it done, even screaming at the top of his lungs to distract the creatures from killing his kids stuck in a car.
Without causing this article to get any longer, A Quiet Place really is a thrilling and incredible movie, something I wish I could experience again for the first time in theaters. If having noise hunting killer creatures isn’t enough, then maybe a warm telling of protecting one’s family can have you wanting to check out the film. Not to mention the prequel/sequel that came out this year being a great reason to check out the first, not to worry I’ll have an article written about that one as well. But don’t take my word for it, if you do watch it let me know what you think, till next time, peace.