A Quiet Place Review – Does It Deserve Its Deafening Praise?

Projected Film: A Quiet Place Review

Runtime: 90mins | Director: John Krasinski | Rating: 3.75 Stars

Though I haven’t reviewed many so far, I am a huge fan of horror films - I love them. Some of my fondest memories whilst boarding at school were staying up late with friends and watching horror films, scaring ourselves senseless. Good times.

Either way – whether it’s the surge of adrenaline you get from a well-timed jump scare or the racing heartbeat you begrudgingly feel from sustained tension, I’m an addict.

So, when I started seeing the stellar reviews for A Quiet Place – John Krasinski’s studio directorial debut – I couldn’t help but get excited.

Set in a dystopic near-future ravaged by monsters which can hear the slightest of sounds, A Quite Place tells the story of a family attempting to survive by any means necessary. Key to their survival is living in near-total silence. If you make a sound, you die – simple.

Projected Film: A Quiet Place Review

Now, before I get into the details of it, A Quiet Place is a very good film. But, I do think it has received more praise than it deserves. Sure, it’s a very enjoyable, well-directed horror film - but it isn’t perfect as I feel a lot of people are making it out to be.

Now, let’s start with the good. And, don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of good to be said about this film.

First things first, I applaud the originality of A Quiet Place. It is novel and very refreshing to watch.

In recent times I strongly believe horror films have suffered from a lack of originality. They are far too formulaic and all abide by the same rules. Build up some tension, do a jump scare, build up the tension again, do another jump scare, and so on and so forth.

A Quiet Place is brave enough to defy this.

Rather than constantly trying to catch the audience off guard with cheap jump scares, instead, Krasinski masterfully builds the tension throughout like a composer crescendoing an orchestra.

Of course, there are a few jump scares (that much is expected), but rather than these being the be-all and end-all of the film, they serve to keep you on your toes and are used sparingly.

For me, A Quiet Place embodies the notion that ‘less is more’ and what you don’t see is scarier than what you do. And, this is why it excels along with other tension ramping films such as The Blair Witch Project which I consider to be a horror masterpiece.

Projected Film: A Quiet Place Review

The second area A Quiet Place truly excels in is its monster design.

I won’t go into too much detail in case you haven’t seen the film yet, but the monsters are visually spectacular and horrifying.

Commenting on the initial ideas for the monsters, Scott Farrar, the visual-effects supervisor said, “I kept saying to John, we gotta make this gross. I want it to look really medical and raw, like you open up and it’s almost guts or brains—you don’t know what you’re looking at.”

The final thing I’ll say on the monsters is that Farrar and Krasinski certainly didn’t disappoint and stayed true to their word. They’re phenomenal.

A Quiet Place should also be celebrated for its inclusion.

When casting for a character in the film who is deaf they selected Millicent Simmonds who is also deaf in real life.

Not only is this a step in the right direction for inclusion, especially in relation to those with disabilities, but it also added an extra layer to the film.

Speaking about Millicent, screenwriter, Scott Beck said, “she came to set and taught everyone sign language. It was really amazing and brought an extra depth to the film.”

Projected Film: A Quiet Place Review

Despite all the above, A Quiet Place let itself down, in my opinion, in two main areas.

Firstly, the ending.

Oh god… the ending…

Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

Again, I won’t go into details in case you haven’t seen the film yet, but it was cliché, out of character with the rest of the film and could have been done far, far better.

Why end such a stereotype-defying film with such a cheesy, bad ending? As Deadpool would say, “well, that’s just lazy writing.”

My final complaint is that throughout the film the characters were moronic.

Maybe I’m being harsh, but if you live in a world where noise means death, you don’t make a sound.

Instead, throughout A Quiet Place, the characters (the children in particular who I found unbearable) made tons of easily avoidable noise.

This frustrated me a lot as it seemed either unbelievable or simply that the characters are stupid, in which case, how have they survived this long in the first place?

Projected Film: A Quiet Place Review

Ultimately, however, A Quiet Place is a very enjoyable film which benefits from its genre-defying bravery. Whilst not overtly scary, the tension throughout is nerve-shredding and is supported by an eerily haunting soundtrack. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t warrant the level of hyperbolic praise it’s been receiving.

That being said, go and see it for yourself and make your own judgement. Then, let me know what you thought in the comments!

To watch the trailer – click here!

Or, to read my review of 2017's,  IT - click here!


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