A Quiet Place and the terrifying sound of silence


For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve always tried to steer pretty clear from the horror genre. Finding the appeal in willfully giving myself heart attacks and nightmares has always been near impossible and, you know, maybe that makes me the weird one. Nonetheless, I was completely surprised to find myself uncharacteristically going out of my way to watch A Quiet Place, which was certainly a pretty big and very shocking bit of character development for my scaredy-cat self. Let’s be real though, we all know that the appearance and involvement of a certain star from The Office in the film definitely played some part in this decision.


Expecting no less from the same man who hired his Asian friend to act as himself for a day just to put his co-worker through an existential crisis, I, like many others, went into this film with pretty high hopes. And I’m glad to say that I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Just a warning though, this is the last film you’ll want to take popcorn to.


Directed by John Krasinski himself, A Quiet Place follows the life of the beloved Jim Halpert, who now has a pretty gnarly beard to say the least, seven years after the events in The Office, in which he has decided to leave his wife, Pam Beesly, to start a new life and family with the ever lovely and ever British Emily Blunt. Bitter and resentful, Pam teams up with Dwight to wreak havoc and unleash an alien invasion that would leave Jim just as miserable as he had left her. You know what they say: karma’s merciless. Guess he shouldn’t have done good ol’ Pam Beesly dirty like that, huh?


Credit: Paramount Pictures (A Quiet Place)

Okay, so that might not have necessarily been the plot, but the fact that no characters were ever specifically addressed by name in the film certainly did let my imagination wander. Taking place over the span of three months in the near future of 2020, A Quiet Place actually follows the story of the Abbott family (who I didn’t even know had names until Wikipedia dropped that knowledge bomb on me), consisting of Lee (John Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), and their three children, Marcus (Noah Jupe), Beau (Cade Woodward), and Regan (Millicent Simmonds), who are some of the few survivors of the invasion of the “Death Angels,” which are basically amped up demogorgons. Except their blind. And have some crazy hearing abilities that would even put the likes of dogs and my mom when my sister decides to whisper under her breath after an argument to shame. Relying on these heightened hearing abilities, “Death Angels” attack anything that triggers any sort of noise, forcing survivors like the Abbott family to live in complete silence if they want to survive. However, making noise is just human nature, isn’t it? This begs the question– just how long will the Abbott family be able to last?


Credit: Paramount Pictures (A Quiet Place)

If you couldn’t figure it out already, A Quiet Place is a mostly-silent (emphasis on mostly) horror film told through sign language and if that doesn’t initially sound terrifying to you, then I get where you’re coming from because I, too, was once in your shoes. And I couldn’t have possibly been more wrong. The sound of silence actually put me even more on edge and may or may not have triggered a temporary fear of noise from everyday objects. It quickly came to the point where I was dreading each and every move that the Abbott family would make, wondering if taking the wrong step or triggering noise from a toy would be what did them in. The concept of a near-silent horror film was incredibly interesting and white-knuckle approach to genre and I’d definitely say it was something that the film and Krasinski executed flawlessly.


Credit: Paramount Pictures (A Quiet Place)

However, A Quiet Place itself is anything but flawless. While I definitely enjoyed it, I definitely had my complaints and, without giving much away, I’d say that the number of plot holes and unanswered questions in the film, unfortunately, earned a thumbs down from me. I’ll admit, the writing certainly wasn’t a favorite of mine and some of the decisions made by particular characters certainly didn’t make me happy, but looking past that, the film itself was still enjoyable. The ending of A Quiet Place, on the other hand, is an entirely different story, but that’s a matter of discussion for another day.


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Even with its shortcomings, Krasinski’s A Quiet Place turned out to be an incredible horror movie experience (that may or may not lean more towards being a suspense thriller, but I digress), one I’m glad to say that I was able to enjoy to its fullest potential at the movie theater, that I wouldn’t mind giving a second or maybe even a third watch while it’s still playing in theaters. It’s clear that a lot of thought and heart was put into this film and I’m sure revisiting it helps shed some light on these little details that one may not have noticed or picked up on during their first watch. This film certainly isn’t for everyone, but I’m sure other fans of The Office, and even those looking for a suspense thriller with substance, will take great pleasure in seeing Scranton’s favorite smug paper salesman on the big screen. I know I did! Would I say that A Quiet Place was good enough for me to recommend? Sure, why not.