Blu-ray Review: A Quiet Place

STUDIO: Paramount | DIRECTOR: John Krasinski | CAST: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmons, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $17.96, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $19.96, 4K Ultra HD $24.96
BONUSES: three featurettes
SPECS: PG-13 | 90 min. | Horror | 2.39:1 widescreen | Dolby TrueHD 7.1/Dolby Atmos | English, French, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall 

The surprise horror hit of early 2018, A Quiet Place is a gimmick movie that is masterfully pulled off by star, director and co-writer John Krasinski, best known for his work as Jim Halpert on TV’s The Office.

The ploy here is that the film is mostly silent. The familiar premise is that in the near future, hostile aliens have landed on Earth and wiped out most of humanity, leaving only isolated bands of survivors. Those who remain must fend off the silent monstrosities, who react only to sounds—the slightest of sounds—which prompts them to attack whatever human is close to them.

A family of survivors in a farmhouse include a father (Krasinski), mother (Sicario’s Emily Blunt, Krasinski’s real-life wife), and three kids, including one who is hearing impaired (the superb Millicent Simmonds of Wonderstruck). As the family holes up in their home a year after a tragic incident, the interstellar creatures become more aggressive, forcing Krasinski and clan to battle back without making a peep.

Superbly acted, masterfully directed and craftily designed, A Quiet Place presents a fairly routine plot, but delivers the goods in terms of scares, calling on its audience to pay close attention to this intense, soundless situation at hand. Audiences in theaters where the film brought in a smashing $187 million (on a reported $17 million budget), were obviously game for this rare exercise in “good cinema behavior” compliance.

While one can’t argue with Krasinski’s much-lauded success—A Quiet Place copped a 95 % positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a sequel is already in the works—one can argue with the film’s one major flaw:  the design of the creatures. Shown fleetingly, they bear a too-close-for-comfort resemblance to the gnarly insect-like beasts from Predator, Alien and any number of other sci-fi/horror outings from the past 40 years. Happily, Krasinski uses the critters effectively, thanks in part to the film’s expert sound design.

Of course, this familiarity had little effect on A Quiet Place’s critical or financial fortunes, and will likely have little impact on what will likely be one of the top Blu-ray rental and sales titles of the year. What should really be interesting is if audiences at home will watch the film with the same rapt attention they did in the theaters.

The plea for turning off cellphones can begin immediately.

Buy or Rent A Quiet Place

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.