“A Quiet Place”

Susan Granger’s review of “A Quiet Place” (Paramount Pictures)

 

Some moviegoers absolutely love to be scared, frightened out of their wits. If so, this dystopian horror thriller is for you.

Emily Blunt and her husband John Krasinski play Evelyn and Lee Abbott, a married couple, living on a secluded farm in upstate New York. It’s Day 89 – after most of the civilized world has been decimated by an alien invasion of hideously hungry creatures who detect their prey by super-sensitive sound.

Knowing that silence is absolutely essential to survival, the Abbotts, always barefoot and alert, are determined to protect their three young children: Beau (Cade Woodward), Regan (Millicent Smmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe).

Regan is deaf, so they communicate primarily through sign language with only occasional whispers. And when – just for an instant – their vigilance fails, tragedy occurs.

Amid the constant peril, Lee is desperately trying to locate other survivors and devise an effective hearing-aid for adolescent Regan (Millicent Simmonds), who always feels a bit neglected.

FYI: Deaf in real life, expressive Ms. Simmonds scored solidly last year in “Wonderstruck.”

As time goes on, Evelyn must cope with the complications of pregnancy – like planning to make use of a soundproofed barn bunker for the birth and a tiny oxygen mask to stifle the newborn’s cries.

But things don’t often go as planned, particularly in cases like this, when stepping on a rusty nail can prove as deadly as an explosive device.

It’s a tour-de-force for actor/producer/director John Krasinski, who also co-wrote the taut screenplay with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. Working with cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen and composer Marco Beltrami, Krasinski cleverly employs the absence of sound to intensify the relentless terror.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “A Quiet Place” is an eerie, angst-riddled 8, an unsettling, totally different kind of creature feature.

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