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A Quiet Place

‘Actions speak louder than words’ is an oft used phrase. This is especially true in the cinema as silent films were a mainstay in its early years. The vision audiences saw spoke more than any vocabulary could making stars out of Rudolph Valentino and others. Silent movies have been rare in the last several decades but some have braved the world of high volume noise. ‘A Quiet Place’ makes a virtue of silence with the very sparse dialogue making way for a creepy tale where it pays to stay quiet.

Evelyn (Emily Blunt), her husband Lee (John Krasinksi) and their two children are living in fear. With a young deaf daughter and son to protect, the parents have to ensure they all remain silent. The reason is that a gaggle of evil alien creatures who hunt by sound are roaming the earth. Faced with a daily struggle for survival where a pin drop can bring death, the family’s lives are constantly threatened. The sounds of silence have never been sweeter for the quartet as they constantly face danger.

Directed by one of its stars, John Krasinski, ‘A Quiet Place’ is an often tense study in terror. By not relying on endless vocal exposition, Krasinski bravely takes away this safety net and is forced to be narratively creative. He generally succeeds despite several plot holes. The concentration on a small but talented cast highlights the isolation the characters feel. They have to rely on each other for survival with the family unit becoming increasingly important.

If you think about the story too much, then its logic gradually becomes unstuck. But if you go along with the tightly written script and strong performances then ‘A Quiet Place’ delivers. The depiction of the alien creatures is smart as are the ways of avoiding their wrath. With so little spoken words, it’s left to the stirring orchestral score and cinematography to generate the mood. Both do so with ease as they reveal how previously harmless but noisy objects can cause chaos.

Talking too much about ‘A Quiet Place’ would be going against its vow of silence. Whilst certain plot elements could have been better realised, as a straight-forward scary movie it works. Telling fellow cinemagoers to not speak or nibble loudly on popcorn may be advisable with the lurking anger of a movie watcher occasionally more dangerous than any on-screen beastie.

Rating out of 10: 7

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