Photo from twitter.com
BY NATALIE LARIMER
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
“A Quiet Place,” a horror film written by John Krasinski, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods and directed by John Krasinski, was released nationwide on April 6. The story is of a family who is trying to survive in a world where blind monsters with hypersensitive hearing hunt those who make noise.
There are five family members, and though they are never called by name in the movie, the credits list the characters’ names. John Krasinski plays the dad, Lee Abbott, and his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, plays his on-screen wife, Evelyn. They have a deaf daughter, Regan, played by Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actress who does an incredible job in this film and brings a whole other aspect to the plot and character relationships. They also have two sons, Noah Jupe playing Marcus and Cade Woodward playing Beau.
The majority of the dialogue is shown through American Sign Language (ASL) with subtitles for those who do not know ASL. There are moments in the film where there is spoken dialogue, so it is not completely deaf-friendly, but it is a huge step in deaf representation in the media.
The plot starts 89 days into this post-apocalyptic world, failing to explain what happened but it is honestly not necessary to the story.
In the first ten minutes of the movie, they raid a grocery store for medicine to cure Marcus from what looks like the flu, and Beau finds a toy rocket that he wants to keep. Lee tells Beau that it will be too loud and he cannot keep it. Regan gives Beau the toy secretly before they leave, and Beau steals the batteries to it before he follows his family. He plays with it on the way home near a bridge, and a monster is summoned. Lee races to get Beau but the monster beats him to it and ends up killing Beau.
Then, the title screen plays.
This intro to the movie is a really bold move. They get you attached to this little boy, who cannot be more than four years old, and immediately kill him. Of course, Regan feels guilty for the death of her brother, but she literally has to grieve in silence.
The family moves forward, trying to survive on their farm by growing their own food and fishing for meat. The plot fast forwards a year into this world, and we see how they have been living for over a year. The kids play board games with pieces of felt so they do not make any noise, and the parents listen to music via headphones and dance together when they are not trying to craft new hearing aids for Regan or keeping up with their duties to their family.
Lee makes a point to teach Marcus how to provide for the family, though Regan tells Lee that she would also like to learn. Lee makes her stay at home with Evelyn, who is now eight months pregnant, and help around the house. The boys catch some fish and then go to a waterfall where Lee explains to Marcus that if there is a louder sound away from them, then they are safe. He proves it by yelling by the waterfall and not dying. Marcus tells Lee that Regan feels like Lee blames her for Beau’s death and thinks that Lee no longer loves her, which makes Lee re-evaluate how he treats his daughter.
While they are at the waterfall, Regan brings the rocket toy to Beau’s grave and stays there for a bit to grieve in peace. This leaves Evelyn at home alone, where she goes into labor. From this point on, there is not a relaxing second of the movie. It was so intense, but I felt confident that Lee would save the day, which he does, in a way.
I am not going to spoil anything, but it is the female characters who are the saviors in the end. The last shot makes both Evelyn and Regan seem so powerful that I nearly cried.
This movie is so important, not just for deaf-visibility, but also for familial bonds. There is literally nothing these parents would not do for their kids, and it is proven time and time again that their entire existence revolves around Regan, Marcus, Beau and their newborn son. Their only goal is to protect their kids and make sure they grow up happy and healthy, regardless of the cost to themselves.
If you have not seen this movie yet, you absolutely need to. As soon as this comes out on DVD, I am buying it and watching it every rainy day that I possibly can, and I suggest that you do the same.