The best type of horror film these days are the ones that marry a mighty dose of metaphor with it’s mauling and for the last couple of years we’ve been spoilt for choice. Numerous intelligent popcorn spillers have littered the multiplexes of late and cream of the crop have always had that little bit more going on up top. From Get Out’s brain stealing twist on slavery to It Follows riff on sexual relationships and even Don’t Breathe’s commentary on people doing what they have to while living below the bread line, the best of the rest have more to offer than, say, the latest Saw or Insidious instalment.
The latest to come creeping our way is A Quiet Place, a tale of a family desperately trying to etch out an existence in a world where making a sound could mean your very messy death from invading things lurking in the woods.
Every move has to be regulated, every step measured but how do you keep your family alive when your eldest daughter is deaf and wilful, your middle child is too timid and you have a toddler running about the place? Any parent in the audience will no doubt be familiar with how trying it can be to get your rowdy nipper shut their trap at the best of times, but what if your lives depended on it?
Que equal amounts of genuinely touching family drama, increasingly nerve shredding stalking scenes and LOUD FUCKING NOISES THAT COME OUT OF NOWHERE that make you spasm like an electrocuted chimp.
The world building here is beautifully subtle and inventive, everyone goes everywhere bare foot on trails of sand to mute the noise, non creaky boards are marked with paint and this movie is the single greatest cinematic advocate of sign language since The Miracle Worker.
Directed by and starring John Krasinski (Jim from the U.S. Office is a horror genius, who knew!) along side his real life partner Emily Blunt (smashing it, as always), A Quiet Place is wonderfully made.
The super tense cat and mouse scenes (which there are many) are all shot with the heart clutching, testicle shrinking intensity of the velociraptor kitchen set piece from Jurassic Park. But it’s the family stuff that molds it all together, giving the film it’s identity and themes of what it truly means to raise and protect your family.
In fact the rare bad points are more niggles than everything else, the film constantly resembles other movies (Jurassic Park, Signs, last year’s It Comes At Night and even Mars Attacks! all feel decidedly similar) and I’ve heard some nitpickers complaining about the sound design (all the sounds are heightened so everything sounds louder but just because it’s amplified for us doesn’t mean it’s actually that loud in real life: it’s a movie guys, come on).
But to wrap things up, I loved this movie and when all’s said and done, this might the horror film this year definately to make some noise about.