Friday, April 06, 2018

In Which I Gush About A QUIET PLACE




It's been a long time since I've bothered blogging about a film I enjoyed, but I can't help myself with this one.

Generally speaking, I like the thriller and horror genres. I'm a fan. The best films of those respective bunches usually manage to elicit a visceral response from me with one, maybe two scenes. Recent films that managed to do this for me include Get Out, It, Wind River (with one very intense sequence towards the end), It Comes at Night, mother!, and Unsane. Again, each of those got to me with one, maybe two scenes, perhaps with an entire sequence.

Let me be real with you: A Quiet Place had me on the edge of my seat, my stomach in knots and chest constricted, for about 90% of the film.

Some light spoilers follow.

Part of this, I'm sure, stems from the fact that I have a young daughter and a pregnant wife. I could relate to the family on the screen very closely. Even more than that, however, the terror generated in the film felt new, innovative, and centered around character.

This was a quality film, ya'll. Easily the best I've seen all year, and I've seen a fair share already. Let me just bullet-list some of my personal highlights:

  • Acting was superb, all around. I sometimes find it hard to take John Krasinski too seriously because of how long he spent as "Office Jim," but I saw none of that here. Emily Blunt is great in just about everything, but she was truly phenomenal here. Even the young actors knocked it out of the park. I'm not sure if the fact that there wasn't much spoken dialog helped or made that more difficult, but either way I'm astounded.
  • As a general rule, the more intimate a horror film, the better it tends to be. A Quiet Place was incredibly intimate. Each character was individually motivated and developed, but they also meshed together incredibly well. Again, kudos to the cast.
  • Creature design. Yikes. Creeeeepy, and very well-designed. I love seeing interesting, new creatures. When I first got a full (brief) look at one of the monsters, I thought it felt a little demogorgon-esque, but the more I saw of the creatures the more interesting, unique, and terrifying they became.
  • Tension. I've already mentioned this, but the whole premise of the film (the monsters are attracted to noise of any kind) began as interesting, and progressed to downright gut-wrenching. Each situation built on what we knew of character and setting. IT WAS SO INTENSE.
  • Storytelling. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it was far from a weak point of the film. It was a solidly told story, with great character development.
  • John Krasinski's direction. Wow. Dude has chops. The direction here magnified the tension, as it does in all good horror. Just. Wow.
Let me come down from my high for a moment, because the film wasn't perfect. I have two minor critiques: (1) I'm slightly skeptical that the method the family discovers to fight the monsters wasn't tried much earlier by people who would have expertise on the subject, and (2) I'm slightly annoyed said solution wasn't integrated just a bit earlier. But, seriously, those are incredibly minor critiques. Let me say again: best film I've seen this year (so far), easily.

I'm still reeling. Go see A Quiet Place as soon as you get a chance.

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