Mark Costello’s review published on Letterboxd:
Yes, its mostly as good everyone says. A no-shame B-movie creature feature told with an A-list (in a good way - effects, acting, technical level across the board) sheen.
Some lovely setup with the family and lots of really good family/character moments (the scene with Krasinski giving his daughter the new hearing aid and her turning it down had me in bits) give meaning and heft to the plausible (within its own world anyway) setpieces that are shot in a way to just drive the tension up and up and keep on rising.
Great work from all the actors and special mention must go to the sound design. Or rather lack of it - for a film that is all about the silence, its refreshing to hear a film not be afraid of being quiet. It just means the punctured sounds have impact and really just add so much to the film that is already creatively and technically adept. The creatures themselves are nicely teased and then given some decent screen time, feeling nicely beastly, yet the air of mystery around them (where did they come from, why are they here...…?) never grates.
I do have one pretty big gripe. For a film that carefully sets up a massive set of internal rules around how quiet it has to be ( where these beasties can literally hear a whisper, which we know from the family only ever communicating in sign language), there are plenty of instances where they do things that cause much louder noise than a whisper ever would, therefore clearly breaking its own rules - just one example of doing the laundry and slopping all that wet clothing around would make far more noise than a whisper ever would. And, minor spoilers here, for the scene by the waterfall where we're told its ok to speak here as the sound of the water masks it, why don't they just live by the waterfall? Boom, creatures negated, just crack on with your lives.
I know this is minor nitpicking, but when a film carefully and very obviously sets up a world with rules, then its fairly obvious when it itself breaks them. Time and time again last night, the Mrs and I turned to each other and said 'well that would make loads of noise...….' - the careful setup of the sand 'roads' is a great touch and yet in one scene the father and son are happily traipsing through a forest with leaves everywhere, not a sand road in sight or other sound in ear shot. You don't even need to lose these scenes, just a line of dialogue to explain them away and the audience accepts it....but to set up a film based entirely around a clear set of rules, the film itself should at least stick to them. Or better yet, explain why it doesn't.
Still, huge kudos for being something slightly different. A very good Friday night flick, with a great ending, that's just a gnats chuff away from greatness.