The Story/The Direction:
The film takes place in 2020 where a family of four must live in silence as there are creatures that hunt by sound. If they sneeze or cough, the creatures will hear them and will most likely kill them. They live on a remote farm that they have developed into a place that will help them remain quiet. There is sand along every path they walk on and they must be barefoot. They communicate in sign language and play Monopoly with felt-coated pips instead of the metal pieces.
Director and co-writer, Krasinski, is able to create a good suspenseful thriller. Audience members will be on the edge of their seats watching this film while hesitating to grab their popcorn as that will make noise. In the first ten minutes of the film, the characters are introduced and the stage is set. This allows for viewers to attach themselves to the characters and try to survive with them. This film is a great example of cinematic storytelling and there is very minimal audible dialogue. Each shot is done with a purpose that balance scares and emotion. This is supplemented by the great performances of the cast.
Krasinski and Blunt are both fantastic in scenes by themselves and together. Blunt is able to capture absolute horror as well as happiness and sadness on her face. Audience members will feel the pain she is going through in every scene. This is also one of Krasinski's best performances if not the best and that is driven by the fact that he knows the character in and out as he wrote him and knows precisely what to emote. Him and Blunt have great chemistry as they are a couple in real life. The children also perform particularly well in their roles with vigor. Having a real-life couple play these characters and also a real-life deaf girl to play their daughter adds authenticity to the film. As such, when they are going through strenuous scenes with the monsters, the audience feels for them. When the daughter is in peril, she can't hear the monster's coming and no one could shout out to her even if making a sound was not an issue. The relationships between the characters feel so realistic that this horror film feels heartwarming at times.
As this being a horror film, there are a few points where characters make questionable choices. There are also a good amount of unanswered questions about the big picture stage. How did these monsters come about? Why are they so sensitive to sound? The ending is also slightly awkward that will have audience members either cheering or hating it. However, these flaws are fairly nitpicky and do not take away from the film experience at all.
No matter the questions that the audience has after leaving the theatre, the film successfully takes the audience and places them in this world for a short ninety minutes. It is able to take an object that most take for granted, sound, and make it into a fear. What if one could not yell for help when in trouble? As horror film directors before him, Krasinski took a something ordinary, took it away, and turned up the fear dial. IIf one is a fan of a straightforward horror film, this is one to see. This great film is such a fun experience in the theatre and should not be missed. It should then be bought on Bluray.
Rating: 4.5/5.0 bowties
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