By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
John Krasinsky is probably best known as Jim Halpert in The Office, but has dabbled in directing feature films as well. So far, Krasinsky has directed two indie comedy/dramas (Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, The Hollars), both of which have received little attention and have left critics mostly flat. Well, when I heard that SXSW had chosen his newest film to open the 2018 festival, I knew that he must have something special and remarkable to offer this time. With A Quiet Place, Krasinsky seems to have found his true directorial calling to helming genre flicks, because, unlike his previous films, this science fiction/horror-thriller is not a film to dismiss whatsoever.
In addition to assisting with the screenplay and directing, Krasinsky stars as Lee Abbott, a loving husband and father who lives in isolation with his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and his children Reagan (Millicent Symonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe). The Abbotts live in quiet solitude, as a global genocide of the human race has been caused by monstrous creatures with powerful hearing. Though the family spends most of their time on a farm property, they do occasionally leave their land to acquire more supplies, in addition to hunting and fishing for food. The Abbotts must remain almost totally silent, and must communicate through sign language to avoid attracting any of the malevolent creatures who could destroy them easily.
With a story and screenplay by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, John Krasinsky directs the hell out of A Quiet Place, and proves himself as a formidable talent behind the camera. Though the story does have its derivative qualities, Krasinsky and his writers put an inventive spin on the monster feature and makes it work wonders for audiences to behold and enjoy. Krasinsky does an exceptional job building suspense and delivering genuine frights and cringeworthy moments which will certainly have audiences cowering in their seats, covering their eyes and on edge for most of the movie’s duration. The movie definitely had an undeniable impact on the SXSW audience members who expressed their reactions in collective gasps, sighs, and squeals.
Krasinsky not only shows his chops as a director, he once again proves his talents in front of the camera by delivering a damn fine performance. This time, the actor is joined by his also-talented actress wife, Emily Blunt, who absolutely shines as Evelyn Abbott, a tough, but loving mother who has to get tougher and more courageous as threats increase. I was also greatly impressed with Millicent Symonds, a young teenage actress who also happens to be hearing impaired. Noah Jupe, whose performance in Wonder impressed me, shows a wider range of acting skills as the youngest child Marcus.
Krasinsky and his cast received a resounding applause from the audience at SXSW and I think this movie will also win the hearts of more people as it opens in theaters this weekend. As fantastic as this film is, I think it could lead to a new awesome movie franchise with further gripping and exciting installments. Time and money will only tell, so I must highly recommend that people pay top dollar to see this movie. Krasinsky, cast and crew deserve that love, and I would also love to see the filmmaker make more of these films.