Silence is golden

John Krasinski merges horror and family in “A Quiet Place”

For most, sound is found in abundance and is a sense we take for granted in daily life since it is found all around. However, in a world where any noise could jeopardize lives, “silence is survival” and a deeper appreciation for sound is developed. John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” brings not only a suspenseful thriller that leaves audiences holding their breath at every scene, but a captivating film focusing on family dynamic and how far parents will go for their children.

The Abbott family, that consists of parents Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt), their eldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and son Marcus (Noah Jupe), lives on an isolated farm in a world overrun by blind creatures that hunt by sound, causing them to adapt a silent lifestyle. Viewers navigate through the Abbotts’ lives as Evelyn is close to giving birth, and the family defends themselves from the horrors heading their way.

Instead of being some cliche horror film with an overused plot of characters saving the world from these invading creatures, Krasinski, who directed, co-wrote and starred in the film, wanted the film to focus on the family itself and this brings audiences to grow a stronger connection with the Abbott family.

“Yes, it’s a scary movie, but what was in it was a story of a family trying to survive. What extremes would you go through to protect your kids?” Krasinski said in an interview with “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. “The best compliments are when people come out and they’d say, ‘I never thought I would cry in a horror movie,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s it! That’s why I did it.’”

There is no set plotline, however this concept works better for the film because of Krasinski’s primary focus on the family’s relationship that singles out the Abbotts and brings audiences closer to them. Viewers are rooting for this family’s survival and some of the audience might even be brought to tears. This is something usually unheard of for horror movies, but the emotions brought out from the film are a pleasant surprise.

With only four main characters throughout the movie, Krasinski was able to compile a strong cast that delivered an emotional and natural relationship as a family.

Since Krasinski and Blunt are a real-life couple, it helped with the authenticity of their relationship on screen. Their role of the parents was very sincere especially in a scene where the couple escapes the chaos and hopelessness of their lives in a slow dance to Neil Diamond’s “Harvest Moon”. Even though they are trapped in this isolated and miserable situation, they make many efforts to try and normalize their lives such as a simple slow dance and supplying their kids games such as Monopoly with cloth pieces.

Krasinski wanted viewers to experience certain scenes through the daughter’s perspective. Scenes that focused on Simmonds’ character were completely silent so that audiences were able to take a step into her world, which was an fascinating feature to include. It brings us to another level of understanding with the character, something not many movies are able to pull off.

The cast was inclusive by having deaf actress Millicent Simmonds play the role of the eldest Abbott child, who is also deaf in the movie. With Simmonds on set, the accuracy of her character’s actions and feelings were truly exhibited since she goes through the same experiences on a daily basis.

Since the family has to live in silence, they communicate through sign language for the majority of the movie, adding to the movie’s uniqueness.

Because words were not used much, the movie relied on the actor’s facial expressions and some music to build suspense, and the skillful acting supplied this suspense.

“A Quiet Place” has its fair share of uniqueness, from the central focus of the movie to its almost all silent scenes, that sets it apart from other cliched horror movies. It’s a beautifully crafted movie and a must see whether you are looking for a good scare or a moving film beautifully capturing family dynamics.