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This rural horror starring director John Krasinski and Emily Blunt is a fun, brawny horror flick with a surprisingly sugary heart and an ingenious gimmick. Human civilization is basically kaput and giant scythe-hand stealth-crab anthropoids roam the earth. They’re blind, but their huge, opalescent inner ears alert them to the presence of prey from miles off. A Quiet Place begins well after the creatures’ conquest. A man, his pregnant partner, and their son and daughter live in silence on an isolated farm, every aspect of their existence adapted to minimize noise: sand-covered trails, sign language, light and smoke signals, even cloth game pieces. But despite their ingenuity, the family must take increasingly drastic measures to protect themselves even as the pre-adolescent daughter, who’s deaf, rebels against her father. Their everyday yet all-important routines are a neat device for ramping up tension during the exposition. At the preview screening, we were all flinching when a lamp upended, shushing a character who cried too loudly. But it’s during the moments of crises—particularly when Blunt starts giving birth at a very inconvenient time—that Krasinski really shows he can twist your nerves in a way that shuts down your critical faculties.
by Joule Zelman