John Krasiniski is slowly becoming a must watch actor, and A Quiet Place has put him in the Director's Spotlight as well. This is a silent movie for 95% of the film. When there is sound, something bad is going to happen. The whole concept of unspoken words takes on an entirely new meaning watching this film. The characters are forced to rely on ASL (American Sign Language) throughout the entire movie. That's due in part because the daughter is deaf, but also because the monsters rely on sound. Interestingly, my gut instinct was that they used sound to hunt their food; like a shark sensing blood or a bat using echo location would. Yet it's entirely possible that they're so sound oriented that any noise angers them. We never see them eat, despite the fact they were given mouths, they only seem to attack the noise rather than hunt it for food. The cast is great, it's funny because the child actors are really good but they don't have a lot of dialogue to use. They're mostly reliant on facial expressions and body language to convey thoughts and emotions. Krasinski and Blunt also really bring their "A" game, filling me with tension and heartache throughout.
Where the film struggles, is in its narrative. Moments are used to purely amp up the tension with little adherence to authenticity. There's a sequence where a nail is pulled up so someone can step on it, yet the way it's done indicates the nail had to have been embedded at an unnatural angle that would make no sense. I personally liked the design of the creatures, though something even more abstract would be cool. In some of the news articles Krasinski's character posts, they're referred to as Angels of Death. I'm not sure what prompted that title, but the whole time I was calling them Crickets because of their elongated limbs and chitinous armor. I liked the way their heads opened up in order to hear, but it's true they aren't otherwise particularly memorable compared to their Alien, Cloverfield, or Resident Evil staring cousins. Yet despite some of the flaws, I found this movie to be a really good horror/thriller. If you're looking for a genre reinvention, I'm not sure this is it. It suffers from narrative convenience issues, and doesn't go far from the box other than the limited dialogue (which I loved). Just keep in mind that during this movie, food noises are much more noticeable. In my showing, you could hear the planes from the nearby airport which might have lessened some of the early tension, but by the emotional climax of the film (yes, I almost cried several times in the last ten minutes) I was firmly entrenched.