There are many justifiable complaints about the horror genre, and I have never been hesitant to make them—most modern horror films are simply depleted copies of repeated tropes, operating mainly on clichés and low-budget television actors looking to break into the movie scene. “A Quiet Place,” however, re-energizes a tired genre with originality, heartfelt performances and skillful direction.
The premise of the film is that the world has been overrun by creatures that attack based on sound. The only way to survive is to stay quiet. The film follows a family doing their best to look after one another. As far as storyline, this is what prevents the movie from making the same mistake as countless post-apocalyptic films—it actually makes the viewer care about the characters, an effect hugely accentuated by all-around strong performances from the cast.
There are some cheap jump scares built into the movie, but they are forgivable side effects given how much of the narrative relies on silence. The bulk of the scares come from tension, and there is plenty of it. It has been a long time since I felt so genuinely invested in and stressed out by the events of a horror film. John Krasinski, the lead actor and director, lets the pressure build, and the audience feels it.
Aside from this aspect, it is just a great horror movie, and a fantastically original film. It delivers some of the most heart-pounding suspense and directorial creativity of the year. It’s in a class of its own.
CHECK OUT THIS MOVIE IF YOU LIKED:
It Follows (2014)