SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the film yet.
A family learns how to survive in a world where making noise will most likely end in death. A simple premise, a simple story, minimal dialogue, yet incredibly complex and intriguing. All 90 minutes of which are rich with character driven plot, making this horror film stand out from most in it’s genre.
“A Quiet Place”, John Krasinski’s third feature film, is brilliantly minimalistic, with very little exposition to set up the world, cleverly set up through brief newspaper headlines that give us all we need to know to follow along with the story. It’s an exhilarating journey to take part in.
Here are four things I noticed (as an actor), about the film “A Quiet Place”:
First off, I loved the parallels between sound and hearing. I appreciated Regan Abbotts (played by Millicent Simmonds) character, the deaf daughter of Lee Abbott (John Krasinsky), for whom he attempts to build a hearing device for. In real life, my mom wears a hearing aid, and when the battery dies, it creates this really loud whirring sound that I can hear from another room. Knowing this, I couldn’t understand why Lee would risk working on such a device that could potentially create soundwaves that might “ring the alarm” for these sonar seeing aliens. Perhaps this frequency is higher than what these creatures can hear? I’m not sure. But it still made me question that layer to the narrative. Seemed a bit too risky to fuss with.
Beauty in Simplicity
I really loved how simple the plot was. It wasn’t over complicated with huge plot points or twists and turns. It’s simplicity allowed me to focus on the family dynamic, and really get behind their decision making. It also allowed me to follow along easily considering there was very minimal dialogue.
Why did Lee have to sacrifice himself?
For creatures that could only respond to sound, I was conflicted about Lee’s sacrifice to save his kids. Couldn’t he have thrown something into the cornfield to deter the creatures from the kids in the car instead of scream and sacrifice himself? When lead me to think, why didn’t he arm himself with sound-making toys to use as sound bombs in case something like this ever happened? Also, when the kids roll down the hill in the car, how did that not make any noise? Even if the wheels and brakes were squeak free, it would still make thudding noises rolling down a hill. I thought the fireworks as a distraction was brilliant, but if they had the line of thinking, you’d think they’d have been more clever about other ways to use sound as a savior. Maybe I just wanted to see more of that preparedness to really buy into his eventual death.
Why have a kid?
I understand Lee and Evelyn must have felt an immense amount of guilt with the loss of their little boy, fueling their desire to bring another life into this world, but…. Why risk the likes of your other two children knowing that when it’s time to give birth, those sound seeking creatures are going to know exactly where you are. Or, for the first year of the kids existence, everytime that baby cries, you’re potentially done for. It’s a huge risk to put your family through. And what then of the guilt you’d feel if something happened to all of you all because of the babies scream? I didn’t fully get behind that decision only because it could potentially cause great danger for all involved. But, you know, I get it. In the name of suspense, there needed to be drama, and sacrifice, and fear, and all that good stuff that keeps us on the edge of our seat.
All in all, I really enjoyed the film and (as an actor) wish I could have been in it!!