Up until now I never knew the title of this film. I kept on forgetting because this whole time I was calling it “The Jim Halpert Movie”.I also had no idea that John Krasinski directed and produced this! I was so proud seeing his name at the end of the film. The cooler thing about this film is that Emily Blunt plays his wife in the film, except THAT’S HIS WIFE IN REAL LIFE! It’s like how Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence definitely have a thing and they decided to create the film MOTHER (2017) together. I love seeing celebrity husband and wives tag teaming to make some cash stacks!
A Quiet Place (2018) was brilliant. After a group of Aliens starts killing off a bunch of humans for making sounds one family tries to survive and figure out a way to defend themselves. I know John Krasinski directed some episodes of the office but this shows that this man has range! The film made me feel so anxious, I started to get very restless because all I could do was yell at the screen. The characters didn’t speak a word and
after watching (HEY! IM ABOUT TO SPOIL THE HELL OUT OF THIS MOVIE! CLICK AWAY OR READ ANOTHER ONE OF MY POSTS TO SAVE YOURSELF… TIME IN) the baby son die, I feared for everyone’s life. This film was perfect as a thriller, especially since this film could have become really boring really fast. About 85% of the film had zero dialogue. It was just a bunch of images up on the screen! In order for the family to communicate, they had to speak through American Sign language. The film adds an extra layer of authenticity because Millicent Simmonds is actually deaf. As an infant, she lost her hearing due to medication overdose.
I loved the way that each of the characters, including the new world that they lived in was introduced. Everything made sense, I didn’t have to question it much. At the start of the film, we know that Regan is deaf because of the lack of sound design when it cuts to a close up of her. I loved this idea of introducing her to us because in filmmaking the closer the camera is to a subject the more subjective the director whats us to be about whats going on like,
“Hey, look at this cup. I made this shot a closeup because I want you to know how important it is.” The film literally does this same thing later on when Evelyn is doing laundry and there is a nail sticking up from the floor. But anyways setting up that Reagan is deaf makes sense why this whole family is still alive. Everyone needs to learn sign language in order to survive. It shows that the family is used to being homeschooled and that they probably live somewhere away from the noise. All of that could be inferred from that one close up shot of Reagan that chooses to use the absence of silence to further the story. The film was not afraid to kill characters off and this movie has the best example of setup and payoff.
The film sets up that it’s a quiet world by showing us the family in a pharmacy looking for supplies. We, of course, meet Regan but here we also meet Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt), Lee Abbott (Jim Halpert), and the other children. Lee informs his youngest son that it’s important to stay quiet therefore they must leave the toys behind. Regan doesn’t agree, lets her little brother have the loud toy, then boom. Dead. But this scene was smart because it was a great way to show us what this world was about. It showed us just how high the stakes were if anyone for whatever reason decided to make a sound… Death. It also sets up a great conflict within our character Regan where she wants to prove to her father that she is not a little kid that will screw things up ultimately driving her throughout the film.
Show Don’t Tell
This film follows the idea of “Show, don’t tell” perfectly. This movie was basically a silent film and every single shot mattered to help further the story. The dialogue was only used to answer questions that the filmmakers knew that the audience would ask. And even then it was done in a smart way where Lee would be talking to his son, his son representing the audience’s ignorance of the world. This movie follows the rules laid out in David Mamet’s lectures at the film school of Columbia University in 1987 perfectly:
If you find that a point cannot be made without narration,it is virtually certain that the point is unimportant to the story (which is to say, to the audience): the audience requires not information but drama.
Basically less talking more action. And this makes sense because in an Instagram post that was promoted behind the scenes footage of A Quiet Place it stated that:
Due to minimal dialogue, The original script was under 70 pages, it would have been shorter too but some scenes contained nothing but a single word in the middle to emphasize it.
I didn’t even get into how important sound design was for this film! I really do believe that this film will be broken down in film schools of the future for it’s great to use of sound. When to use sound and when not to use it made this film so terrifying!
One thing that I noticed early on about the film was the lens choice and it made me start to think if it was done for stylistic purposes or if it was just to add visual subtext. Almost all of the shots in the film were filmed with a telephoto lens. How do I know? Everything in the frame at all times was massive and the distance looked like it was compressed. In scenes where you would think to use a wide, the filmmakers used a telephoto. It all looked beautiful but at some parts, I was confused because it made me wonder, “why in the hell are we so close?”
I was thinking maybe this was done to make us feel trapped and there was nowhere else to go. There is nothing else to see because the filmmakers want us to focus mainly on the sound. The first time that I saw The Purge (2015) I noticed that the filmmakers used heavy vignettes so that our eyes would stay focused center frame. We didn’t know what was happening in the dark because our eyes were glued to one part of the screen. Back
to A Quiet Place, when the film ended I changed my mind, when the credits started rolling I saw that Michael Bay’s name was attached to the film. Now I think it was purely a stylistic approach because Bay is known for the super telephoto compresses larger than life sweeping camera motion.
This film did its job and I’m so proud of the under achieving Halpert for making this happen the way it did. IT FREAKED ME OUT, I was afraid to say anything after the movie for fear that something would jump from across the street and end my life. The film cost close to 17 million to make and it made 18.9 million on Friday (April 6,2018). That’s when it came out. It made its money back instantly! According to Movie Facts:
A Quiet Place’s 3-day haul ($46m) is actually higher than Get Out ($33.3m) and Split ($40m) box office takings over the same period – two of 2017’s most profitable movies.
This film was so good! If you haven’t watched it, do that! I am honestly going to have to give this film a solid 8.5/10. It was so good!
Sidenote: HOW THE FUCK DID THEY PLAY MONOPOLY IN THE MOVIE?! EVERYTIME I PLAY I LOSE MY SHIT! THAT IS THE MOST INTENSE BOARD GAME. YOU CAN’T JUST PLAY THAT LIKE IT’S NOTHING!
Owner, Founder, Director, Editor Producer of Kaylex Productions.
Full-Time freelance filmmaker from New Jersey.