April 13, 2018

Film Review · A Quiet Place

*Spoilers ahead*

A Quiet Place is a film written & directed by John Krasinski, who also stars in the film as Lee Abbott. Lee is a father of three, and Krasinski's wife Emily Blunt plays his on-screen wife, Evelyn. The movie begins on Day 89 at a deserted town, in a drug store that seems to be ravaged through. Their youngest son, Beau, finds a toy rocket and it is taken from him by Lee who warns him the rocket makes sound and it will attract unwanted creatures. Their deaf daughter, Regan, hands Beau his rocket back without the batteries in it, and Beau swipes the batteries off of the table before the family leaves the store, walking back home on a path of sand to silence their footsteps. While crossing a bridge, Beau puts the batteries back into his rocket and presses a button, the first loud sound of the film, when a creature rampages out of the forest, and kills him. The film forwards roughly 400 days.

This is a film that cannot be missed in theaters. My mom and I accidentally bought tickets to the Dolby theater, which offers better sound, and it enhanced the experience because our seats would vibrate with certain sounds. For example, if the family is in the basement, and the creature it upstairs, my focus was on the family on the screen, but my seat would shake when the creature took a step upstairs. Also, the audience in completely silent because the movie is so quiet, which is a relief when it comes to the movie theaters because somehow I am always seated behind the heap of sixteen-year-old boys. The silence in the theater, and in the film, amps the anxiety throughout the movie.

At first glance, this appears as a post-apocalyptic survival film, but the real message I took from it was about protecting your family. In one of the verbal scenes where Evelyn and Lee are talking, Evelyn poses the question Who are we if we can't protect our kids? This is a question that lingers through the duration of the film as their two children are out on their own because the family has been separated throughout the house and yard. There is also some lingering negative blame towards Regan because she is the one who gave Beau his toy rocket which got him killed. These two large feelings and moments collaborate into the most emotional part of the film, and (if I wasn't already entirely sold on the film) the selling point.

My favorite part of the film, other than Lee telling Regan he has always loved her before screaming into the void, killing himself and saving his children, was the play on Rockets. Because Beau's rocket caused the creature to come for him, they use the term Rockets to explain how one sound is louder than another sound, therefore the creatures are attracted to the louder sound. This happens when Lee takes his son to the waterfall and tells him they can talk there because the creatures cannot hear them over the sound of the waterfall. Rockets reappears in the beginning of the peak of anxiety, when Evelyn is giving birth in the bathtub. Lee tells the kids to go shoot off fireworks they have placed for when they need to do Rockets so the creatures will flee to the louder sound and out of the house away from Evelyn. It's a beautiful, logical concept, and the entire scene of the birth is one of the most heart-pounding moments I've seen in cinema.

As I've said, this is a film that needs to be seen in theaters. There is an overpowering feeling of being in a theater with about 70 or 80 people and nobody making a sound for an hour and a half. Everybody is tight, everybody is on the edge of their seat. Although I think this is a film that would also be a beautiful at home experience when released on DVD, it was not something I would miss while it's in theaters. 

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