Plot: As predatory aliens prowl the world, mankind has been decimated and those who survived live isolated, quiet existences. Or at least most of them do, while Lee (John Krasinski) and his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) are confident a thin layer of newspaper and a beat up mattress are soundproof enough. The couple takes their two children out on supply runs, in which the entire squad walks all over dry, crinkly leaves, rustle through shelves, and slide around the place. The aliens happen to have highly evolved auditory systems, which seem to only allow them to hear plot devices, as all kinds of loud noises slip past their finely tuned listening skills. As if to further point out how being quiet isn’t a priority, these two selfish assholes decide to have another child, to replace the one that died when an alien heard a plot device, but then vanished instead of killing the entire family as it should have. I don’t know. A lot of unnecessary noise happens, forced emotional beats happen, and then the aliens can’t even hear a crying baby that’s a few feet away. Fuck this movie.
Entertainment Value: A Quiet Place is a movie that puts in some effort to establish the rules of the world it takes place in, which is a good sign in the early scenes, but soon it ignores all that and just drops even basic common sense. I don’t mind nonsense or even outright stupid narrative choices, but if you want to make a serious, tense movie, you need to be at least mildly consistent. This movie hinges on the gimmick of silence, as the aliens can hear even the smallest sounds or more to the point, they can hear whatever happens to be convenient. One scene, a light creak of wood can get their attention, then a crying baby can be five feet away and be hidden, so these kind of wild logic swings defuse any genuine tension. I can overlook a lot, but A Quiet Place makes no effort to be consistent in the least. The movie just hopes you swallow the total disregard of its own rules, which is a shame. The performances are passable, with Millicent Simmonds as the standout. Emily Blunt isn’t given much to do, while John Krasinski couldn’t feel more out of place than he does here, quite an odd choice there. I had a hard time rooting for the adults, as they chose to bring a child into this hellish world, which just signals how selfish and narcissistic the two have to be. I wanted to love A Quiet Place, but if your gimmick is that “silence is survival,” perhaps your movie should, you know, involve some silence?
No nakedness. Despite the ridiculous idea of these morons procreating when a slight noise can lead to the death of their entire family, no sleaze is shown. I would have loved to see Jim Halpert raped by one of these aliens, who would then put on his J. Crew wardrobe afterward. A little blood is seen, but not much. A scene features a woman bleeding from her crotch as she is in labor, instantly and silently giving birth in a natural, believable turn of events. A raccoon is splattered in the most graphic moment, but it is low end CGI and looks more humorous than shocking. A few other minor instances of bloodshed, but never gore or over the top violence. As this movie happens in a world where silence is survival, there’s no dialogue. Except that characters talk through the entire movie, often in normal tones with little regard for survival and even in quiet moments, the whispers aren’t that hushed. The hilarious exchange late in the movie where the dad expresses his love for his daughter is a highlight, as it is so forced and borderline camp. Aside from the brazen abandonment of all of the “silence is survival” hype, this one is dead serious, even as it tries to convince us of one bullshit contrivance after another. Some unintentional humor if you appreciate bad, poorly thought out narratives, but not much.
Overall Insanity: 2/10