A Quiet Place

In Cinemas Now

If they hear you, they hunt you.

John Krasinski (The Office) directs, co-writes and stars alongside Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) in this horror in which a family must stay silent to hide from deadly creatures that hunt by sound.

Set in the very near future, a rural American family has adapted to a world now inhabited by a plague of vicious killing machines that have brought down modern civilisation. Living their lives in near silence to escape detection by the monsters' super-hearing, parents and children struggle with domestic life as well as the need to remain human in the face of unstoppable creatures trying to snuff out their existence.

Trailers

Directed by

Drama, Horror, Thriller

90mins

Rating: M Violence & horror scenes. Content may disturb

USA

Sound has always been an essential element of cinematic horror: a buzzing chainsaw; a creaky door; a humming, Edwardian child; what is heard is always more terrifying that what is seen, and, done right, what is not heard is scariest of all. A Quiet Place takes this to an extreme, setting itself in a world where survival is only possible in complete and utter silence.

Taking place in a not so distant future in which the world has been overrun by large, mysterious spider-like creatures that hunt via their excellent hearing, A Quiet Place follows a family of four as they attempt to live their lives without making a sound, a task made considerably more difficult by their soon-to-be-born third child.

Directed by and starring The Office alum John Krasinski alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt, it is a subtle, simple story that wisely allows the concept to do most of the talking. With almost wordless performances, sound is used carefully, strategically and sometimes eschewed altogether for scenes from the perspective of the couple’s deaf teenage daughter (a part played with admirable intensity by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds, who taught the cast the sign language used throughout).

Coupled with a patient, lingering camera, some nicely restrained CGI, and naturalistic performances, the result is almost unbearable suspense whereby even scenes of total banality are permeated with creeping dread as we wait for the inevitable moments in which the silence is broken.

Like 2017’s much-lauded It Comes at Night, A Quiet Place seeks to examine the intimate domestic disasters caused by an apocalyptic global event. Unlike the former, however, it is with a kind of optimistic humanism that Krasinski approaches the survivalist narrative, something which, thankfully, saves it from becoming yet another ‘people are the real monsters’ flick. As a group of people struggling to repress something so instinctive and intuitive in times of distress, Krasinski, Blunt, and co. are most tested by finding ways to express their love for one another - a sentiment that pairs nicely with the gruesome violence constantly looming.

Of course it’s not perfect and, for all the care and subtlety put into the technical aspects of the film, Krasinski has a tendency to lay it on a little thick plot-wise: a father-daughter rift, a sticky-uppy floorboard nail, a big white board with maybe a few too many clues written on it, are all things that we could have done without.

As a cinematic experience A Quiet Place is more a physical than an intellectual one and, as is often the case with such things, once the tension wears off it is easy to nit-pick. Yet, as a simple, modern horror, A Quiet Place demonstrates a deft and canny ability to turn the minutiae of everyday monotony into the stuff of nightmares.

Dread Central (USA)

press

One of the most inventive, emotional, and terrifying films I've seen ...

Hollywood Reporter

press

Even moviegoers who don't accept the metaphor are going to have the pants scared off them.

Variety (USA)

press

Sometimes, getting on the clever/whatever wavelength of a horror film and just rolling with can be a part of the fun. "A Quiet Place" is that kind of movie.

Vanity Fair

press

Though it's Krasinski's third time in the director's chair, it's his first home run thanks, in no small part, to the film's emphasis on family and Krasinski's choice of leading lady-his wife and mother of his two children, Emily Blunt.

Empire (UK)

press

A bravura monster movie which just doesn't let up, ratcheting tension with nary a word uttered on screen.

Keeping Up with NZ

press

Cloverfield meets The Walking Dead and makes for a very enjoyable tiptoeing scare fest at the cinema.

Newsroom.co.nz (Darren Bevan)

press

Rallies a cry for intimate originality in film which has long been muted by bloated blockbusters and tiresome, unfulfilling sequels.
Barny

Barny

user


Shush please.

"Ugh why did I get popcorn when I really should have got some chips?!" these were the first words out of the mouth-breather to his bro squad who had all just sat down behind me during the previews. After another minute of their meathead banter I decided it would be less ugly if I just got up and found another seat down the back (I usually end up switching seats 3 times before a film starts)

A Quite Place doesn't mess around. In the opening scene the table is set: scary monsters have taken over the world and are killing everyone, bummer. They may be blind but hunt aided by their scary ear thingys. So if you talk too loud, use cellphones or chew popcorn insistently, I will shush you - or get up and change seats and...um, where was I?

For a movie that's prominently dialogue free - the characters communicate with sign language - it is incredibly engaging as we follow the survival of a small family with another on the way. The soundproof nursery and method for keeping baby quite during the night is ingenious and will no doubt lead to copy-cat mishaps. Visually, the film is a knockout and thick with atmosphere and while I often find jump scares to be a cheap trick the inevitable moments that come in a film that's mostly quite, were logical, clever and got me reeeal good a couple of times.

Let's talk about the sound design. It was flippin' awesome, I never thought the noise of someone being ripped apart off screen could be so harrowing.

Howwwwwever A Quite Place didn't spook me the way The Witch or It Follows did, The suspense isn't really scary, instead we're treated to grim foreboding and escalating squirmy dread as the characters who for the most part have good heads on their shoulders (while they do) end up knocking over loud objects and stubbing toes.

I was into it though, and so was everyone else. I forgot about shushing anyone as the whole theatre broke into moments of collective "Oh Nose!" and frightened whispering time and time again.

Which made it all good fun. And that's what a horror movie should be.


Effective horror at its best.

A beautifully directed and filmed, well-written film uplifted by gripping performances from its cast. If it had focused on the emotional aspect of its plot slightly more it'd be perfect. But it's a thought-provoking film none the less.


intense and interesting

Very curious start, good storyline and overall very entertaining.


Worth a watch

I mostly enjoyed this movie. It suffers from the same problem as a lot of modern cgi titles, mainly - 'overexposure/oversharing'. You get to see the monsters early on, and it kills the mood. Ideally, it is great when movies like this keep the mystery of what the creatures look like until the very end. Another issue is cgi in itself. The lack of practical effects is palpable.

The plot, overall, is moderately good. Some character decisions are quite illogical, and there is a couple of plot holes.

As a massive fan of the horror genre, I would still recommend to give this movie a go.


Holey plotline Batman!

BEWARE SPOILERS AHEAD! THIS REVIEW IS BY SPOILER MCSPOILFACE.

I really wanted to love this movie. Like, REALLY wanted to love it. I’d amped myself up for it & had had my belief it was going to be great confirmed by people who had seen it already.

Sigh. The movie’s not bad, it’s a solid scarer. But it’s not great & sadly had several gaping holes that left me underwhelmed. Again, this review is spoilery AF so don’t read on if you're fussed about that.

I’m not going to go over the basic set up much – insectoid creatures arrive on earth, they hunt by sound, gotta be quiet else they’ll get ya! The film starts on Day 89 of the… er… invasion I guess, with a family of five out scavenging for supplies. Little Jimmy, aged 4, doesn’t get the memo about being quiet & blasts off a very loud toy spaceship. Pa does his best to get to him but them insect aliens is fast & little Jimmy is quickly snatched up & (presumably) devoured. And there is my first issue with the film. A small child getting eaten should have had a big emotional hit but I felt… nothing. Because I didn’t know him. I didn’t know the family, I didn’t know what they’d been through to get to this point, there was not even a small amount of lead in to build a connection to this family. Backstory people, it matters.

Skip forward to day 470-odd. Pa does his best to teach the kids how to survive… quietly, while Ma contemplates how she is going to squeeze out a sprog… quietly. Down in the basement Pa is trying to fix his daughter’s cochlear implant & also figure out how to kill the beasties. There is a whiteboard with several notes – BLIND, ARMOUR, WHAT IS THEIR WEAKNESS?? And this is where the holes just open up for me.

1. In the opening scene we glimpse a newspaper headline announcing, ‘IT’S SOUND!!!’. Aha! We’ve discovered how they’re hunting us! Presumably at this point humanity still had the structure in place to write, print & deliver a newspaper. And yet, having come to the conclusion that a creature that relies on sound to hunt, is sensitive to even the most subtle sound, we haven’t figured out that they could be hurt, could be incapacitated by too much sound? Or if we have figured that out, that there is not enough infrastructure around to actually do something with that information? (Remember, we can still write, print & deliver a newspaper). I’m not a smart man Jenny, but I know that it hurts when I turn my headphones up too loud. It seems unlikely no clever-Richard came up with the idea that we could go all Spinal Tap on them? Turn a few amps up to 11, sort out a little feedback & see how they like that?

2. The bugs are armoured, this is true. It’s hinted at that this makes them near indestructible. And yet Ma manages to bring one down no problem with a shotgun blast to the face. A shotgun at close range is pretty effective, sure. Know what else is effective – big nasty machine guns. If a shotgun can bring one down I’m pretty sure a heavy machine gun is going to be able to manage the job. Not sure if everyone is aware but the worlds military establishments have lots of guns. Yes guns are noisy but this leads into...

3. The creatures are blind. Along with their sensitivity to sound that seems like a big weakness to me. If they’re blind they should be pretty easy to entice into a trap. Make a big noise, draw them into an area surrounded by heavily armed dudes and blammo. Sure the guns will attract more of them but there was no indication in the film that the numbers of these things were insurmountable. Humanity wasn’t overrun, just outclassed. We could even avoid having people there at all. There is no indication that these bad-boys can fly & we have some fairly formidable attack helicopters, not to mention, I dunno, drones. We could be taking them out from the air fairly easily.

Sigh again. I know I've put too much thought into this. I know it doesn't matter that much. It’s just a shame these holes spoiled the film for me because there is a lot to like. The premise is great & the monsters themselves look awesome. There are a good number of jump-scares & even better, the tension is ratcheted up nicely throughout the film. It just feels like a bit of polishing could have made this film the great piece of entertainment I was hoping for.


A smart and suspenseful silent hit.

I don't usually watch horror movies because most of today's horror movies are just a gore fest designed to make you feel sick. This is not one of those movies. This is a very intelligent movie that keeps your attention through an interesting set up and well built atmosphere. So even if you are not a fan of scary movies this should stay on your radar.

As shown on the trailers the premise is that humanity has been decimated by a species that hunt using sound. Be quiet, and they won't find you. Make a loud noise and you better say your prayers, quickly, because they will quickly come for you. This means that for most of the movie the characters are trying to be quiet and communicate with sign language (subtitles provided). It's the classic trick to build suspence in a movie, the designated victims trying to not make a sound, but here it is taken to another level. The whole theater will be quiet for most of the movie as the audience is gripped by the atmosphere on screen. (In fact, I suggest you turn those phones off, because even a phone on vibrate will be too loud)

There is not really any gore, but there are jolts and there is a lot of suspence. You won't feel like covering your eyes, instead you will have to remember to breathe at times.

In retrospect, the plot is thin, but it doesn't matter. What counts is that the movie can keep your attention for its full duration.

This is helped by a very smart script and by characters that are well acted and behave believably. The script makes you feel for these characters and you will like them, root for them, and be afraid with them. The actors, both kids and adults, do a great job with the material. Given the very sparse dialogue they need to portray their emotions with their actions and expressions, and they do so very well.

There are no crazy action sequences, the action that is on the screen is believable and therefore more suspenceful for it.

The cinematography is practical and to the point. The whole movie seems concise and focused, and that focus is to grab your attention and not let go.

Highly recommended.


Missed connection, but still worth the watch

Great concept, missed opportunities on a perfect execution; but well-shot/great cinematography. Just feel the film could have been expanded in some respects (the family's relationship BEFORE the "take-over", as I feel I was missing a connection between the kids and the parents - may just be me, they were all fantastic actors in their own right, I just didn't quite believe the familial thing between them) and decreased in others (some slower, less important in the grand scheme scenes went on a tad long, where we could have been expanding on story-line more). Even though most of the jump scares were expected, I still felt myself waiting in anticipation for them to happen, which is nice. Was really surprisingly engrossing for a film with next to no spoken dialogue! Pretty obviously early on in his directorial career, but worth the watch nevertheless!


Edge of the seat thriller, that kept you captivated throughout

Enjoyed the movie throughout, would have given it five stars if it didn't have the Hollywood predictability about it, but otherwise an enjoyable ride that kept me captivated for the whole hour and a half. For me Millicent Simmonds was the standout performance in a well acted story.


Get ready to jump!

Not since Steven Spielberg’s JAWS and Ridley Scott’s ALIEN has a monster genre jump-scare movie been such a heart-thumping, pulse-pounding, crotch-crunching, popcorn-spitting, edge-of-the-seat nail-biter. Yeah, I know, BIG claims, but A QUIET PLACE delivers and delivers and keeps delivering throughout its rip-roaring 90-minute run-time.

Taut, tense, terrific and yeah, I could go on, but this is just the third film directed by Jon Krasinski (you know, that nice guy who played Jim, from the US version of TV comedy ‘The Office’?) and he nails it (quite literally in one scene). Yeah, third film, I had to look up the others ('Brief Interviews with Hideous Men' and 'The Hollars').

NO SPOILERS, but the set-up is all here. Right from the very first shot, Krasinski slams the tone – a fallen, dead traffic light in a litter-strewn street. Order fallen into chaos. The World’s devastated. Something has appeared on Earth and we’re the prey. Blind, seemingly indestructible insectoid beasties with super-sensitive hearing.

Make a noise and you’re gone in a blur of slicing mandibles and slashing pincers.

For a horror film, it’s not that gory. But when it is? Think ALIEN levels of jump scares. Seeing this in a packed house I finally get to feel what those first audiences for Hitchcock’s PSYCHO must have felt – slow-building, relentless tension, a shared communal “Holy shizzle!” experience.

The script, by Krasinski, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods is an exemplary case of “show don’t tell”, in which all the assets of cinema as a visual mode of storytelling are to the fore. Just as in those wondrously silent opening scenes of Pixar’s UP or Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD, it’s all in the imagery, editing, pacing and staging of shots.

It’s also a film actually about something. Believe it or not that something is family and parental responsibility. Think Cameron’s ALIENS, and Ripley’s relationship with Newt, and you’re in the metaphorical ballpark.

The acting is superb, and it has to be for this set-up to not just work but to grab you and hold on. Krasinski is great, but as his wife Emily Blunt is superb, and the young actors playing their kids knock their performances out the park.

Best seen in a packed cinema, the focus on sound is intense, so don’t go with a rumbling tummy, a hacking cough or a loudly flatulent friend! It’s that focus on sound that makes A QUIET PLACE so refreshingly different, but when they do come in, the sound effects and score are all the sweeter for their absence.

For me at least, this follows in a direct line from PSYCHO, through JAWS to ALIEN. Yeah, it’s a perfect genre movie. Turn off your phones, ditch the wrapped candy, don’t forget to breathe and… get ready to jump!


Silence is the key to survival

A suspense horror that kept me on edge throughout the whole movie.