A Quiet Place
As the end credits rolled on A Quiet Place, I turned to my friend and said, "That was like an episode of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday brought to us from the Darkside." The film's a bit too sweet for its own good, with a final declaration that boils down to the idea that your weakness may also be your superpower, so embrace it. If you're a bit of a cynic like me, it's a fairly eye-rolling resolution to the film. But A Quiet Place is a well executed film, and I still found it entertaining.
The film drops us right in the middle of the action, in a recently abandoned convenience store where a family is quietly, oh so quietly, loading up on supplies they need. We don't know why at first, but the family only communicates through sign language and facial expressions, but we sense that they're in danger somehow. When tragedy strikes, we find out why - creatures, who use sound to hunt prey, have decimated the large marjority of human life.
The family, however, manages to get by, building a large and impressive hipster farm (complete with twinkly lights), stocking food for the colder months, and carving out a somewhat normal existence, minus that whole not being able to talk because you're being stalked by murderous creatures that hunt by sound thing. Mom's belly swells as time goes on - she's pregnant - and of course, this will present unique challenges for the family once the baby is born.
There were a few things that impressed me about the film. We're so unaccustomed, as modern audiences, to seeing acting without dialogue. And while it would easy for the cast of the film to overemote in order to get their point across without words, none of the acting in the film ever feels forced or overacted. Millicent Simmonds, who plays the couple's eldest daughter, is especially fantastic in her role. The sound design is also well done. You're immediately immersed in the film's action because it's intensely quiet in the theater. These two things, in particular, make for a singular viewing experience.
I can't promise that all hard core horror fans will enjoy this one. It's a "feel good" creature feature, a warm and fuzzy addition to the genre that some may find a little too cheesy and earnest. But maybe that's just what we need at times - to be entertained, and to walk out into the loud, blaring intensity of the day with the knowledge that for all the horrors of the real world, things could be much, much worse.