Movie Review: A Quiet Place

Introduction:

A Quiet Place, in short, is likely to be the best movie of the year for me. It’s going to be tough to beat, that is for sure. It is certainly one of my favorite movies.

I am writing this review to explain to those hesitant about going why I recommend it. I do my best to avoid spoilers, and I think I accomplish that task. However, in any movie review there is always a risk of ruining something, so if you’re paranoid, see the movie before continuing.

Production:

Plot

The plot of the movie is outstanding. As the previews all indicate, the movie is an apocalyptic film of a small family struggling to survive in a world recently devastated by the arise of blind, ferocious creatures that hunt humans. Because they are blind, they hunt purely through sound. Thus, the young surviving family lives as quiet a life as possible while trying to survive.

How much I enjoyed the plot line was one of the most surprising features for me. When the movie was advertised many months ago as a movie where the actors couldn’t make sounds, I was hesitant that could be pulled off. It sounded outlandish, and it was, to me, a recipe for disaster.

However, it was anything but a disaster. This movie is so unique in that it managed to pull this off. The movie does have very little dialogue. They communicate in sign language, and are able to occasionally talk, but overall, there is not much dialogue in this movie at all.

The movie captures your attention in more artistic, entertaining, and subtle means. Body language, music, facial expressions, and trace amounts of dialogue grab your attention and keep you glued to the screen for the entire length of the film. Do not expect the lack of dialogue to be a hindrance to this movie, it is its strength. Do not let that element discourage you from going.

In the moments of dialogue, the fact that they are signing is increasingly interesting. Again, almost no movie presents this element of drama. Watching a family try to live a normal life, and communicate through this method, is entirely unique, and adds a new level of intrigue and dynamic storytelling you won’t find many other places.

It makes you appreciate so much more the gift of noise. Isn’t that a strange thing we do not think about? The ability to make noise, and to hear noise, is a gift. A life without sound is a difficult life indeed.

The only downfall to the plot of this movie is the day and age we live in. People, especially younger generations, have very little respect for others when it comes to movie going. A loud or obnoxious theater will make this movie hard to enjoy.

Acting

John Krasinski (who directed this film) and his wife Emily Blunt are a power couple in the acting world. Their performance is simply phenomenal. They are incredible on their own, and even better working together. Their performance is gripping. You cannot look away. They will make you laugh, cry, worry, and cheer.

This movie makes a strong case that these two may be at the very top of the profession at this point.

There are a few young child actors in the film. This can also ruin a movie, since it is difficult to find children who are practiced and trained enough to help carry a movie. But these kids do not hold the movie back at all. They are very talented, likeable, and believable characters.

Writing

The writing of this film was as good as the acting. The movie was not cheesy, nor laughably unbelievable. The writing was believable, dynamic, and moving.

Cinematography

As technology gets better, the cinematography in movie making becomes more and more important.  This movie has wonderful cinematography. The shots in this film were both beautiful and artistic. The cinematography communicates emotion where dialogue is absent.

Genre:

Suspense

There is no doubt this is a scary movie. It is entirely suspenseful. To utilize a cliché, it is an “edge of your seat” kind of a movie from beginning to end.

There are scary monsters, there is some blood, and there is death. Keep that in mind as I say what I say next.

The movie needs to properly be defined as a suspenseful movie rather than a horror movie. Perhaps you could say it is a scary movie, but not a horror film. This is probably best proved by the fact that it received a PG-13 rating rather than an R. I find this appropriate. This is not an R movie.

I hope that I have not become too desensitized, but in light of what passes as “scary” movies nowadays, it would be difficult to even call this scary.  Typcially, a modern horror movie is one of unimaginable, graphic gore, torture, and often times demonic activity.

Modern horror movies simply scare us by presenting us with demonic images and instances that terrify our souls. They are repulsive, and by many people’s standards, sinful. They often times glorify violence, glorify the occult, and glorify the sick part of our human nature that can actually enjoy, and spend money, on seeing images and torture scenes.

Especially as technology and movie-making skills progress, what we are seeing today is incredibly realistic.

A Quiet Place is nothing of the kind. As I said, there is mild violence. You will see blood. But overall, this movie is far more suspenseful and “jumpy” than it is violent and horrifying.

Clean

Apart from torture, horror, and violence, modern horror movies are filled to the brim with foul language, nudity, and sexual intimacy. Really, this is true of almost all movies, regardless of their genre.

A Quiet Place is unbelievably clean in this regards. It is so refreshing to see a Hollywood movie from start to end, and never have to see a nude woman, or see a pornographic sexual scene. There is no inappropriate romance in this movie at all. The humor is not even sexual humor, which tends to be the most popular way to make American audiences laugh.

Along with that, the lack of dialogue could have been ruined with foul language, but there is none of that in this movie either. You will not be exposed to crude humor, nudity, or foul language in this movie.

Worldview:

Family Values

More important than any other element in a movie is the worldview message promoted. And A Queit Place needs to be applauded for its ethic.

First of all, wether intentional or not, this movie is extremely pro-life. The movie values family and children the way few Hollywood movies do. This movie provides a subtle, yet powerful pro-life, and pro-family agenda.

The movie centers on a strong, nuclear family. Two married parents who love each other and their children. The movie plot is the loving embrace of parents who believe all life is valuable and deserves sacrificial protection. The parents protect, provide, and educate their children.

Gender Roles

Along with the family values, what I determined to be the greatest aspect of this movie is the gender roles. Biblical gender roles are presented, valued, glorified, and maintained throughout this film.

The wife is the homemaker, educator, and she cooks, while the husband has the clear role of hunter and protector.  The movie goes out of its way to establish these roles.

However, they do so without the radical stereotypes usually accompanied with them. Although Emily Blunt’s character plays the role of the wife and woman, she maintains a grit and bravery in her role. She does not become a helpless, dimwitted, pretty girl. Her character is one of the strongest, toughest, most courageous female characters I’ve seen in any movie. Without becoming butch or masculine, she manages to be a strong, sacrificial mother, who maintains established female roles in the family.

Likewise, Krasinki’s character is a strong, sacrificial leader, who catches food, invents technology, and protects the family at all costs. However, he does not become a distant brute, with no love, affection, or sympathy for anyone but himself.  He manages to be a protector, provider, and also be nurturing and affectionate, without become effeminate or soft.

Conclusion:

All in all, if you don’t mind a little suspense and fear, this movie is a must see.

AQP

Author: Resisting the Winds

I am a sinner redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God. I am a local church expositor, living in the small but beautiful town of Alamosa, Colorado.

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