#FilmFridays: A Quiet Place

Before I begin lets set the record straight that I hate scary movies. Scary movies make me uncomfortable in the sense that my heart feels as if it will stop beating and there is nothing I can do to prevent that. As a result my brain goes into panic mode and my immediate reaction is to cry. Wednesday night a really good friend and I decided to see A Quiet Place. I had seen the previews numerous times and it seemed interesting plus Jim from The Office was staring in it as well as directing it along with his wife Emily Blunt. Previews are supposed to give you a gist of the movie but looking back now the preview barely warns you for the ride your setting yourself up for. Unlike most scary movies A Quiet Place doesn’t take long to get going. Within the first ten minutes of the movie we’re seeing one of the kids get snatched up by a fast moving alien.

The movie follows a growing family of four fighting for their lives against aliens. These aliens aren’t curious about humans nor do they want to live in harmony with us, they want to feast on us. The aliens are so terrifying that almost every time they came on screen I was covering my face. They remind me of something that could have come out of the Resident Evil franchise. These aliens are not attracted to human because of their scent, looks, or food; they are enticed by noise. Could you imagine living in a world where you either have to speak in sign language or your voice could not go above a whisper, you couldn’t play your favorite song out loud, you have to walk barefoot everywhere, and you have to be inside before it gets dark. Life for the Abott family seems meek but they make it work with their good survival skills, well thought out plans, use of barely any technology being left.

This movie shows in great detail that a parent’s love knows no bound. As the plot begins to heat up we see Evelyn (Emily Blunt) wade off childbirth all while trying to save her both her life and her newborn life. Her husband and children’s father Lee (John Krasiniski) is wiling to sacrifice his own life for his family. Now it doesn’t explicitly say when the aliens arrived or how long they’ve been in the same town as the Abbott’s, but it makes you wonder why the Abbott family would choose to expand their family at such a trying time. In the movie Lee tries to teach his son about surviving but when his daughter begs to go instead he tells her to stay at home. The scene highlights the possibility of sexism in the family structure.

The cast does a phenomenal job of telling the story as well as being believable. The cast is good at evoking emotion without having to speak or raise their voices. However, the stand out character and who made my heart ache the most was the daughter Regan. Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds plays the character Regan. In A Quiet Place, Reagan is deaf and relies on a hearing aide to hear. In the movie we see Reagan struggle with loss, grief, guilt, fear, resourcefulness, and ingenuity. Reagan is strong and heroic like her parents and she doesn’t allow her disability to hold her back or keep her hostage to the aliens hiding around. There is a scene in the movie where Lee explains to his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) the difference between big noises like a firework, or a waterfall versus a small noise like a toy or a baby crying. It is important knowledge to understand as the movie continues to unfold.

A Quiet Place surpassed my expectations. I assumed I’d be watching a movie about a family hiding from a physcopath wielding around a sledgehammer in the woods. To come up with a plot using aliens as the antagonist was interesting, different, and risky especially since alien movies were a thing of the 2000’s. Aside from the acting in this movie, the editing also heightened the suspense created on camera. We’d follow a member of the family on camera only to quickly jump to one of the aliens implying how fast they move. Another factor was the use of sound. The movie is pretty quiet most of the time but you can hear the rustling in the Cornfields, the creaking of wooden stairs, a leaking pipe, the noise that these aliens make when they move, and also the lack of noise Reagan hears.

If the event of an apocalyptic event I hope to be as wise, brave, resourceful, and trusting as the Abbotts. This movie definitely moved me, despite being on the verge of tears because of how scared I was, I shed a tear towards the end due to the love and life our parents try to create for us. The ending of the movie leaves a few questions hanging in the air, while I don’t think a sequel would be the best route to answer them I do believe a book would suffice. This movie also forced me to reflect on sound. Almost everything we do makes sound, laughing, walking, texting, the simplest things emit a sound but what if one day all of that is taken from us. Yes, technology, education, and privilege has helped those who are born deaf or losing their hearing but A Quiet Place offers us a small glimpse into their world. It is ironic that sound is what attracts these aliens but the byproduct of technological sound is the root to their demise. Whether or not you’re into scary movies this is a great movie about family and survival.

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Posted in CULTURE, FILM