A Quiet Place builds up suspense in a novel way, by brilliantly playing up the silence of the movie. Starring Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who play couple Evelyn and Lee, the movie is different due to the silence between the usual music that goes in all horror movies.
The film opens with a title card which reads ‘Day 89’ and the audience is introduced to the Abbot family- consisting of Evelyn and Lee and their children Regan, Marcus and Beau - who live in a large secluded house in the woods. They have security cameras around the property and a sophisticated lighting system to alert them of intruders.
The year is 2020 and sightless creatures have taken over earth.
The family has been caught in the situation for the last three months, when the extra-terrestrials have taken over, leaving humans to survive in inaccessible bands and in absolute silence, as these aliens hunt by sound.
The only way to avoid them is to keep quite.
The family walks barefoot, eats in plates made of cloth, plays monopoly made of felt and prepares food in a steamer.
They communicate with one another in sign language throughout the film.
At the start of the film, the youngest of the family, Beau, makes a sound while playing with a toy.
Lee had removed the batteries which were replaced by Regan unbeknownst to her parents. Beau is taken by the creatures as soon as the toy is switched on, and Regan blames herself for the loss of her brother, and thinks her father also blames her for the tragedy.
The director of the film does not give the audience much time to settle down and introduces the horror right at the start. Viewers are introduced to how the world has changed with the arrival of these creatures, clippings from newspapers heralding their arrival, deserted streets, abandoned buildings, missing person’s posters.
All the actors have performed brilliantly and never leave a dull moment in the 90 minutes of the film.
The audience became so much part of the movie that there was pin-drop silence in the cinema.
The director has done a good job with replacing conversations and dialogues in the film with sign language and noise-less action.
The director has also not totally relied on jump scares or monstrous characters, but has focused more on family bonding and the impulse to protect one’s family.
Though all the cast members have performed brilliantly, Emily Blunt has undoubtedly stolen the show. Her portrayal of a grieving mother after the loss of her child, when she is pregnant later and how she bears labour pains in silence is amazing.
Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2018