Review of 'A Quiet Place'

The horror movie A Quiet Place was an excellent film that showed a family condemned to live in silence in order to survive undetected by a monstrous blind, creature that kills its prey by searching for its sound waves – similar to a bat. The setting was bleak and dreary; the film opens with the family walking into a ghost town. Leaves have collected in piles on the streets, cars stand motionless and the family enters the grocery store that has long been abandoned. It looked as if the apocalypse had hit the town, leaving no sign of life but this family of five.

A tragic misstep reduces the family to four when the youngest child takes with him a nosey toy rocket, despite being forbidden to do so by his parents. As the family walks back home quietly barefoot (shoes would make too much sound), the boy presses the button and the rocket releases a blaring sound – to everyone's horror but the deaf daughter of the couple, Regan Abbott (Millicent Simmonds, who is also deaf in real life and taught the cast sign language). Before the father can run to the boy, he is immediately snatched away by an archaic-like creature that has heard him. Thus begins A Quiet Place. It is a story not simply of the creatures but also of loss, guilt and fear. Regan lives silently with guilt that she caused her brother's death by giving him the rocket. She also believes her father refuses to take her on excursions for fear that her deafness would put her at too much risk of being killed. She believes he favors the son who isn't hearing impaired. The family also lives without music and singing – they do not even say any words at the grave, but communicate almost entirely through sign language. Only when near the louder sound of a waterfall or a soundproof room can they speak louder than a whisper.

The oppressive nature of these creatures is shown by the silence the family is forced to live in. They cannot even pray for fear of being heard, nor sing or laugh, except only in silence. The things we take for granted, such as the freedom to speak, cry and laugh as we please, are snatched cruelly from them by these alien creatures. The imminent birth of their child is not anticipated with joy but dread, for the pain of childbirth not only threatens the mother's ability to remain composed, but the simple cry of an infant, something we see as so ordinary, can bring the death of the entire family.

A Quiet Place is an emotionally compelling, beautiful film in a genre that too often depends on cheap jump scares, violence and graphics to frighten the viewer. The portrayal of a family in grief and guilt over the loss of the youngest child, and the development of the characters beyond just a plot device makes it a movie worth watching.

Gifs Courtesy of Giphy