"A Quiet Place" (2018) - The Modern Silent Film

Updated on May 4, 2020

The lasting image of John Krasinski that lingers in the minds of the majority of people, I would venture to say, is as the charming, clean-shaven goofball Jim Halpert, the beloved character he portrayed on the small screen for the better part of a decade as part of the ensemble cast of the American version of The Office. Episode after episode, Krasinski provided viewers the necessary normalcy to counteract the deranged antics of his more nutty co-stars. He was, undoubtedly, a symbol of sanity.

That was all thrown out the window once Krasinski zeroed in on the concept that would ultimately evolve into his directorial debut, A Quiet Place, one of the most effective mainstream horror flicks of recent years. And it is about as unnerving a thriller as they come. The late Roger Ebert used to talk about "Bruised Forearm Movies", which he so labeled because if you watched one with a date, you would cling to each other so tightly that, by the end, you'd both be black and blue.

A Quiet Place is a proper Bruised Forearm Movie. The tension is palpable from the opening scene, and truly does not let up until the credits roll roughly 90 minutes later.

The film is as suspenseful as it is in large part due to really excellent work by the production's brilliant sound designers. As the title of the movie implies, Krasinski and company utilize silence as much as anything in order to establish the unsettling timbre of the film. There are long stretches of time that feature little or no sound at all, and dialogue is extraordinarily sparse.

In fact, the first word is not heard until about 24 minutes in, and it's not even a character who talks, but rather a song that plays. The characters do not audibly speak until the 38-minute mark...of a 90 minute movie. How is this possible?

Again, the sound design of A Quiet Place is masterful, and ensures that the film remains engaging even when nothing is being said and little is being heard. It was nominated for Best Sound Editing at the Academy Awards, and for very good reason.

Even beyond the dazzling audio work, the film works so well because of very smart direction from the rookie Krasinski. He showcases his talents as a visual storyteller throughout A Quiet Place, using tenets of the Silent Film Era to clue the audience in as to what exactly is happening at all times without heaps of verbal exposition, an aspect of far too many movies nowadays and one that I find particularly off-putting.

The screenplay never stops the momentum of the story to explain what's going on or how the characters are feeling. We understand intuitively the dangers that exist in this world because they are clearly established. And we grasp the emotional state of these people due to that aforementioned visual storytelling and some really fine work from the cast, which includes Krasinski, his talented wife Emily Blunt, and two capable child performers.

It is signaled to the viewer very early on in the proceedings that sounds of any and all kinds pose a serious threat to the characters. A lethal threat. As such, the audience is suspended in a constant state of unease. As movie watchers, we are conditioned to use two senses: sight and hearing. The filmmakers take advantage of this by thoroughly subverting our expectations and delivering something that is wholly different than what we are used to, and therefore not at all what we are anticipating. Each agonizing second of silence has earned that tension we feel in our gut.

A Quiet Place has more on its mind than just white knuckle thrills, though. There's a beating heart at its core that stems from the dynamics of the characters, particularly between Krasinski's paternal figure and his daughter, and the poignant story arc that very subtly progresses throughout the movie, culminating in an emotionally effective finale that is fully earned, even if you were too busy clutching your date to notice.

In the realm of modern Hollywood blockbusters, A Quiet Place is certainly one of the good ones. It's a thrilling piece of mainstream horror filmmaking that is definitely quite scary, but also very touching. Not without its minor flaws and peripheral blemishes, but all around a very solid movie and a wildly successful debut for the multi-talented man at the helm.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Krishnavamshi Kesani profile image

        Krishnavamshi Kesani 

        4 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

        Nice one

      • Ivana Divac profile image

        Ivana Divac 

        4 weeks ago from Serbia

        Very good and informative review!

      • Gunslinger4881 profile image

        Matt Brown 

        4 weeks ago from Pasadena

        Great review!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)