There are two types of movies I usually stay away from 1) The seasonal Madea movie 2) Scary movies. Scary movies are hardly ever scary. They’re usually full of jump-scares and cheap tricks. Every year it’s the Exorcism of [insert name], a movie that has an adjective as the title or the 18th installment of the Saw franchise. If it’s not apparent by now, I really loathe “scary” movies. A scary movie has to reinterpret the genre for me to be interested. My favorite horror movie of last year, It Comes At Night, is a perfect example. So after seeing a trailer for A Quiet Place, I was instantly intrigued. It banks on one of the most unique premises I’ve seen in years, but does it stick the landing?
Short answer: Yes, but no. A Quiet Place won’t stack up to that lofty Rotten Tomatoes score but I think it’s worth a viewing nonetheless.
The broad stroke premise of this movie is a post-apocalyptic world where a family must remain quiet to elude monsters that rely on sound to capture their prey. It stars real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who also serves as co-writer and director.
A lot of bits in A Quiet Place works, so let’s start with that. First, the opening scene is done wonderfully and sets the tone for the movie. Not to spoil anything, but it’s a pretty thrilling moment to a movie that’s 90% silent. The tone of this movie is quickly established and you instantly know what to expect. It doesn’t waste any time with the how and why of the apocalypse, but rather focuses on this intimate story about this family. There are two main areas of conflict this family must endure outside of the exterior monsters. One is apparent and the other isn’t. It makes for a really interesting dynamic.
So, what doesn’t work in this movie? Well, it’s not really that scary. Which is weird to say because I enjoyed this movie and since it’s a scary movie that isn’t scary, how can it be good? Well, as mentioned above, the family dynamic is the most interesting part of this movie, which is both a plus and a negative. All of my favorite moments of this movie were about survival. When the monster arrived, the excitement exited. Clocking in at only an hour and a half, I think this movie could have benefited from fifteen to thirty extra minutes. Once again, the how or why of the apocalypse isn’t important nor is the origin of the monsters, but a longer runtime could have been beneficial to building up some tense moments. I found the pacing to be odd. It opens with a pretty thrilling scene, nothing happens, and then the rest of the movie seems like one extended scene.
While this movie has equally good and bad parts, it’s still worth a watch. John Krasinski proved he’s a capable writer/director but this movie would have gone from the C+ movie it is to an A movie in safer hands. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I just found it to be enjoyable yet forgettable.
Let me know what you think.