A Quiet Place: Bored Out Of Ear Shot
This was not a good movie. This was a series of really great scenes acted out by a phenomenal cast, wrapped in a boring and illogical plot. Even though this movie will not survive the The Snappening, it was very successful. First time directing a major motion picture, John Krasinki knocked it out of the park financially. This 2018 horror thriller movie exceeded their budget of 17 million dollars by 2000% and amassed a good amount of fans.
Many people have been telling me this was a good movie, and it is understandable to see why. John Krasinki not only directed the movie but also preformed in what I think was his best role yet. Accompanied by his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, who also did a fantastic job in this movie. It’s clear to see why people love seeing these two do what they do best, love each other. The movie mainly leans upon these two actors and their struggle to survive with their family in a post-apocalyptic world where making a sound will very quickly result in a violent death. Seeing Emily and John on-screen, going through the struggles of what that kind of life would be, it felt real. I believed the characters existed. These were not some scientists making dumb decisions that would obviously get them killed, unlike may other modern movies they share the genre with. Actually throughout the whole movie they made incredibly smart and well thought out decisions. They acted like real people.
This movie had a number of great scenes. Yes there were monsters/aliens or something, but those are not the scenes I was referring to. I have listened to a number of people, while watching movies like this, that have said “well how do you raise a kid in the wasteland?”, “What do you do without doctors?”, or “How have they been eating, there is no way people are still looting grocery stores for cans of fruit?” This is the movie for that type of audience. These scenes lead me to believe a real person thought about these problems and showed us in nonexpositional ways how a family can survive in that world, and more importantly how hard, and how much work goes into surviving. When the stakes are that high for death, you must have a hard set of rules. The story also shows us how hard it is for children and rules to go together.
As I said, the two lead characters were amazing. The children however did not seem to serve any purpose other than plot devices. Very early on you will see what I am talking about. Now I’m not saying it is unrealistic that kids wouldn’t listen to their parents. Of course they would disobey their parents, even if it puts them in danger. Kids today in the real world do it all the time. I’m saying that the children in this movie were not utilized to their potential outside of a two-dimensional character. One is scared, one is upset and does not want to listen, one…. well you’ll see about that third one. There were quite a few moments in the movie that could have been expanded upon. The children were one, at another time you see other people outside the family dynamic. Personally I don’t think that scene added anything to the plot and was pretty confusing. Ultimately most of the scenes felt that way.
The movie didn’t really do anything. It was a slice of this family’s life for sure, but there wasn’t a driving force, a reason to root for these people to survive other than them being people. After an interesting opening sequence, nothing happens in the movie for a half hour. It was difficult to stay engaged because the plot did not seem to be building to a climax. By the time the climax came and the lights turned red, I was saying to myself “finally, we are getting somewhere” and when all was said and done I still felt like nothing had happened. There was tension and a thrill for sure; without question the scenes after the red lights turn on are the peak of the movie. However even the peak was just Emily and John performing spectacularly (especially Emily Blunt) in a series of scenes that had no weight. Especially when they emphasize how dangerous the world is because of the monsters. Unfortunately the monsters are the most boring part of the movie.
I could not tell you if the creatures in The Quiet Place were natural monsters, experiments gone wrong, or aliens. I lean towards the ladder because of some subjective symbolism, however the audience does not get a clear answer. That alone does not make the creatures uninteresting, their inconsistent abilities and deus-ex-machina weakness do. The reason no one in the movie is able to talk, and everyone must use sign language with no subtitles leaving me to be unable to understand anything that is said for 80% of the movie, is because the creatures have a heightened sense of hearing. That is not a spoiler, that is the entire premise of the movie. Therefore knocking over a lamp or stepping on leaves will result in your death, except when it doesn’t. There obviously has to be a suspension of belief when it comes to Hollywood monsters. Not every little breath should trigger death or there wouldn’t be a movie. However, there are literally scenes where the creatures can hear static on a television or a door being opened on the other side of the farm, but cannot find the woman screaming in the other room or the child crying a foot away.
Remember how I said this movie was full of real people making smart decisions, I actually forgot something. The end of this movie is the worst part. The hyper sensitive hearing monsters have a weakness that no one was ever able to figure out in over a year. By the end of that sentence you should have figured out what might have hurt them, however these creatures were able to destroy society. There are shots of newspapers clippings saying the creatures are indestructible. I guess all the dog trainers were killed first.
Anyways, like I said, this was not a good movie. I sincerely loved the work done by Emily Blunt as well as John Krasinki both in front of and behind the camera. And as little as the kids were used, I could see them doing a great job in future movies. But no matter how thought out the human interactions were or how well the cast performed those scenes, it could not save The Quiet Place from being erased from history with the Snap of a finger.
Movie watched and review written by: Troy Smith