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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Boy Who Worked and Then Made a Good Movie

I’ll admit that when I heard Jim from ”The Office” was directing and starring in a horror film, I was among the first to laugh. Now, having seen ”A Quiet Place” for myself, I feel that I owe John Krasinski an apology. I’m sorry John Krasinski. This film takes a cool concept and translates to the screen wonderfully, with the aid of fantastic cinematography, believable performances, smart editing, and pitch-perfect sound design, and I don’t even usually like horror films. ”A Quiet Place” is one of those films that transcends its genre with the aid of a rock-solid emotional core that runs through the whole film. You’ll enjoy ”A Quiet Place” because you are invested in the characters and their survival, not because you like being scared.

Taking place in upstate New York, ”A Quiet Place” focuses on a small family trying to survive an alien apocalypse. During the main portion of the film, these blind aliens have spent a little over one year on earth, attacking anything that makes a sound. While most frivolously flaunting folks have already faced felling by the foul fiends, Krasinski and his family have a leg up in survival, as living with a deaf daughter has prompted the whole family to learn sign language, affording them silent communication and coordination. The family now spends their quiet lives on a farm, wherein they struggle to make not one sound.

There is something horribly real about the family in ”A Quiet Place,” as Krasinski’s directing places great trust in the audiences, letting us figure out these people’s lives by watching them live, instead of bending over backwards to exposit all information—be it vital or otherwise—in the first act. ”A Quiet Place” is very subtle in this respect, in that it never flaunts how clever it is. And it is quite clever. The sequence of events in this film is beauteously composed, making each action feel like the natural consequence to the last, despite their engineering. The story in ”A Quiet Place” functions like a really impressive domino chain.

Now while the characters and plot are well put together, the one aspect of the film that does feel lackluster is the emotional arc. Focusing primarily on Krasinski’s character and his daughter (Millicent Simmonds), this portion of the film features a spectacular climax, but doesn’t do much in the way of building up to it. It’s an odd choice to have these two characters’ relationship define the heart of the film, as they have the least shared screen-time out of any two characters. A feat theoretically possible to accomplish, but not done so here. So sidelined is this aspect of the film, that when their story does reach its crescendo I had almost forgotten I was supposed to care about how these characters felt towards each other.
While ”A Quiet Place” might not have the best script, the direction is so incredible that all can be easily forgiven. It is a film of few faults, and what faults it does have are largely inconsequential. Every aspect of this film that works well works perfectly, and when it all comes together, it becomes spectacular. ”A Quiet Place” is tense, thrilling, exciting, scary, and entertaining all at once. “I can’t wait to see Krasinski’s next horror film” is a sentence I never thought I’d say, but boy oh boy can I not wait.
Rating: 9/10.