“A Quiet Place”—Mastering the art of silent terror


  “A Quiet Place” was released on April 6. The film, which is rated PG-13, stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe as a family living in a post-apocalyptic world where unknown creatures are hunting them, and the only way to survive is to never make a sound.

  At first glance, this just looks like another weird horror movie with alien-like creatures, but the movie manages to go deeper than that by playing on our fear of being hunted, using something that is mundane and extremely common to us: sound.

  The decision to make the creatures hunt via sound ensures that the movie is suspenseful and engaging all the way through. As people, we make noises pretty much every second of every day, whether we mean to or not. This made sure that there was a constant fear that one of the characters was going to make a noise, however small or unintentional, and attract the attention of the creatures.

  Due to this plot detail, the movie employs a genius move of having several parts of the film completely silent, or at least mostly silent, with little background music. The family also uses sign language as their major way of communicating, so the characters rarely talk out loud.

  This gives viewers a sudden need to be quiet themselves, which immerses them further into the plot. When the film has absolutely no sound, it makes the viewer not want to make any noise themselves, as everyone is acutely aware of how loud the noise they’re making is.

  Since a lot of the movie is almost completely devoid of sound, sudden bursts of loud noises reinforced the jump scares, of which there were quite a few, so even though you knew something was coming, you were still surprised by the jolt of the loud sound. The movie also made good use of slowly building the background music, so you knew something important was going to happen, but you didn’t know what.

  The film also leaves the origin of the creatures who are hunting the family open ended, but it is clear from the way they look and act that they are probably some type of alien. It is never blatantly revealed where they came from or why they’re there, but the movie doesn’t have to reveal anything . Not knowing what, exactly, is hunting the family is part of the suspense.

  The film immersed viewers really well. Eventually you entered this mindset of paranoia. One of the main characters is pregnant, and one of the first things that goes through your mind is how loud and painful childbirth is. How is she supposed to be quiet? And babies cry a lot. How are they going to keep their child silent? You just start seeing through the eyes of the characters, and it becomes clear to you what they’re going through.

  Overall, “A Quiet Place” was terrifying and suspenseful, and had a satisfying ending. I walked out of the theater with a smile on my face and with next to no complaints about the movie. It was scary. It was silent. It was brilliant.

Kathryn Lopez, Staff Reporter

Quiz of whether or not you could survive in “A Quiet Place”. Graphic by Kathryn Lopez