As a jaded horror aficionado who’s practically seen it all, few scary movies really “wow” me anymore. While I was really impressed with Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ from last year, that was the rare exception rather than the general rule. So imagine my pleasant surprise after walking out of ‘A Quiet Place,’ a quietly subtle but poignantly powerful post-apocalyptic (or is it apocalyptic?) creature feature starring real life celebrity couple John Krasinski (best known for his role in the American version of the sitcom ‘The Office’) and Emily Blunt (a much more accomplished movie star than her hubby) as two parents trying to protect their kids and survive day-to-day in a dangerous world.
If you’ve seen the trailer (who hasn’t?), you would already have gathered as much that this little family of four (it started out with 5) has to live a life of enforced quietude because there are unseen, horrifying monsters out there that prey on humans by the slightest sound. With this brutally simple premise, the movie is really creative in depicting a world that’s believable yet utterly terrifying. And from the opening scene, the movie engrosses us in its living hell and never lets go, as we really come to empathize with and care for the family at the center of it. When we stop asking obvious questions like “How did we get to this point in the first place?” and just let the movie take us along for the ride at face value, its mission is accomplished.
Visceral, suspenseful and devastating, ‘A Quiet Place’ may be the best pure “Creature Feature” since Ridley Scott’s original ‘Alien.’ That’s high praise indeed. This film is so good that I didn’t want it to end and, while the film did not tie up neatly at the end, leaving the fate of the survivors unknown, there is a glimmer of hope amidst the sea of despair. And wow, oh wow, what a movie of sheer brilliance it is over the course of its all-too-short 95 minutes. I know there are still over eight months to go, but we have a bonafide (96 percent “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes) contender here for best movie of the year, folks.