A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place ★★★

A comparison to M. Night Shyamalan is instructive. One is reminded of Signs: a family under siege from otherworldly monsters, movement through cornfields, and the high concept gimmick that has a twist at the end. John Krasinski lacks Shyamalan's visual elegance, and the script, which he co-wrote, is crude and the dialogue often clumsy. Thus, we have an exhausted Emily Blunt go into a monologue about the child she lost the moment she realises her other kids are still in mortal danger, for example. And the domestic scenes are made no less banal by being quiet. However, unlike Shyamalan at his worst, when Kransinski leans into the high concept (which is no less silly than some of M. Night's scenarios), he milks the suspense for all it's worth. The best parts of the film are in the second half, where there's hardly any dialogue or character building and the film moves from one threat to the next, the audience hit by a wall of suspense. The one genuinely great scene is Emily Blunt's mother trying to give birth in silence while being stalked by one of the creatures.

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