All the important things first—this is NOT the film I was planning to see, but occasionally you sacrifice for the sake of your movie companion. Secondly, this monster film was not what my companion wanted to see either, but this being Friday, you sometimes have to make quick adjustments. Suffice it to say, A Quiet Place questions more answers than it answers questions.
It opens up in a small New York town, and the set and characters remind you of an episode from The Walking Dead as a small family rummages for supplies in the depopulated town. They converse by sign language, and we get the story in bits and pieces. Seems a quasi-apocalypse hit, and we catch glimpses of newspapers lying around that reveal strange creatures that are blind but focused on sounds to decimate the population.
Film director John Krasinski is the father, Lee, and his wife is played by Emily Blunt as Evelyn. There are three children at the film’s opening, but one of them unwisely runs a noisy toy and is gobbled up by one of the monsters on the edge of a small bridge. The remaining two children are Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe). The family is holed up in a farmhouse, and they are using sign language so the roaming monsters won’t hear them and attack.
In effect, this begins as a silent movie, and we are put on notice that films without dialogue can still be powerfully effective as what the characters are trying to convey is put on screen as captions. There are fleeting glimpses of the creatures as we mosey along and find out how many days this has been going on. We find out Evelyn is pregnant, and we have to wonder what these people were thinking, having a baby in a world where a crying infant would bring death to them—not to mention the painful, noisy act of birthing itself.
Further complications arise when Lee takes Marcus with him to go check on fish traps he has laid out in a creek to provide the food they’ve been eating. Regan follows them and leaves Evelyn alone to unknowingly deal with one of the monsters. Turns out Lee is a bit of an electrical engineer and has been working with sound waves with various hearing aids, and this features prominently in the film’s climax. Evelyn gets away, and so do the kids, but Lee is not so lucky.
In this final reel, we get a good look at the creature, and are faced with a pertinent question—this is New York, so does this thing relate to the Cloverfield movies? Adding to the confusion is that the creatures’ origin is never discussed, but news is already out that a sequel is planned—and we would be pissed if there wasn’t. This was a captivating, engrossing film, but it left too many unfilled holes you can drive an SUV through—and the questions MUST be answered.