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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

Movie Review: ‘A Quiet Place’ Proves Silence Is Golden, Yet Terrifying

{Image Credit: Paramount Pictures}

While horror movies with a simple premise have continued to reign supreme for domestic box office success, the genre has greatly evolved in the last decade to include an artistic approach in storytelling with a deep message. And with a $50 million opening this past weekend, John Krasinski’s rich and eerie directorial feature, A Quiet Place, is a triumph that proves the genre is best crafted as an experience that draws on basic sensory and fears to tell a story.

Scoring the second best domestic debut of 2018 thus far as reported by Variety, former star of The Office, Krasinski is a force to reckon with in directing A Quiet Place, his third directorial feature and first for major studio, Paramount Pictures.

Set in a post-invasion world, the modern horror movie follows a family of four who must navigate their lives in silence after deadly creatures that hunt by sound threaten their existence. With the family following an established set of rules to make their life possible, Lee Abbott (Krasinski) and his wife, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) must do their best to keep silent in order to stay alive and protect their children.

{Image Credit: Paramount Pictures}

Since much of the film takes place in a rural location set in upstate New York and the four speak through American Sign Language to one another, we get to really see and understand this family quite intimately through their imposed silence. In fact, it’s the absence of sound and this method of communication that we truly see stunning performances from the cast as so much feeling comes from within through every action.

From what the family learns in their time with the creatures that are revealed most sparingly, and the days they have survived since their arrival, we know these aliens are blind and react to unusual sounds and obviously, are very deadly. Because of their unique disposition though, this leaves no room for error, proving that silence is golden in more ways than one, and downright terrifying.

In a world where sound is all around us and a big part of everyday communication, the notion of quiet could appear as a challenge in film today. But Krasinski, who also co-wrote the film, does a remarkable job in stripping away all of this to a gritty, simplistic state that doesn’t feel lifeless and embodies incredible meaning stemmed in the foundation of family.

Of course the movie is rooted in silence for survival, but the score in A Quiet Place is one to appreciate as it doesn’t fall in the traditional horror movie genre that often points out the scares. Instead, the gentle score provides a melancholy, soothing sound that lends itself to an eerie moment when necessary.

{Image Credit: Paramount Pictures}

The lush, green setting is one of the biggest parts of the film, acting as an anchor for the family’s safe haven, but also subtly doubles as an open space for dangers that lurk behind every object of life. The success of the film is no accident, as much of the breathtaking cinematographer comes from the brilliance of Charlotte Bruus Christensen’s eye, which is both exquisite and purposeful. Rich forested woods, sandy trails, flowing rivers and perfect sunlight feed to the tranquility of the life this family seeks, while providing audiences a glimpse of a life that looks normal on the surface, yet is anything but.

When cinematography isn’t eye-catching, the cast is attracting audience attention. Of course, the chemistry between Krasinski and Blunt is flawless and rightfully so. The real-life couple have been in the business for years, but A Quiet Place is their first on-screen collaboration, and each hold their own in this film. The moments they share are sweet and tender, and admirable to see as the heads of a loving, nuclear family. Krasinski’s role as patriarch is one many in such a role will relate to with his frustration, but steadfast hope that things will get better. Blunt is the same way, but proves to be tougher than she looks in a number of scenes. Trusting of her husband and very encouraging of her children to emulate his hope, she’s a bright light of life in the film.

The children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), add another level of inimitability to the film. Simmonds, who is deaf in real life and was insisted by Krasinski to be hired, is bound to become a star after this. Her carefully crafted point-of-view shots set against complete silence make her character an impressionable one as she portrays teen angst without the ability to scream or shout, embodying all of that pain in her expressions and signs. Jupe as the middle child of the family is one who sadly becomes a product of his environment, scared and worried about their living situation. However, the way he strengthens is natural to what the circumstances call for.

What many might not imagine though is how silence plays an important character in the film as well. Allowing the audience to experience the sheer horror this family witnesses only through visuals is one that truly heightens senses and immerses the viewer as the deafening silence hits you hard in every scene.

{Image Credit: Paramount Pictures}

With plenty of clever filmmaking on display, Krasinski has constructed a tight, bold masterpiece, springing with emotional intelligence that is sure to make an instant classic. While some critics believe the film’s apocalyptic storyline of monsters allude to political unrest in the U.S., A Quiet Place is quite simply at its core, a deeply moving story about family and the lengths we will go to protect our children.

While many horror movies resort to cheap thrills and scares, it’s a relief to see Krasinski’s doesn’t terrify you for the sake of time or as a cliché plot device. Instead, it’s an invested fear he creates, stemming from realism that leaves the moments raw and emotionally draining.

Grounded solidly in human drama, heart and intellect, A Quiet Place is a thoroughly absorbing and emotional piece of storytelling that is both efficient and effective, but also super stressful to watch. It’s a fascinating movie that will leave you breathless and proves silence has never been more frightening.

A Quiet Place is now in theatres. For more information and showtimes, visit the film on social media at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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