The world has ended. And no—not because of a virus from Wuhan, China. Actually, the planet has been invaded by a horde of insectile, carnivorous creatures; and they’ve gobbled everyone up. Or almost everyone.
If you think you’ve seen this movie before, guess again. The insectile, carnivorous monsters in this movie are blind; they hunt by sound. That’s the hook of the movie.
A Quiet Place opens as a rural-dwelling family in upstate New York are walking home from scavenging in a deserted town, maintaining absolute silence. They communicate through sign language. The two parents (played by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski) maintain their vigilance over the children as the family passes through the eerie wooded landscape.
The parents insist on absolute silence. And before they reach home, we find out why.
When the family finally does make it home (spoiler alert!), possibly one member short, we’re given a few hints as to what happened to the world.
In recent times, the creatures invaded the earth. This is conveyed through newspaper headlines plastered to one wall in the basement of the farmhouse where the family is hunkering down—presumably their home from happier times.
The newspaper headlines reveal a few details about the creatures, and that they have destroyed most of the human population. One headline warns, “Go underground!” Another headline (which will seem eerily familiar to anyone watching this film during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic) announces, “New York on Lockdown!” Art imitating life…sort of.
This movie has lacunas and plot holes galore. We’re never told exactly where the creatures came from. Outer space? Another dimension? We just don’t know. The entire story is told through the narrow perspective of a single family.
Also: how did the two adults and three children in the movie all become fluent in sign language?
And as is common in horror movies, the characters in A Quiet Place sometimes indulge in reckless acts that real people would almost never do under similar circumstances. The child characters are simultaneously wise beyond their years and annoyingly, conveniently (for the plot) foolish.
But none of that spoils the movie. If you’re willing to accept the film’s central premise, then you’re okay with a few plot holes. A Quiet Place does what it is supposed to do: It takes you away to a parallel universe, introduces you to characters you can sympathize with, and lets the scares begin. A Quiet Place showcases a few genuinely nail-biting scenes, as everything gets worse all at once. Plenty of tension in this one.
If you’re looking for a fun, escapist horror movie that moves quickly and doesn’t overdo the gore, you can’t go wrong with A Quiet Place.