The silent treatment
Originality in horror films has become quite scarce these days. Despite Blumhouse, the studio that's making bank on the horror genre right now, putting out a gem every once in a while, they're not what you'd call "classics" so to speak, and yes that includes last year's tremendously overrated Get Out (sorry, not sorry). It's good to see that there is at least some uniqueness left to tell a good premise which is exactly what A Quiet Place has going for it. Set in a not-too-distant future, the world has fallen prey to an invasion of aliens that can detect the presence of whomever they hunt by the faintest of sound. Without any idea of how to defeat the creatures, this has forced the rest of humanity to go into hiding and avoid making as little noise as possible. The plot mainly focuses on the Abbott family as they try to maintain a seemingly "normal" lifestyle while avoiding attracting attention from the creatures. The characters in the film use sign language to communicate with one another; spoken dialogue is seldom exchanged. Even though there's minimal talking, there's a lot more going on beyond what is being seen and heard. The tension coming from the absence of sound is what not only drives the film but intensifies the quieter moments when hardly anything is going on, which is something that you rarely see in horror films anymore. What's even more unusual, and a genuine achievement for a film like A Quiet Place, is how it tackles the themes of family, pro-life and the self-less love that comes from parenthood. Krasinski has certainly come a long way from his comedic roots and his direction is proof that when it comes to weaving a story, he does it like a pro and without having to rely on the annoyingly typical horror tropes we've seen done to death before. Considering how saturated the horror movie market has been, it's good to see how a little inventiveness can go a long way, and with a sequel already planned (no surprise there), I'm eager to see where Krasinski will go from here and how he'll continue to expand. A Quiet Place gets my highest recommendation.