A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place ★★½

Like a picture of a scanned copy of an old photograph -- all the detail is lost. The tension is there, but this has got to be one of the most surface-level examinations of the nuclear family dynamic I've seen in a while. Trey Edward Shults' It Comes At Night may not have been a perfect horror film, but it had so much thematic weight as a compelling look at patriarchal values and the worth a man has to his family when patriarchal society itself has fallen. This is just patriarchal without any of the context. The rift that forms between father and daughter makes sense in concept, but the result just feels false. It's a real shame to have such strong actors portraying these paper-thin characters.

My frustration with A Quiet Place comes from a lack of engaging material to ground myself in. It's not particularly scary, and a slow-burn only works if the pay-off is there. I would've been completely happy with an emotionally hollow but expertly made monster flick, and I would've been just as happy with a film that pushed its monsters into the background to say something about family. What we get here doesn't satisfy either desire. To make a film about people who literally cannot speak and not get into themes of communication was such a missed opportunity. It's very cool to see ASL being used in a wide-release film, and I'm happy to see Millicent Simmons' career take off, but this should've been so much better than it was.

Looking through her filmography, Charlotte Bruus Christensen is making quite the career for herself by artfully shooting films for men who struggle to direct. I really wish someone like Oz Perkins could've gotten their hands on this.

Rating: 49/100

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