Review: Shh! ‘A Quiet Place’ creates fear from silence
John Krasinski directs this masterful horror tale that will leave audiences gasping for air
Make a sound and you’re dead.
That’s the one and only ground rule of “A Quiet Place,” a terrifying horror thriller that leaves you breathless while barely saying a word.
John Krasinski co-writes and directs this surprisingly spartan tale, which doesn’t waste a minute of its running time. Krasinski has the confidence in his storytelling to bring viewers along for the ride without holding their hands. Rather than laying everything out with a couple of title cards out front, we learn by picking up details along the way.
A family — mom (Emily Blunt), dad (Krasinski) and their three children — scours a trashed grocery store in an empty town, careful to not make a sound. They walk barefoot — shoes make noise — and communicate via sign language. (Daughter Regan, played by “Wonderstruck” stunner Millicent Simmonds, is deaf.) We soon learn why silence is golden when their youngest son activates a toy and unwittingly makes a noise. He is quickly snatched out of the blue by a horrific monster, seen only in a fleeting glimpse.
Krasinski sets a gripping mood from the very beginning. His sparing use of sound creates tension with every floorboard creak, and he stages an ace sequence where Blunt is forced to give birth in total silence.
Further, Krasinski makes us think about our own relationship with sound. How long could you make it without speaking? Could you not make a sound if your life depended on it?
“A Quiet Place” is a bold experiment in fear with a triumphant payoff. It will chill you to the bone, and the quieter it gets, the more noise it makes.
‘A Quiet Place’
Rated PG-13 for terror and some bloody images
Running time: 95 minutes