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A Quiet Place
4.5/5 MUST must see SEE
dir John Krasinski
scr Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski
prd Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller
with Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward, Leon Russom, Doris McCarthy
release US/UK 6.Apr.18
18/US Paramount 1h30
A Quiet Place
Children of the corn: Simmonds and Jupe

blunt krasinski
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
A Quiet Place Panic-strikingly scary, this cleverly assembled thriller layers in both proper old-school suspense and wrenchingly resonant emotion, which makes the horror that much more effective. Filmmaker John Krasinski refreshingly avoids cheap jolts, unsettling the audience with clever set-ups that pay-off in ways that play on our deepest fears. The themes may seem simplistic, and some plot points rather contrived, but since it plays out in virtual silence, it feels nothing we've seen before.

It's been about about 18 months since murderous blind creatures invaded America, killing anything that makes a sound. So the Abbott family creates a silent life on their farm, speaking in sign language as they grow their own food. Lee (Krasinski) fiddles with electronics to augment their safety, while Evelyn (Blunt) manages daily life, including her own prenatal care. Teen daughter Regan (Simmonds) is deaf, and wants to be more involved, but her parents worry that she can't hear danger coming. Meanwhile, younger son Marcus (Jupe) is frightened by the responsibility this puts on him.

After a jarring prologue, which kicks off the film's raw emotionality and willingness to get very dark, the story settles in to this family's daily life. They are living with terror on a moment-by-moment basis, each fully aware of the consequences of one slip. And Krasinski reveals these monsters slowly with each passing incident until a series of small events collide in an inexorable, full-throated scream. What follows is a series of inventive set-pieces that skilfully play on our emotions and fears.

Each of the cast members is excellent, interacting without being able to speak (except in the safety of, for example, a roaring waterfall). The actors are so strong that it's easy to identify with them, seeing thoughts flash across their faces moments before they are required to make a fateful decision. The bond between them is also vividly expressed in their eye contact. And there really isn't a central role here, as each one of them brings something vital to the story.

Krasinski augments things with beautifully observant cinematography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, razor-sharp editing by Christopher Tellefsen and a rumbling Marco Beltrami score. And it's a notable achievement that he never resorts to hackneyed horror cliches. There are a number of moments that hinge on something illogical that's been created for scare-value, but since we're watching breathlessly through our fingers, we don't notice until we have a chance to catch our breath. And since it's all so superbly involving, that doesn't happen until long after the credits roll.

cert 12 themes, violence 28.Mar.18

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© 2018 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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