A Quiet Place follows the journey of a husband and wife (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, who are also husband and wife in the real world) with their daughter (Millicent Simmonds) and son (Noah Jupe) as they survive an alien attack. A thriller that uses monster attacks as a source of terror, it will certainly make a booming sound to support the atmosphere. This does not apply to A Quiet Place, because the monsters that attacked humanity this time despite having extraordinary speed but they did not have the sense of sight and only relied on their keen sense of hearing. The slightest sound is made, then the monster will approach and it is certain that the life will be lost. The only way to survive is to be silent.
Just like the characters in the movie, while watching, we as viewers consciously or unconsciously have a mutual agreement to not make a sound as much as possible. Moreover, before starting, there is a short video that reminds the audience not to make noise, even if it’s to eat popcorn. Like my seatmate next to me, who even managed to “smuggle” snacks in the cinema, but failed to eat them because it was already noisy when he wanted to take them from his bag. This atmosphere is like what I felt when I watched Don’t Breathe (review here ).
But A Quiet Place is n’t just a silent alien attack thriller , it’s combined with the right scenes that can build tension and make the heart beat fast. Time and time again the director (Krasinski in addition to being a cast and director also gets credit as a scriptwriter with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck) cleverly “seduces” the audience by pointing out things we know will cause problems. Even with the appearance of monsters that almost never appear suddenly, often the monsters appear slowly so that it is frustrating (in a good sense) and creates a tense atmosphere.
In addition to involving the audience to maintain silence, this film also treats the audience as intelligent viewers who think that there is no need for explanation through narration or dialogue (most of the duration is 90 minutes without dialogue, and only uses sign language). Krasinski is guided by the principle of “ showing and not telling ” and letting the audience understand for themselves. The quiet atmosphere of the city, the headlines in the newspapers, and the posters of missing persons are enough to explain how things have been since the arrival of this mysterious monster. Likewise, when you want to show the ability of the monster at the beginning, without further ado it appears and causes a tragic incident.
Another strength of this film is in the depiction of the survivors‘ struggle for survival from monster attacks, or rather their efforts to drown out all possible sounds that threaten their lives. Sowing white cement (or sand?) on a leaf-strewn street, walking barefoot, communicating using sign language, putting towels on the sink, and other such attention-grabbing details that made me chuckle at the idea.
Many unexpected things make the film not only tense but also curious. For example, when a crazy idea (which tends to be evil) when making the mother pregnant. That’s how and why a husband and wife are still struggling, not to mention how to maintain silence during the birthing process and deal with crying babies. But everything has been thought out, which turns a crazy and evil idea into a genius idea with careful execution.
Not only as a horror thriller film that makes the heart beat fast, but this film also keeps the heart in it. Indeed, there are quite a lot of people who talk about “things that don’t need to be said but really need to be said”. Because saying “It’s okay” or “I love you” is hard, especially in a post-apocalyptic world where words can’t be said. Although almost all of them didn’t say a word, the depiction of the characters and what each of them was feeling was clearly shown by the four main characters through their expressions and body movements.