The world has fallen silent. A year after the arrival of an extraterrestrial threat, a few survivors cling on by adhering to a simple rule: don’t make a sound. The aliens hunt using their super-sensitive hearing, and even a whisper could be fatal.
On their remote farm, Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) have adapted to this harsh existence, along with their two children – fearful Marcus (Noah Jupe), and teenaged Regan (Millicent Simmonds), whose deafness makes her even more vulnerable.
Haunted by the losses they’ve already faced, the family must prepare for an impending arrival which could bring hope or tragedy.
Well, you made me do it.
I’m a sensitive soul who normally steers well clear of horror – but when we took a little Twitter poll yesterday to decide which film we should feature next, the result was clear. The people spoke, and I headed to the cinema with fear and trembling.
Directed, co-written by and starring former Office star John Krasinski alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place seems to be part of a new wave of critically and commercially succesful horror films which transcend genre. While A Quiet Place doesn’t have the satirical bite of last year’s Get Out, it does have something to recommend it even to the horror-averse: a genuine emotional core.
The family at the centre of the story feel painfully real, and much time is devoted to detailing the strange ordinariness (or extraordinary strangeness) of their altered life together. They join hands in an unspoken grace before meals, play board games with soft pieces. Husband and wife share a muted romantic dance. As with so many families, their guilts, regrets and conflicts must be kept under wraps, at the risk of disaster if anyone’s pain is expressed aloud.
Which isn’t to say that A Quiet Place isn’t properly scary. The film’s hushed soundscape demands complete immersion on the part of the viewer – and the shocks, when they arrive, hit hard. Thank you, John Krasinski, for the nightmares.
- Did you enjoy the film, and why or why not? Are you generally a fan of horror, and how do you think A Quiet Place fits into the genre?
- What did you think of the way that the film introduced its scenario? How do we find out about the threat the family faces? Would you have liked more explanation, and why or why not?
- Which moments in A Quiet Place were most frightening to you, and why? How did the film build its tension? What role did the sound design play?
- How did you feel about the film’s performances? Did any characters or scenes particularly stand out to you?
- How did you react to the portrayal of daughter Regan, and what did actress Millicent Simmonds (who is deaf in real life) bring to the role? What impact does her hearing impairment have on the story?
- How is the family affected by the loss of younger son Beau (Cade Woodward)? How might their enforced silence be read as a metaphor for grief? What makes communication, and the expression of emotion, an essential part of human functioning?
- Why do you think that Lee and Evelyn decide to have a baby, despite their situation? Do you see this as a reckless choice, an expression of hope, or both? How might it help to look to the future in the midst of crisis or tragedy?
- What makes Lee and Evelyn good parents, and did you find their bravery inspiring? What does A Quiet Place have to say about the nature of parenthood? What are the most loving things that parents can do for their children?