Why ‘A Quiet Place’ Is The Best Film I’ve Seen In Years
The horror movie genre has always been one that’s baffled me, and not in a good way.
There are plenty of quick and easy tropes that make this realm of film so generic and so simple to create for, which leads to a pretty bad track record of horror, as of recent.
You have a simple three act structure, interlaced with cheap jump scares you can see coming from a mile away and a resolution that feels rushed to tie everything together and lend some positivity to the whole affair.
It sucks, and it turned me off a genre I should maybe give a second chance. The last time a horror film surprised me in a good way was Unfriended. I watched it after a gym session in 2014, as a late night treat for managing to achieve a new 5K record, and it’s ingenuity of storytelling in a digital world gave it my internal seal of approval.
And then we waited through a truckload of mediocrity. Nothing really jumped out at me as something truly genre-defining or genre-breaking in nature…
Until today, when I fired up Now TV and played A Quiet Place. To be honest, I only launched it because of my love for John Krasinski in The Office (re-watching it with my girlfriend, to introduce her to the hilarity). How do I put my thoughts delicately? This is one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.
Firstly, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. At a shade under 90 minutes, it’s a welcome reprieve to this new standard everyone seems to celebrate of every movie needing to be over two hours. It’s ridiculous.
Second, it has heart. The story is kept simple, like, really really simple. Without spoiling anything, the plot gets out of the way, to put a sharp focus on raw character development. Most horror doesn’t give time for this - simply focussing on a twisting, turning narrative. Instead, you get to learn all about this family, surviving day-to-day in this post-apocalyptic world, which makes every moment so much more impactful.
Third, and most importantly, it does this while putting on a horror tour de force of terrifying supernatural creatures, amazing levels of butt-clenching tension and explosive moments of satisfaction. All focussed on one key factor - nuanced sound. It’s certainly one of the quietest scary films out there, but because of that, it’s such an original production.
Nowadays, so much horror is visual focussed, with the audio playing very much a secondary role by occasionally inserting the occasional generic jump scare sound along with an extreme close up of some gore. Instead, you got something far more refined and, therefore, mentally meaningful.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I wholeheartedly recommend you do. I can’t speak highly enough about it.
By the way, I say this in full acknowledgement that I’ve never seen Get Out. Look forward to another article that probably sounds similar to this one…