Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 


In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's what we don't see that terrifies us in this thrilling nail-biter, whose ominous score and soundscape effectively colours a disturbing and eerie post apocalyptic world. At first glance it is hard to imagine how the premise of a silent world is successfully maintained, but director and star John Krasinski has created a wonderfully tense movie that uses all the tools of the genre, while concentrating on the dynamics of the family at its center. It's an creature feature, sci-fi adventure and family drama all rolled into one and Krasinski together with wife, Emily Blunt are a formidable team. My heart pounded throughout this genuinely scary film that keeps us on edge and constantly finds new ways to make us feel uneasy. We are enveloped in a sense of dread.

When the film begins, we quickly become immersed in the everyday reality in which Lee Abbott (Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Blunt) and their three young children find themselves. The children give excellent performances, with special mention to deaf actress, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, from Suburbicon.

Slowly the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. It's about survival. Silence is golden. Without silence, the shadowy alien monsters with the long limbs, hideous features and super-sensitive hearing will get you. The family barely makes a sound. They walk barefoot and communicate through sign language, drawings and gestures. We watch in horror as the consequence of sound is shown. It is a high price. There is a time jump. A year passes. Evelyn is pregnant. We cannot help but wonder how she will have the baby in silence.

Watching Blunt's beautiful expressive face is engrossing in itself. Then things ratchet up several notches about 45 minutes into the action. It is dark. She is alone.... Babies have a habit of arriving at the most inconvenient times, don't they? Make no mistake, when everything is going wrong, things can always get worse! I couldn't breathe during the pivotal bathtub scene and the night sequence in the cornfields with its extreme music cues, is scary, indeed.

The tension escalates on an undercurrent of guilt, blame, fear and desperation, while the moaning of the aliens at varying pitches and sound frequencies mounts in intensity. The soundscape is exceptional.

It is a quiet place. Until the screaming starts. Don't watch it alone!

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(US, 2018)=

CAST: John Krasinski, Emily Bunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward

PRODUCER: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller

DIRECTOR: John Krasinski

SCRIPT: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Charlotte Bruus Christensen

EDITOR: Christopher Tellefsen

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami


RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes



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