A Quiet Place (Subtitled) (15)

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Thriller (2018)
90mins US

Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds
Director: John Krasinski
Writer(s): John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Mankind has been devastated by the arrival of hideous, sightless creatures, which hunt by sound. Lee Abbott, his wife Evelyn, deaf daughter Regan and son Marcus are among the survivors of this apocalypse. They silently scour for provisions on the outskirts of New York, treading carefully in their bare feet to avoid attracting attention. In a world where a single sneeze could be fatal, Lee, Evelyn and their brood learn heartbreaking lessons about self-sacrifice under intense pressure.

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LondonNet Film Review
A Quiet Place (15)

Silence is golden - and imperative for survival - in John Krasinski's nerve-shredding horror thriller about a family battling against sightless otherworldly creatures, which hunt by sound. A single sneeze or cough could be fatal, and the lean, propulsive script co-written by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and Krasinski takes sadistic delight in prickling our discomfort until we're ready to scream on the characters' behalf...

A Quiet Place. Copyright: 2017 Paramount Pictures. Caption: Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski. All Rights Reserved.In the opening hour, A Quiet Place is a masterclass in old-fashioned scares and suspense including a horrific scene with a nail protruding from a wooden basement staircase, which begs to be glimpsed through trembling fingers. The gasp-inducing pay-off is telegraphed in advance and Krasinski confidently tightens the screw with slickly engineered set pieces, which punctuate the heart-rending human drama. In the absence of dialogue, the film relies on beautifully calibrated gestures to convey emotion. Krasinski's real-life wife Emily Blunt delivers a powerhouse performance as a mother hen, who is dedicated to preparing her children for a bleak future without her guiding influence. She gels magnificently with expressive young co-stars Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, who milk every tear and shudder of anguish from their characters' nightmarish predicament.

Eighty-nine days after first contact with the monsters, resourceful father Lee Abbott (Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Blunt), deaf daughter Regan (Simmonds), eldest son Marcus (Jupe) and four-year-old Beau (Cade Woodward) have adapted to the omnipresent threat. The family communicates via sign language and silently scours for provisions in abandoned stores, treading carefully on paths of sand to dampen the gentle thud of bare feet. Alas, the electronic beeps from a battery-powered space shuttle toy prove little Beau's downfall. More than a year later, the Abbotts regroup in grief under the eaves of an old farmhouse. Evelyn is heavily pregnant and a newborn baby's cries could draw the hunters to their provision-stocked hiding place unless they can sound-proof the basement. Time is of the essence and Lee actively involves Regan and Marcus in preparing escape routes and diversion tactics. Despite these best laid plans, Evelyn fears her brood will lose the deadly game of hide and seek. "Who are we if we can't protect them?" she tearfully pleads with her spouse.

A Quiet Place bides its time, relishing nervous calms before the storm of sickening violence that consumes the final act. Tense sequences in a grain silo and a water-logged nursery draw favourable comparisons with the Jurassic Park and Alien franchises. The script's logic frays in places - it's unlikely a mattress would keep the beasties at bay and the Abbotts' newborn conveniently slumbers through some of the tensest exchanges without a single giveaway gurgle. However, it's impossible not to be held in a vice-like grip by the family's white-knuckle ordeal. Don't speak, don't breathe, and pray. Silently.

- Jo Planter

A Quiet Place. Copyright: 2017 Paramount Pictures. Caption: Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski. All Rights Reserved.

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