‘A Quiet Place’ is ingenious


Grade: 3 stars (out of 4)

Rating: PG-13 for terror and some bloody images

Running time: 1:30

By Jocelyn Noveck

AP National Writer

Let’s start with a popcorn warning. If you’re bringing your usual tub of multiplex popcorn into “A Quiet Place,” just be aware that you’ll be hearing every single crunch.

That’s because much of John Krasinski’s ingeniously creepy new film, in which he stars alongside his real-life better half, Emily Blunt, takes place in virtual silence. This is a movie about a world where noise gets you killed.

Krasinski has a lot going for him here: An inventive premise, a terrific cast featuring two extremely effective child actors, and the always superb Blunt. He takes all this and runs with it, producing a taut, goose-pimply thriller that earns its jump-out-of-your-seat moments and only occasionally strains its own logic – and then, who really cares? It’s a monster flick!

We begin on “Day 89.” But what exactly happened 89 days ago? Our first clue is that there’s nobody in the streets of the desolate town where the Abbott family – Lee, Evelyn and three young kids – makes a precarious shopping trip. The family has ventured on foot from their farmhouse to search an abandoned store for badly needed medicine. The most obvious clue is that the family cannot speak, or make a sound. They communicate in sign language, and walk barefoot on soft sand and dirt so even their feet won’t give them away.

An early, shocking tragedy makes it clear what they’re up against: evil, hungry monsters who consume anyone who catches their attention with sound. Soon, that fateful Day 89 skips ahead to Day 472. The monsters still rule, and now Evelyn (Blunt) is pregnant.

Krasinski and fellow screenwriters Bryan Woods and Scott Beck are cleverly tapping into universal parental angst here. First, childbirth, already pretty darned painful and stressful, is made even more difficult – you can’t even scream!

“A Quiet Place” may not have the weighty social meaning or piercing comedy of another recent high-profile horror thriller, “Get Out.” But like that movie it is smart, it moves fast, it has a hugely satisfying ending – and it deserves to attract a much broader audience than the usual horror film devotees.

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