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SXSW 2018 Review: ‘A Quiet Place’

SXSW 2018 Review: ‘A Quiet Place’

Ssssh. Don’t say a word. Do not dare to make a noise or even a whisper in the small midwestern town where if you elect to make any kind of audible disruption it could mean the end of your life. The Paramount film A Quiet Place, which made its debut in Austin at the South By Southwest Film Festival, is centered around a family of four who must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound, threaten their survival. Their supernatural auditory sensory glands initiate them to immediately attack their prey the moment a sound is uttered from miles away.  The film stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds.  John Krasinski makes his first foray into the horror genre with this thriller which received a positive response from the audience at the Paramount Theater in Austin.

Left to right: Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in A QUIET PLACE, from Paramount Pictures.

The film is inundated with jump-out-of-your-seat moments which is always expected in a horror film, but A Quiet Place uses creative and imaginative ways these perfect these suspenseful moments that keeps you on edge throughout the entire film.  There’s never a dull moment in this narrative, and the pacing has a momentum that continues to build and never loses traction as this story unfolds and survival is the only thing this family has left to hold onto.

Left to right: Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds in A QUIET PLACE, from Paramount Pictures.

The sound effects editing is the unsung hero in this picture and is also a character within the film itself — since the sound is what drives the entire plot of this film.  These well-crafted moments of sounds so mundane like hearing the sound of a toy siren or when glass breaks, create enough fear in us that while watching we, too, are trying to be as still and as quiet as possible — while witnessing these series of events. The performances in this film are spectacular and the strongest portrayals come from the children played by Noah Jupe & Millicent Simmonds.  Without saying a word these actors were able to elicit moments of fear, terror, and dread throughout this journey and by the end, we feel their pain and exhaustion during this entire experience.

Left to right: Emily Blunt and John Krasinski in A QUIET PLACE from Paramount Pictures.

As for the aliens in this film attacking this unsuspecting family of four?  We don’t know much about them, only through old newspaper clippings and research in the father’s (Krasinski) home about this new threat. The aliens themselves are pretty terrifying, they have no face, no eyes, and a mouth that looks more like the opening of a dimensional portal into a universe of terror. These creatures are pretty scary and they offer nothing to their existence except to kill at a moments notice predicated on sound.

Emily Blunt in A QUIET PLACE from Paramount Pictures.

Millicent Simmonds, who plays Krasiniski’s daughter in the film — is also deaf.  Krasinski deliberately wanted to cast an actress who was deaf to play the part and she brings a level of depth this role that was compelling to watch (and this was all the while not even knowing the actress herself is deaf). If you want to watch an edge-of-your-seat horror thriller with extraordinary performances, impressive sound editing and a well-driven story structure — A Quiet Place is definitely a film to add on your radar. Just make sure whatever you do, be still and keep quiet.

A Quiet Place arrives in theaters everywhere April 6, 2018.

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