A Quiet Place is a good movie. It just is. But I will not stop here with my review. There is a richness to this film that is remarkable to behold given its ninety minute run time. If there was nothing else to praise about it, it would be that it simply does not mess around. There is a time and a place for indulging in side-tracking and overly developing characters. This is a horror/action flick, and because of the need to remain silent, it masterfully shows way more than it tells. This is always a good strategy in this reviewer’s view.
I will repeat this again because it is worth doing so: A Quiet Place does not waste time. A perfect illustration of this was when the Abbotts, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee (John Krasinski), have themselves a little dance. Other films of this ilk would have resorted to some sordid (read as unnecessary) sex scene, or some other vulgarity. But their loving embrace as they slowly sway to “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young tells you everything you need to know about their relationship: they genuinely love each other. Also, (and spoiler alert, just in case) when their youngest son, Beau (Cade Woodward), is killed by the hyper-sensitive hearing monsters because his toy makes a sound, it drives home in an instant just how dire is their situation. Is it important where these monsters came from? I do not know, but I guess that is why they made a sequel? But for the purposes of the original, it really does not do to dwell on it.
The reason why it is not important to fully understand why these creatures have come to terrorize small town America (or Canada, maybe?) is because the true heart of A Quiet Place is the Abbott family. At one point, Evelyn asks Lee a crucial question, “Who are we if we can’t protect them?” The “them” in this case, of course, is their children. There is a sense of guilt that hangs over the family with Beau’s death, which is understandable. But Lee and Evelyn press on, which (and not to sound too cliché) is all anyone can do in life. Furthermore, they do their best to assuage the painful feelings felt by Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe). With Marcus, Lee takes him to a waterfall where he can make all the noise he would care to make. In Regan’s case, Lee makes the ultimate sacrifice as he lures one of the beasts away from his children, allowing them to escape. He does this while telling her, at long last, that he loves her. I have seen this movie a couple of times, but the gravity of this scene always tugs at my heartstrings.
The Bible is replete with stories of fathers giving their all for their children. And, of course, there is the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for us, we being his spiritual children. Such acts give A Quiet Place a beauty that speaks to me as a Catholic. There is also the scene where Evelyn listens to her baby’s heartbeat while it is still in the womb. What a pro-life testament!
Ultimately, A Quiet Place is an action film without being bloody; a horror flick without being grotesque; and a family story without being too sappy. It strikes the right balance between all of these emotional states in a tidy amount of time. If you find yourself stuck at home with older children and you want something to stream that gives everyone something to latch on to, then this film gets this reviewer’s highest recommendation.