A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place ★★★★

Subverts the tried and tested rule that all horror films benefit from a packed cinema. Leave crisp packets at home, muffle your coughs, stop shifting in your goddamn seat. A Quiet Place deserves a quiet place.

A family are living, and have lived, in the silent shadow of beasties for over a year. Barefoot, they follow manmade dust paths, signing instructions to avoid being heard. The kids are fearful, but their parents, strong for their children, have adapted. Like Annihilation, change is neither good nor bad, it just is. Life adapts to new rules. It's survival of the quietest.

John Krasinski loves the medium (Lady Bird taught us love means attention). Jump scares have been spoiled for years by the aural diminuendo that precedes them. What if you remove all sound? The safeguards gone, you feel as disorientated as the family. You're down a sense, vulnerable.

The creature design and certain third act choices make A Quiet Place the 10 Cloverfield Lane sequel we deserve. Like that film, humanity is never sacrificed for scares. It would be easy to make this a hopeless experience, but it really isn't. Those last 40 tense minutes work because you never stop believing. A nail biting horror. An innovative horror. A heartfelt horror.

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