It’s a strange thing to find yourself enjoying, indeed, enjoying quite a bit, a film that by all rights should have triggered all kinds of logic problems in one’s mind. Logic problems that, in a lesser film, would have made you walk away shaking your head and/or laughing at the silliness of the story you just witnessed.
A Quiet Place is just such a film.
Released earlier this year to great acclaim, A Quiet Place stars and was co-written and directed by John Krasinski (best known -at least up to now and that may well change!- for The Office). His real life wife Emily Blunt co-stars in the film playing his -what else?- wife and Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Cade Woodward play their children.
The scenario is a frightening one: Strange, murderous creatures with hides as tough as metal and claws which can pierce through metal have appeared on Earth in the not too distant past. These creatures have decimated humanity, appearing mysteriously and wiping out anything they can get their claws on. Thing is: The creatures appear to be very sensitive to sound, so Earth’s only survivors are those who have been able to not make noise while trying to find a way to fight these seemingly indestructible monsters.
At the start of the film we are introduced to the Abbotts, the family we will follow through this movie. I’ll tread very carefully here regarding spoilers, but suffice to say they lead a very quiet life, aided to a great extent by the fact that their eldest daughter is mute and thus had already developed the ability to communicate with her -and among each other- through sign language.
We follow them during one trip to the city for supplies and then a short time later during one fateful day where Mrs. Elliot, pregnant with child, and the family confront their worst nightmares.
It is terrific, suspenseful stuff and, wisely, John Krasinski knows how to build tension without going into gore. This is an elegant film, a film that shows Mr. Krasinski’s a student of the masters. His work here reminded me, quite positively, of Alfred Hitchcock. The suspense at times was that good.
As I said before, the main problem one might have with the film depends entirely on how willing one is to forgive the film’s many logic lapses and allow the work to, well, work for you despite these lapses.
I suppose if I get into them I’ll have to deal with SPOILERS so let me do so in a moment.
Before I do, let me say this: The problems I’m about to note below didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the film. Despite these problems, the film works, and works quite well.
Very much recommended.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!
Welp, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now then, as I said before, the film involves these mysterious monsters who are apparently blind and hunt their prey purely through sound.
In other words, you make a noticeable sound and… bang, you’re dead.
Which begs the question: Why the heck didn’t humanity simply create a series of noisemakers to draw these blind creatures to where they want them to be then rain hell upon them?
How about leading them like lemmings after, say, a remote controlled vehicle and over a very high ravine?
I mean, there seem to me to be a number of ways humanity could -indeed should- have been able to use the monster’s main attribute against them.
The movie’s climax does feature a use of this, effectively finding a noise that bothers/freezes the creatures so they can be picked off, but, again, if sound is their way of hunting, why not put speakers all over a city and blast music 24 hours a day to disorient and draw them in?
But that’s just one logic issue. Here’s another: How exactly did the Abbots have electricity in their farm? The movie shows they have lights and a camera system which they use to watch their property. It’s all well and good, but how do they have this?
If they’re using a generator, it would make noise and that, naturally, would attract the monsters. I didn’t see any solar arrays, so that seems out. This is presented in the film but never explained in any way.
Finally, the movie’s climax features a very emotional scene in which the head of the family sacrifices himself for his children, who are pinned down inside a truck while one of these monsters are attacking them.
The monster had attacked and injured the father and he makes eye contact with his children, tells them through hand signs that he loves them, then yells out loud drawing the monster to him and getting killed.
Pardon my French here, but this scene was the one that bothered me the most of all the ones I’ve presented so far.
Why the fuck did he yell?
He had an axe in his hand. He could have tossed it against the metal shack to his side to make noise to draw the creature away. Why did he choose to yell and draw the creature right at him.
It was an emotional scene. It was a scene that ratcheted up the already near unbearable tension… yet it was a scene that made little sense.
IF, of course, you let it. That one, as I said before, bothered me more than the others, but even it wasn’t enough to make me hate this film.
Congratulations, all involved. You took a somewhat flawed/illogical concept that could have failed pretty spectacularly in lesser hands yet delivered a first rate suspense/horror film.
As I said before and I’ll repeat again: Recommended.