‘A Quiet Place’ slams viewers with sound

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By Abby Fleming ’20

Footsteps: so quiet they’re barely audible, and so small they couldn’t belong to a child older than four. Candy wrappers stop crunching and popcorn is placed on the movie theater floor.

All eyes are drawn to these little feet on the screen. All ears are anxiously waiting for some sound: background music, talking, anything really but it doesn’t come, not just yet.

In “A Quiet Place” director and co writer, John Krasinski, allows viewers to slip into a world of his creation. This is a world of eerie silence, vacant cities and all consuming fear.

The film is set in the year 2020 and a species of alien-like creatures have taken over the world. They have super hearing skills, impenetrable armor and teeth that can kill in an instant, seemingly invincible creatures. They have one weakness: they’re blind.

The Abbott family, led by Krasinski playing Lee Abbott and his real life wife Emily Blunt playing his fictional wife, Evelyn Abbott, is one of the few that is able to survive in this post apocalyptic world. They have an advantage most families don’t: their oldest child, Reagan, is completely deaf. This means the whole family knew sign language before the invasion and can communicate without the slightest sound. The movie follows this family as they work to survive and live normally in a world that has turned on them.

The apocalyptic universe of “A Quiet Place” is contrasted by the relatable struggles shown within a family. Relationships are tested, among them, that of Lee and Regan, showing the strain and importance of a father-daughter relationship. Lee shows the unrelenting spirit of a father, even in desperate times, trying to help his daughter by making her new pairs of hearing aids. Regan is the typical teenage daughter, independent and refuses help from him. Their relationship is a stark contrast to the deadly world they live in and gives viewers a way to connect to a world and a life so different from their own.

Ironically, what truly made a “A Quiet Place” a horror movie was how intense sounds were. Krasinski forces viewers into a false sense of security as they normalize themselves with complete silence. This is until it’s interrupted by the sudden crashing, screaming or a creature attacking. This is what made the movie “a sound designer’s dream,” Krasinski said.

The unexpected horror of “A Quiet Place” is why it has had the second best domestic debut of 2018, following “Black Panther” and has clearly been doing well in ticket sales. For horror movie fans and anyone willing to eat their popcorn quietly, I would highly recommend “A Quiet Place.”