Some people may not be aware that John Krasinski has already directed two films, including a David Foster Wallace adaptation. They weren’t successful, but with his third feature he seems to have found the right formula. He stars alongside his wife Emily Blunt in this film, playing parents of three young children in a post apocalyptic world. The rest of the human population has been pretty much wiped out by mysterious creatures that hunt down anything that makes a sound. To survive the family has to stay absolutely silent in everything that they do: no talking, no quick movements, and certainly no loud toys.
This film is begging to be seen by an audience, and is a fantastic effort from John Krasinski. He manages to demand silence from the audience, because the point of the movie: BEING QUIET is so well established. Within the first few minutes you are aware of how the characters are forced to live, and the consequences if they fail in their routine. This silence focuses your attention on the characters, and for 90 minutes you are in tune with the drama. The building tension and fear of any sound means that the explosive parts of the movie have an incredible impact. It is really exhilarating when the film picks up that pace, because you are on edge waiting for something to explode. The quietness also brings your attention to the acting, where the lead pair are terrific. Emily Blunt is the warm, loving mother who desperately loves her husband and Krasinski is the seemingly cold, protective father. Krasinki’s character is one of the most interesting I’ve seen this year, because you can sense that the children fear him, but rely on him. He’s tough, and just through Krasinki’s facial expressions you can see his utter determination to keep his family safe.
The child actors do a decent job. Sometimes they are not totally convincing and Millicent Simmonds as only daughter Regan did have the tendency to be a bit annoying. Though the films pacing and execution meant the film didn’t dwell on the common downfalls of child actors and characters. Krasinski and his fellow writers (Bryan Woods and Scott Beck) effectively create a series of plot devices. This often doesn’t work but in this film they felt necessary, and it was solid world building. Everything happened for a reason, and every step was calculated, which made the film satisfying. It’s a mysterious thriller slash horror with plenty of answers for its questions. And it’s directed well. The film is nice looking, and everything in the narrative appeared at the right time. In the middle of the film there is a firework scene that, cliché coming, took my breath away. Does the film get a little too schmaltzy towards the end? Yes but overall it is straight to the edge thriller, that works to be exciting, sentimental and at times quite scary, with moments of fun exploitation cinema.
Is it worth the price of a cinema ticket?