I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

A Quiet Place

A QUIET PLACE is a really effective monster movie that goes a long way just on the strong execution of a simple, cool premise. 89 days ago as of the opening scene, civilization as we know it ended under the sharp teeth of some GREAT WALL-esque man-eating monsters. They’re blind, but they have great hearing and they run fast, so they’ll zip in and munch on anybody who makes any kind of noise. That could be some librarian’s bedtime story to keep the kids in line, but it feels a little more like THE ROAD or something.

We follow a family who have already developed methods to survive in this dangerous new reality. They live on an isolated farm, they speak in sign language. Their daughter (Millicent Simmonds, WONDERSTRUCK) is deaf, so she’s good at being silent, but of course she doesn’t necessarily hear if there’s a monster behind her or someone else is making a sound that’s gonna attract one. They’ve developed warning systems involving lights, torches that seem to communicate with other survivors (though we never see them) and various emergency backup plans. When they need to go into town to scavenge they walk barefoot on trails of sand (I wonder where they got all that from?) It shows just how serious this is, and how much work they have to put into it, and also it’s a cool visual.

Of course the coolest part of this movie is that there’s very little dialogue, and long stretches of tense quiet. That’s not to say it’s silent – there is music at times (Marco Beltrami, CURSED), and obviously you hear breathing, walking, creaking floorboards, wind, the sounds of the world. But something as small as a dropped object will make you jump. I’m sure there are some horror stories about theaters where some moron couldn’t keep from talking, but in mine (and I’m sure in most) people seemed afraid to even crunch their popcorn. And it really forces you to notice how often someone clears their throat or coughs or sniffles, and how dead we’d all be. Not to mention the dangers of sneezing, farting, getting the hiccups, forgetting your keys and saying “Ah, fuck!” Or let’s say you’re watching a movie with the sound off and subtitles on but there’s a big twist that surprises you and you go “Oh shit!” or “Whoah, that’s a dude?” or whatever. Or even, “Oh, come on!”

You can’t do that, or you’re dead. Ironically, this is a movie it seems like Shyamalan would’ve liked to have come up with, but it’s in a world where everyone could be killed by watching his movies.

There’s a part where the husband and wife (real life couple John Krasinski [JARHEAD] and Emily Blunt [THE WOLFMAN]) share a moment of joy by listening to “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young on earbuds. I have a couple things to say about that. First, if this movie came out last year they would’ve been listening to “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. Second, this is real dangerous not just because of a likelihood of accidental humming but because those earbuds can get damaged and have major leakage without you realizing it. I learned this the hard way in a humiliating incident where I was sitting in the very back of a bus and the driver announced over the intercom that “someone’s personal entertainment is MUCH too loud.” I remember I was listening to something from A Tribe Called Quest’s The Love Movement with a loudly mixed beat. It could’ve been “Da Booty,” but I think it was “Start It Up.”

Either way I blame Dilla. Dilla would get you killed in the quiet place.

A world where you can’t crank up the Stevie Wonder is a shitty world, but to me the very saddest thing to consider is that you can’t laugh or make somebody laugh. There’s a really cool idea about a place where the father takes the son (Noah Jupe, WONDER) where they can speak out loud because of natural sounds that drown them out. But even there you shouldn’t be joking around, because what if later out in the open you remember something funny that somebody said and you chuckle to yourself? Too dangerous.

People will question why they don’t do such and such. But also they come up with many tricks I might not have thought of. A minor nitpick is that an exposed nail plays a major role and it’s completely unclear how the fuck it got there. I assumed I missed something, but a Twitter poll tells me most people were confused. And going in the opposite direction there are a couple images (newspaper headlines and notes on a dry erase board) that went a little too far in serving up to us what we were supposed to be thinking about. But for the most part it’s some good visual storytelling, which is something I love. A favorite shot is the one where the mother is hanging a mobile and I didn’t really piece together what she was doing until her clearly pregnant belly slid into frame. The cinematographer is Charlotte Bruus Christensen, who did a good job on FENCES and MOLLY’S GAME, but I bet she was happy not to have to take a backseat to a bunch of jibber jabber.

The pregnancy is an interesting element, because why would you bring a screaming baby into a world where you must be silent? Well, because they want another kid, and because they want life to go on, so they try to figure out a way to do it. Some have even read this as “pro life,” but I think it’s also pro choice, since they seem to have made this decision on their own. At any rate it’s a dramatic story element to see how they try to do it and it’s disturbing as hell to see (SPOILER) a mother sealing her baby in a wooden box!

Another issue I think you can read into the movie if you want to is about the controversy in the deaf community over cochlear implants. As I understand it, some believe that there’s no reason to “cure” deafness, that it’s a legitimate way to live with its own culture, and they don’t want to be pressured to get an implant as if they’re incomplete without one. I think this debate is hinted at when the daughter refuses her father’s attempt to jerry rig her damaged implant. Even if she’s just tired of getting her hopes up after a long series of failed attempts, she’s making a decision to not worry about it.

(Incidentally, Simmonds really is deaf, and helped the cast to learn American Sign Language.)

But it’s also just about parenting in general. The daughter thinks the dad hates her because she kinda sorta caused a horrible tragedy a year ago. And the son is really terrified of the world and the dad has a hard time getting him to come out and learn things. It’s a situation where it actually is important for the dad to teach his kids how to fish, and it’s still kind of an excuse to get him out there to teach him other things he needs to know to survive.

There are some real good suspense sequences, and probly the world’s first setpiece about people trying not to drown in corn. Points for originality there.

The monsters are pretty cool. I think they might be all digital, but not the shitty weightless kind we associate with lower budget movies, because ILM did them. The Wikipedia entry refers to them as extra-terrestrials, but as far as I noticed the movie doesn’t specify this, which I like. I think they could’ve been genetically engineered by the Alamo Drafthouse to police movie talkers, but then things got out of hand.

Krasinski directed the movie, produced by Michael Bay’s company Platinum Dunes, making it easily one of the best from this producer of nicely shot, shitty remakes. I have determined that it’s their best movie, followed by TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS and then probly one of the PURGE movies (but I need to see the OUIJA prequel to be sure, I’ve heard it’s pretty good). Krasinski previously starred in the company’s Jack Ryan tv series as well as Bay’s 13 HOURS, where he first showed that he could be a tough beardy guy instead of the smug audience surrogate on The Office*. Unlike last year’s TV-comedy-guy-turned-director-of-popular-horror-movie, Jordan Peele, Krasinski doesn’t consider himself a life long horror fan. He just loved the script by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck (though he rewrote it enough to share the writing credit with them).

Anyway, my big question is, would it have been so hard to call it SSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH? Now nobody can ever use that as a title because whatever it is you’d think “well, it’s not as much about having to be quiet as A QUIET PLACE is, I don’t know who they think they’re fooling with that title.”

*Some Americans still call it “the American Office” to show off how worldly they are, but for crying out loud it ran for nine years, made us forget that Steve Carell and Ed Helms were once just Daily Show correspondents, introduced us to Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, Rashida Jones, and Ellie Kemper among others, and even showed us that James Spader, Amy Ryan and Kathy Bates could be funny. I think it’s okay to acknowledge that it has a larger cultural imprint than just an American version of a 14 episode British show, you sillies.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 11:05 am and is filed under Horror, Monster, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

41 Responses to “A Quiet Place”

  1. Witness starring Harrison Ford has a corn drowning set piece. And every other set piece in this is borrowed from Spielberg (Jurassic Park, Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Be Quiet or the Monster will get you).

  2. The pregnancy REALLY bothered me. I don’t care how much you want life to go on as normal, or how much you want to fill the void of your child that just died, this is a special circumstance. There is literally 0 chance that baby doesn’t get them all killed at some point or another.

    I like the movie for the most part-it was a bit predictable and cliche at points (the dad giving his life to save his children was so obviously about to happen leading up to that moment), but I thought it was well made, and EXTREMELY tense. I thought the casting was pretty good as well, and the actors were all solid.

    I completely agree about the tension in the theater. I always get a drink, nachos, and maybe popcorn or candy at my little local theater (it’s about 10 bucks for all 3, and I try to do my part to support local business), and I immediately regretted the nachos by the time the trailers ended and the film began. Of course, the two giggling high school girls sitting behind me did their part to cut the tension, but aside from that, I think that is the most quiet I’ve ever heard a theater.

    But back to the pregnancy. SERIOUSLY-not only was it dumb of the parents to get pregnant again, but incredibly selfish. Not only are they risking their own lives (and that of the newborn) but also the lives of the other two children.

    Honestly, I don’t even know which is more stupid-having a baby with sound-attracting killers roaming the earth, or having a baby in the Walking Dead universe (which also has sound-attracting killers).

  3. The new JIGSAW had corn drowning, but that was stupid.

    I loved this movie. I also love your Drafthouse bio-weapon suggestion, but there was a newspaper that said something about a meteor, and another that called them “Dark Angels,” so maybe they did come from the sky? Doesn’t really matter though

  4. Oh come on, Spader was already damn funny in BOSTON LEGAL.

    The first time I heard about the concept of A QUIET PLACE, I had to think of an episode of THE ANGRY BEAVERS, in which they wake up one morning and are surrounded by dangerous, yet asleep predators and they try to get away without making a sound. Coincidentally I wanted to use that concept and turn it into a horror movie too, but I guess now people would say “Oh, it’s like A QUIET PLACE”. And that sucks, because another idea of mine (A group of people trying to escape from monsters who are attracted by breath) was already “stolen” by an episode of DR WHO.

    Considering how well AQP does at the box office, do you think this is gonna be the next one-new-sequel-a-year-until-everybody-forgets-how-good-part-1-was horror franchise?

  5. Good call on ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’

  6. People who think James Spader being funny is some 21st century shit have apparently never seen a little movie called MANNEQUIN.

  7. Very recently, i moved away from the interior Alaskan town i’ve been living in for almost 4 years. In that time I witnessed someone honk their car horn on only five separate occasions, and literally zero theater shushings. This is despite some horrifically dangerous driving and some truly epic, going-for-broke theatrical loudness — until, that is, i saw this movie. No less than four times, a theater patron asked another to be quiet, ranging from the traditional “shh” to a harshly shouted “Hey! Knock it off!” It was awesome, successful, and a fitting end to a strange period of my life.

    Sweet movie, too. like Signs woulda been if Shymalan was able to get out of his own way.

  8. And those of us who have seen MANNEQUIN have been trying to forget about it for 30 years! Thanks a lot!

  9. George Sanderson

    April 19th, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I really loved this Movie. I think it is my favourite thing I’ve seen this year. I saw it in a really packed theatre in Hong Kong with the most well-behaved audience I have ever come across.

    SPOILERS FOLLOW!

    On the pregnancy topic, the two most common responses by couples after the death of a child are to either separate or have another kid almost straight away, so I’m happy to let them have that one.
    The set-piece constructed around the labour is so astonishingly good that it totally justifies the choice to have the character be pregnant as well. My wife thought Blunt absolutely nailed the performance (she has given birth to two kids so I’ll take her word for it).
    I was a little confused about the scene with the old man and his dead wife. From what I could tell, the house that Krasinski and his son go past was their old house (by the way the son looks at it), so was the old couple seeking refuge there? And did the wife die from an attack? Or a murder/suicide pact? And why did the old guy choose to make noise at the only time that would put anyone other than himself in peril?
    But, as other posters have said, it is the constant ratcheting of tension that made this one special for me. There is no point when you think they’re safe for any amount of time and even with that tremendous final shot all I was thinking was “oh shit, how many shells does she have left? “.

  10. George Sanderson

    April 19th, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Don’t know why the ‘m’ in movie is capitalised. I’m not trying to make a statement about the films importance or anything.

  11. Guys, just build a shed out by the waterfall. Jeesh.

  12. George Sanderson

    April 19th, 2018 at 6:04 am

    I also thought about that, but then you would have to factor in how much noise you would make getting building materials to the waterfall and then actually building a permanent dwelling.

  13. I do have one legitimate question, that last one was just a joke. Vern mentioned it, you can bring up lots of nitpicky questions about “why this” and “why that”, but the movie is actually put together really well and makes sense. At least as much sense as a movie about bat like monsters who wipe out the population can make.

    But there is a scene in the beginning where Krasinski is on top of the water tower and lights a fire, and sees all the other fires in the distance. Are these supposed to be other people who are out there, or has he just set fires on top of all the towers?

    I will say the first 5 minutes of this movie are pretty perfect, fantastic story telling. Without saying a word, the entire plot is set up perfectly, and you completely understand the “rules” for lack of a better term, as to how the monsters and this world work by the time it is over. Just really good filmmaking. I wonder if I had walked into the movie completely cold (if you had seen the trailers you knew, for the most part, how the movie worked) if I would have been confused at all. I don’t think so.

    The whole movie was super well done, in fact. Although towards the end I kind of felt like all of the “oh sit, one of the monsters is RIGHT HERE IN THE ROOM WITH US!!!” moments were getting to be a little much. They were all still great, but the scene where her water breaks towers over the basement finale scene. The thrill of the monsters being just inches away and them holding their breath wears out a tad. Even the scene in the flooded room, I was kind of like “seriously, we are doing this same thing again?”

  14. George – I also took the kid’s look to mean they used to live in this house, but I have no supporting evidence, and they seem to know that farm pretty well, so I think that instinct may have been wrong. I can’t remember if I knew how the old lady died, but I think her husband is just crazy suicidal with grief and doesn’t care about this guy and his INNOCENT CHILD. I do not approve of you, old man.

    JeffG – I also considered both of your interpretations of the tower fires, but I lean toward communicating with other survivors that we never see. I suppose it does make sense for him to go through the trouble of lighting multiple towers, though, because he also has his seemingly futile ritual of calling different frequencies on the radio.

  15. Haven’t seen this yet (got tickets for Saturday), but on the pregnancy issue and whether or not it’s dumb of them to have gotten pregnant- if the monsters popped up 89 days prior to the start of the movie like it mentions at the top of the review, wouldn’t she have already been pregnant at that point? Not so much foolishness as just bad luck if so.

  16. Nah, there’s a little time jump after the first day, so it makes sense as described.

  17. Hear, hear on your assessment of The Office! So many treasures would be denied to comedy and all genre of film fans without the success of this show. Craig Robinson is a treasure and I’ll never forget him in This Is The End where he displays the ultimate bravery by running at a ferocious demon,that is threatening his friends, and yelling, “TAKE YO PANTIES OFF!”

  18. George Sanderson

    April 20th, 2018 at 7:41 am

    Vern, this movie has really stuck with me (my wife and I comment on how dead each other would be when we make noise around the house) so I’ve thought about the old man scene a bit.
    I think that his wife was killed by one of the beasts and, with nothing else to live for, just gave up. And then I thought about how I would feel to have lived that long, seen the shit that he has possibly seen, all for it to end in the shittiest way possible. Retirees deserve better ends of the world.

  19. I’m on the fence about this one. On the one hand, I’m pretty sick of slow creeping horror. They’re fine for one watch but how often does anybody go back? Without the element of surprise, there’s just not that much to them. I’m looking for a horror movie that has more to offer than dread and sound design. Still, I bet that one watch I’d get out of it in the theater would be pretty fun.

    What’s currently throwing it into the wait-for-video column is this whole pregnancy plot. This is a pet peeve of mine, but I am turned off by the smugness of breeders who feel that, no matter what, bringing another precious treasure into the world is always the right thing to do and of course everyone must agree or they must be terrible people. I can’t even see bringing a child into THIS world, considering not just the sad state of mankind but also the climatic hellscape a kid born today will witness in his or her lifetime. And we don’t even have any bat monsters that will murder that kid’s brothers and sisters the first time it cries. Which it will. Babies cry. You ever try reasoning with a baby? I wouldn’t recommend it.

    I find this situation as described analogous to people who keep having kids even though it means that their already existing ones will have progressively fewer and fewer resources with each new addition to the family. At a certain point, you have to admit that you’re just being selfish. You have some hole you’re trying to fill, and you’re willing to risk your existing family to try and fill it. It’s bad enough in our world where the bat monsters are just poverty and student debt, but what kind of life will this kid have? Do you think he’ll be glad you brought him into the world where he knows nothing but fear his whole life and inevitably dies a horrifying death in some beast’s jaws? Did your love really conquer all? Mightn’t it have been better if you put all your energy into giving your existing offspring every possible chance to make it in a hard world that wants to see them devoured rather than increasing their likelihood of death and despair tenfold?

    These are my hangups. Perhaps the movie addresses them. But I suspect it just takes it as a given that OF COURSE we all think more babies is always the way to go. Babies, amirite? So I suspect I’ll have a hard time embracing this movie’s point of view.

    Shit, most days I think we should just let the bat monsters have the goddamn world. They couldn’t do a much worse job with it than we did.

  20. That is some grade A cynicism, Mr. M. But, I totally see where you’re coming from. I have a cousin who is currently expecting their 4th child. They have a kid, I want to say he’s still a toddler, but, honestly, I’m not sure how old he is, that has down syndrome. I cannot imagine thinking, “You know, it takes 100% of my attention to raise this special needs baby, and I know my two older kids are getting short shrift, but I think what we need is another baby.” And I’m not just pulling that “100% of attention” out of my ass. They’ve actually said that. But what do I know.

    I think there are a few reasons people give for why you should have kids even if the world is shit. And I’m talking just this regular shitty world, not an apocalyptic monster infested danger zone. One, is selfish – it makes you feel better to have this love and connection. Another is kind of narcissistic and kind of altruistic – this kid is going to go on and make the world a better place. They’re legitimate reasons, but they aren’t the only path. Not having kids is just as legit and the tendency to pity or shame those of us without kids is bullshit. It’s insanity to have a baby in this movie’s world, though.

  21. I should mention that I am the oldest of five kids. The only two that were on purpose were the last ones, and they were had to try to save a horrible marriage that thankfully ended soon after anyway. And while I love all my siblings and don’t wish that any of them never existed, I also took the brunt of the trauma their existence helped extend, not to mention witnessing all the financial and logistical suffering that took place after we became a single-parent family. It all worked out in the end trough sheer dumb luck, but those formative experiences marked me. It’s not something I’d want to pass on to another generation.

  22. Regarding the pregnancy issue: it’s worth noting that it’s basically the end of the world and the continuation of the human race would therefore be of legitimate concern. Though I’m not sure whom these kids would breed with; perhaps some of the other people lighting fires have kids?

  23. *SPOILERS* Man, I’m usually the guy who lets emotional baggage or real-world events color (ruin) my viewings of genre fare, but I have to admit I kinda forgot about everything for 90ish minutes and just enjoyed the story, filmatism, acting, and sound design of this pretty darn good movie. It was only when I got online afterwards that I started seeing “pro-life” this or that, and conservative/White America power fantasies theories afterwards. (I’m guessing this is a roundabout way to complain about there being no people of color in this sprawling cast of 6-7 people without looking like a moron. Also, I suspect tastemakers will probably never forgive Krasinski for being in “The Benghazi Movie”).

    There’s only a couple of nitpicks I have – the playing-to-the-cheap-seats exposition like the newspaper headlines and the notes scribbled on the whiteboard are kind of a groaner but whatever, we’ve gotten to the point where probably 1/3 of the audience is going to need that stuff. (There’s also plenty of conversations that characters would have already had a long time ago with each other about the rules, etc… that are clearly meant for the audience, but again, whatever) And I’m kinda perplexed by the very last shot, which seems to come out of a way schlockier B-movie, plus *SUPER SPOILER* It doesn’t really look like the frequency weakened the armor in any way. She looks like she just shot the monsters the same way I assume millions of people (and the militaries) across the world have tried to shoot the monsters. If the frequency weakened it or made the armor open up a bit, it didn’t come across too clear. But anyways, it’s still scary and fun and (fairly) original and surprisingly had me the closest to crying in the theater since Titanic (I cry at home all the time though).

    Note: Vern, the stairs to my basement also has a random nail mysteriously sticking out that I have no idea how that happened (I guess the house “settling” is the universal answer to everything). And like Blunt, I keep saying “yeah I’ll deal with that later” and I’m sure it’ll bite me in the ass (foot) one day.

  24. john – yeah I assumed that’s why they threw in the shots of the neighbor’s fires, to show us that this isn’t an ENTIRELY hopeless world. I think the scene where Blunt is teaching the son math is pretty important character building – math is necessary but not as necessary a survival skill as say, fishing, so it shows these characters have faith that the world will get back to normal SOMEDAY. And I like that the *SPOILER* ending basically hints that that will happen. (unless an entirely unnecessary sequel ruins that).

  25. Majestyk – You know, I have feelings about that too. Mine are more based in having never felt “ready” to have kids and now being too old for it. I don’t regret it for myself, but I worry that it disappoints other people in my life, and I feel pressure from society to believe that it’s weird or not normal or selfish or childish to be willingly childless. So I relate to that feeling of cynicism toward movies that feel like mate-spawn-and-die propaganda.

    But the reason I really like it here is that having a baby is a counterintuitive, even crazy reaction to this world, so it’s the dramatic choice. Some people want everybody in movies (especially horror) to always make the safest, most reasonable decisions. I think going the other way can be more exciting. They seem happy to have a baby and you wait to find out how the fuck they intend to pull this off.

    Neal – SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER When the sound made them freak out the plates on their heads opened up and exposed the soft shootable parts beneath. (I’m not sure why they couldn’t shoot them in the ears, though. Those looked soft and would render them pretty harmless if not dead.)

    Wait a minute, I wonder if you could kill them using “Puberty Love” or “Indian Love Call”?

  26. I think you guys are forgetting one point. What is the conversation like “honey, I know that these monsters can hear things and kill us, let’s have sex” Had anybody ever had silent sex? Them fucking had to have made some noise right?

    Also, I love how playing Monopoly almost killed them. That game fucking sucks.

  27. I feel like silent sex is the most relatable part of the movie. Anyone who has ever lived in a dorm (or just fucked in a public bathroom) can sympathize.

  28. Since we’re all pouring our feels… I always wanted a family and thought that was a noble goal and even thought that would give a leg up in the future. It did not, it weirded people out and now I feel like I am at the point where starting a family would not be a good idea. Plus I did some soul-searching very recently and learned that no, I’m not a people person at all and how many more people do I want to inconvenience while ‘I figure out this whole interacting with people thing’? So yeah I finally came to terms that yeah I’d probably suck as a family man and it’s for the best.

    Looking forward to seeing A QUIET PLACE.

  29. I had a vestecomy so no kids for this guy.

  30. Yeah, this was good. I think it was even more effective today than if it had come out 20+ years ago because few movies today have any stretches of complete silence, so it stands out as even more unsettling.

    I take it the crowd forcing cultural criticism on the movie will also stress how ‘liberal’ NYC got trashed, while these rustic farming and industrious white people survived?

    The silent sex is believable. Besides, they don’t have to make zero noise–there are numerous times the characters are running barefoot and their not instantly mauled or chased down. And maybe they conceived by the waterfall, or one night in the soundproof basement they were building, or in the washing machine and surveillance room, other places where they could afford to make a bit of noise.

    I think the pregnancy thing was a hugely stupid and non-pragmatic decision from the characters, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good dramatic choice from the writers. It’s believable for those characters considering the trauma of their younger child’s death , the parents struggling with their guilt over it (Blunt gets a key scene on this point), and how these characters likely would’ve been pro-life in general, even before all the apocalyptic stuff. I’ll also point out, since I’m not sure it’s come up, but Blunt and Krasinki were negligent with how they handled that thing–the clear formation should’ve been him in the front and her in the back watching the 3 kids in the middle, or at least definitely not the youngest kid in the back and never looking back to notice he’s carrying something.)

    I interpreted the fires as there being other people out there, since didn’t a few light up after the the husband lit their tower?

  31. George Sanderson

    April 22nd, 2018 at 3:51 am

    I was the opposite. Never wanted a family. Scored a job in Hong Kong, a city where you never have to grow up if you don’t feel like it, and was ready to live the dream. Ten weeks before departure I met the greatest woman in the world, she moved over with me, and we’re now married with two kids. I work with a number of people my age and older who have chosen not to have kids and live their best life and I certainly don’t begrudge them that. I’ll admit there have been times when spontaneous weekends in Boracay or some such have happened without me due to my family commitments and I have felt real envy, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade my situation for anything.
    Having said that, I don’t think I’d have a kid in the Quiet Place, even to replace one that was horribly murdered in font of my eyes. This movie ends on something of a hopeful note, but even with the info they have gained, how long do you really expect them to survive?

  32. Maybe if they have a conversation that they need to be absolutely silent to have sex so they don’t kill the entire family that they should hold off.

    Also, I hate when people look down on others because they choose not to have kids.

  33. the aliens can also be killed with the “Digital Native Dance” synth

  34. I love that idea, psychic.

  35. Interesting thing about the pregnancy: When I saw the movie, I immediately assumed that this happened by accident. I never ever even considered that they decided/wanted to have another child, especially in this world. Thus, I wasn’t bothered by it (it was interesting, though, to read afterwards about Krasinski’s intent, and that it was indeed a choice they made).

    What bugged me, though, was the thing about the hearing aid. I understand Krasinski’s wish to have her hearing loss – which by society is considered a weakness/disability – turn into their salvation, but it IS a rather common and problematic trope nonetheless. Also, for me, the most implausible part of the movie was to believe that no one else had the idea to try to beat monsters with exceptional hearing with unpleasant sounds. Did we really already forget the important message that “Mars Attacks!” tried to convey?

    Still an awesome and incredibly tense movie, though.

  36. This was a fun, solid movie. All of the following were B+ or better: casting, acting, cinematography, tension, set pieces, locations, atmosphere, premise, creatures. None of it was grade-A, paradigm-shift, knock-you-off-your-socks, they’ll-be-talking-about-this-in-20-years fantastic. It was a fun diversion and worth the $2-10 you will pay to watch it depending on when/where you do so. The ending was a little too “Signs” for my taste, but still worked on the whole. If IT is the “prestige ANOES” (as someone in the IT thread said), then AQP is the indie/2010s SIGNS.

    Things I really dug:
    -John Krasinki. Dude shows up and makes that transition. Good lovable everyman. Not too macho, not too emo or yuppie. Pulls it off. I’m in his corner. Winning cast, the pretty one-note in characterization.
    -Creature ear/cochlear/tympanic thing. Good effect. Cool.
    -Corn setpiece was a winner.

  37. Still Processing - Podcasts - The New York Times

    A culture conversation with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham.

    This reading and reaction to the movie seemed worth sharing. (“We Watch Whiteness” episode, movie discussion starts at 38:15 roughly)

  38. I have nothing but support for people who don’t have kids and don’t intend to. It makes me sad that you feel judged or looked down upon, and I can imagine there’s a lot of subtle pressure and probably some not-so-subtle pressure, as well. That sucks.

    Majestyk, I generally agree with you that smaller families are better, though I have four kids of my own, and I’m not personally trying to fill a whole in my life that I know of, and there are constructive things that I believe I and my kids bring to the universe. I am sorry that your family situation was hard, though.

    As bleak as things may seem, I don’t think it ever makes sense to fold up the tent on the human project. Then again, I’m human, so I’m biased in favor of humanity that way.

  39. Overall I thought this was a tense, well-crafted thriller, despite a few dumb points (as previously pointed out, I don’t think Dad would need to have stuff like “they can’t see” or whatever scrawled on a big whiteboard). And like others here, I also had problems with our heroes’ life choices. I agree that the decision to have a baby is a good choice for dramatic purposes, but I usually want to like and maybe even respect the characters whom I’m following for two hours, and I had a huge issue with their decision to have a kid in the shitty world depicted, just as I do in the real world we live in. The best this kid can hope for is a quick death at age 2+ days, along with most or all of its family.

    I saw this in Taiwan – a country with one of the lowest birthrates in the world – but the whole breeding thing strikes me even harder now, since I’ve just completed the arduous immigration process to move to my wife’s homeland of Canada – rural, rural country where you’re a freak if you haven’t had at least a couple of kids by the time you’re twenty (and nobody’s ever gay). Don’t get me wrong, these rural Canadians would out-survive me in the world depicted in this movie – their whole lives pretty much revolve around building things, trucks and hunting – but their dedication to popping out kids is kind of horrifying to me.

    Back to the movie: I also thought it wasn’t the best idea to put the daughter who couldn’t hear in charge of the rambunctious little tyke with the electronic toy, but I guess they hadn’t got their routine down pat at that point.

    An enjoyable movie though.

  40. Anybody make the connection to today’s social media climate and raising kids in that world? They have to be silent and only talk in the most safe of spaces or whispers. If they don’t, they’re at the risk of quickly becoming besieged and then immediately killed (seemingly not always for food) for expressing themselves by creatures that are extremely sensitive to what they hear. And what to make of how these creatures are darker complexion? I wonder how much Paula Deen would like this movie?

    Wesley Morris (past pulitzer prize winner for criticism) and Jenna Wortham, both now at the NY times, put this interpretation out in the podcast I linked above. I wish Wesley still more regularly wrote about movies. I often didn’t agree with him, but I always read what he wrote and found his articles interesting. I can see reading this movie as an expression of that anxiety, even if it’s subconscious.

  41. I got the tubes tied when I was around 30. No kids for me. I talked to a doctor when I was 20 about getting them tied and she acted like I was a nut case and turned me down.

    Kids are a pain in the ass. Even the good ones eat up your life. The rotten ones are hell on earth. I don’t need that shit. I have never felt the need to have kids of my own. I occasionally interact with other people’s kids, and they are well-behaved, and I feel some hope for the future, but more often than not they are awful. Everybody loves their damn kids though. I guess they are wired that way. Or they have to.

    I’m an environmentalist and sure maybe the world would be better off without humans in it, but I’m not about to join the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Humans are animals too, just a very successful kind of animal that eats the entire world. Okay maybe I will join VHEMent.

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