The horror thriller A Quiet Place is actor John Krasinski’s second turn at bat as director, following the thoroughly unmemorable 2016 indie effort, The Hollars. Thankfully, it’s a step up as opposed to what most expected from his sophomore attempt as actor turned filmmaker. There was absolutely no hint in Krasinski’s aforementioned freshman effort that he should seriously consider forging ahead on a second career path as a director. Surprisingly, he’s managed to concoct a nifty little thriller that, while not without a few problematic issues, hits more often than it misses. It’s such a marked improvement over his last effort and one can’t help but anticipate what Krasinski may have up his sleeve the next time around.

Emily Blunt stars alongside Krasinski as a married couple attempting to protect their family and defend themselves from the random attacks of a race of monsters that spring into action at the slightest bit of noise. Krasinski also co-wrote the film along with fellow writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. The trio manage to wring as much suspense as possible from what might have been a thin premise under the guiding hand of a lesser talent. Mostly, it works.

Blunt and Krasinski in reality are married and their real life relationship also helps in effectively selling the film. They have a palpable chemistry that translates easily and believably onscreen. This certainly doesn’t hurt in effectively pulling off a premise such as the one contained therein. If nothing else it makes it easier to overlook some of the gaps in logic that crop up from time to time.

The events that lead to the invasion of the predatory creatures in the film is skipped. We’re treated instead to a title card that tells us it’s ‘Day 89’ which thrusts us right into the middle of the action. The young couple, Evelyn and Lee Abbott, along with their three children, are seen picking up supplies in a store that looks as if it’s recently been looted. When the youngest of the three children ignores the father’s orders and turns on the sound effects on a toy ship of some sort it’s quickly established what the Abbott family is up against. The deafness which the couple’s daughter (Millicent Simmonds, hearing impaired in real life) suffers from also serves to up the suspense a few notches as the family struggles to survive on a day to day basis.

, like the film’s title, is indeed a very quiet film for long stretches of its running time. The silence goes a long way in dialing up the tension although sound intrudes more and more as the film moves along. My complaint with the film is a sudden shift where the creatures go from basically appearing only when they hear sound to suddenly developing a predatory sensibility. There’s no explanation for this but I was willing to forgive as there’s enough good stuff to overcome the few minor flaws.

At press time, all three movies are playing in Hickory, and all around the area.

Image: Emily Blunt & John Krasinski in A Quiet Place

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