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 A Quiet Place 
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Thar be spoilers here...

Despite being a glaring departure from rationality, monsters are surprisingly rule-governed creatures. Some monsters are afraid of the light. Some monsters can only get you when you're dreaming. Some monsters only kill horny teenagers at summer camp. In this film, the monsters are reincarnated librarians or perhaps those neighbors always calling in noise complaints, because they only kill people who make noise. Rules is rules. The rule here is "Be Quiet!"

It is easy to imagine the writer's room on this one.

1: Hmm, how do we do dialogue without speaking?

2: Uh, they use sign language?

1: OK, how is it that our American family is proficient in sign language.

2: Uh, they had a deaf kid and had to learn it.

1: How'd they kill the monsters in War of the Worlds?

2: Uh, germs? Right! Except this time the reversal will be deafness.

1: The deaf kid will secretly be super powered with her hearing aid!

2: Great!

Come to think of it, isn't it amazing how alien invaders so often have a simple silver-bullet weakness?
Water (signs), Yodeling (Mars Attacks), Common Cold (War of the Worlds), 1990's Computer Virus (Independence Day).
In this case, the weaksauce weakness actually makes sense because of the big bad's strict reliance on sound to hunt. Even so, it is slightly disappointing. When you see "What is the weakness?" desperately scribbled on Dad's scrap of paper in his strategy basement, you just know that the Death Star is going to have an exposed exhaust port that connects to the reactor.

Our family is remarkably kitted out for the apocalypse given that just about everyone else seems to be dead. They've got electricity, crops, waters, a light-signaling system, bare-foot(able) paths, etc. They've really got it worked out. You get the sense that that writers room was in overdrive spinning copious details. All of this is to the good.

In the end, it turns out that the creatures can be killed with a 12 gauge (?!?), however, so it makes you wonder why the human race lost so hard. There are more guns than people in the United States, so you would think that someone would've figured out that the monsters aren't bullet proof. The monsters move fast but are not invisible and offer a very broad target when they're in skulk-mode. You'd think that gun ships would be able to pick out the heat signatures of these things and pick them off. But it doesn't matter all that much. Somehow they appeared out of nowhere. Somehow the human race was quickly defeated. Somehow these things are everywhere. That's just how it is. It isn't rational. But there are rules. And the no noise rule makes for a marvelous exercise in suspense. When people finally do scream it is as much an emotional release as it is a terrible escalation. The film is great for this conceit alone. It simply works.


Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:32 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
In the end, it turns out that the creatures can be killed with a 12 gauge (?!?), however, so it makes you wonder why the human race lost so hard. There are more guns than people in the United States, so you would think that someone would've figured out that the monsters aren't bullet proof. The monsters move fast but are not invisible and offer a very broad target when they're in skulk-mode. You'd think that gun ships would be able to pick out the heat signatures of these things and pick them off.

What I got was that the aliens had bulletproof armor around their bodies, but the convulsions that the hearing aid did to them caused them to reveal their flesh under the armor, making them vulnerable to gunfire.

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Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:40 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
What I got was that the aliens had bulletproof armor around their bodies, but the convulsions that the hearing aid did to them caused them to reveal their flesh under the armor, making them vulnerable to gunfire.


Yeah, I caught that too, but I also noticed that
they tended to menace with their maws open a lot too. It's hard to imagine that someone wouldn't have opened up on these critters when they were doing their growl-menace thing. Then again, maybe that is why they had the shotgun (although this undermines the note and they did seem to be surprised that it worked)?


Push comes to shove, I don't always want an origin story, a Lord of the Rings exposition intro, or a montage flashback to explain everything. I think it takes courage to not explain everything. They tell the minimal backstory through news clippings (a la Reign of Fire) which is fine. The world sucks. You don't know why. However, you are stuck in it. I give props to films like this and The Mist for not giving us the backstory of why the eponymous mist rolls in (they almost did!). Instead, they just said, "Fuck you! There's a mist with monsters in it. Get reck'd!"

What I like about Reign of Fire, besides the hilarious hyper-masculine overacting contest between Bale and McConaughey (until you get to the Death Star resolution at the end) was that there wasn't any magical way to kill dragons. They were just really hard to kill and you tended to kill yourself when you used the big guns (e.g., nukes). At most you could get an edge at dawn and dusk, but you were still probably going to have a short life as a dragon slayer. This was all great until it turned out you could just "Kill the Borg Queen" and everything would be fine.


Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:55 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

Yeah, I caught that too, but I also noticed that
they tended to menace with their maws open a lot too. It's hard to imagine that someone wouldn't have opened up on these critters when they were doing their growl-menace thing. Then again, maybe that is why they had the shotgun (although this undermines the note and they did seem to be surprised that it worked)?

I can understand your skepticism, but it doesn't weaken the film for me personally.
I feel like there would be a couple factors which could make it harder for humans to win against them though such as the fact that the many people in the world who don't own guns would experience much more difficulty. Also, even if you're really good with guns, you'd likely be under a lot of stress if you were to see an alien face-to-face, so you might miss it the first couple times, giving you limited time to shoot it (look at the accuracy of police in shootouts). It was also clear from the ending that even if you were to shoot one dead, many more of them would be alerted to your presence, giving you more to fight off (remember how fast they moved). Also, I don't think the film was clear in describing how many aliens there were on Earth.

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Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:49 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I can understand your skepticism, but it doesn't weaken the film for me personally.
I feel like there would be a couple factors which could make it harder for humans to win against them though such as the fact that the many people in the world who don't own guns would experience much more difficulty. Also, even if you're really good with guns, you'd likely be under a lot of stress if you were to see an alien face-to-face, so you might miss it the first couple times, giving you limited time to shoot it (look at the accuracy of police in shootouts). It was also clear from the ending that even if you were to shoot one dead, many more of them would be alerted to your presence, giving you more to fight off (remember how fast they moved). Also, I don't think the film was clear in describing how many aliens there were on Earth.


Sure, I don't mean to say that it matters all that much.


Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:53 pm
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The most unrealistic part is that a couple would dance to a Neil Young song.


Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:05 pm
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I would think that a radio expert would have figured out that a high-frequency pitch would provide them a static-sonic cover (similar to the roar of the river) and could possibly be weaponized, but maybe this alternate reality had not invented sonic weapons, like, thirty years ago. And such an audio signal would be easy to maintain, considering how they apparently have an unlimited amount of electricity.


Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:02 pm
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It had some good moments but the ending felt like a wet fart.

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Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:05 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
I would think that a radio expert would have figured out that a high-frequency pitch would provide them a static-sonic cover (similar to the roar of the river) and could possibly be weaponized, but maybe this alternate reality had not invented sonic weapons, like, thirty years ago. And such an audio signal would be easy to maintain, considering how they apparently have an unlimited amount of electricity.


Was he a radio expert? Or did he just have some electronics expertise and a ham radio set?

And why is it so much easier for us to accept vampires (total bullshit) as opposed to scientifically imperfect monsters?

Was there a failure here to bow to narrative conventions that close off these questions? Do story tellers invite our critical archness when they dare tell a more "realistic" monster story? Do they do too much to awaken our prefrontal cortex into tearing the fragile tissue of a dream?


Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:19 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Was he a radio expert? Or did he just have some electronics expertise and a ham radio set?

He seemed to understand the circuitry and frequency dynamics, which along with his undertanding of using a cover tone (the river and waterfall) should have presumably led him to consider amplifying a similar cover signal electronically to either a) ward off the intruders (as some frequencies appear to cause them pain - like a wireless dog fence); b) provide a decoy that the intruders learn is a static noise, like the river, that doesn't necessarily designate human activity.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
And why is it so much easier for us to accept vampires (total bullshit) as opposed to scientifically imperfect monsters?

I didn't accuse the monsters of being scientifically imperfect. I said that the family (Dad) had a scientifically imperfect approach to dealing with the creatures' vulnerability (as telegraphed "What is their WEAKNESS?"). Their weakness was not much of a mystery by at least a third of the way into the film, and the solution is still stumbled upon like some left-field revelation.

The only truly scientifically imperfect aspect of the creatures is in the disparity of their magnificent hearing - they can hear a pot drop from a mile away but they can't hear a heartbeat in the same room?

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Do they do too much to awaken our prefrontal cortex into tearing the fragile tissue of a dream?

Yeah that must be the problem. All of that logic that they didn't do in order to awaken me to do it for them.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:30 am
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I don't understand why people seem to do this in current war or refuge crises so maybe there's something wrong with me, but who would think this is a good time to conceive a baby? That's the most glaring thing to nitpick for me.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:04 am
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eri nitta wrote:
I don't understand why people seem to do this in current war or refuge crises so maybe there's something wrong with me, but who would think this is a good time to conceive a baby? That's the most glaring thing to nitpick for me.

There's the emotional factor, out of guilt to replace the child killed at the beginning. It's not wise, but it's sympathetic. Also, although the film is conspicuously absent of religious cues, we really don't know the family's morality regarding birth control.

I was thinking that they must have been planning to deliver at the waterfall, but didn't anticipate the nearly two week premature arrival.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:50 am
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topherH wrote:
It had some good moments but the ending felt like a wet fart.
Yeah; I liked A Quiet Place a lot on the whole, but that final note with
Blunt re-cocking the shotty
was way too much of a cutesy, audience-pleasing moment, and was the final betrayal of Krasinski's greater fixation with shallower, monster-movie thrills, as opposed to what moments of pathos and character development the film had, which he should've focused somewhat more on. Still a good time at the flicks despite that, though.
Jinnistan wrote:
There's the emotional factor, out of guilt to replace the child killed at the beginning. It's not wise, but it's sympathetic. Also, although the film is conspicuously absent of religious cues, we really don't know the family's morality regarding birth control.
Well, we are shown the family holding hands at dinner in what appears to be a moment of silent (natch) prayer, but that's all we get regarding their belief system, so they could be bloody Zoroastrians (not that there's anything wrong with that) as far as we know, so I guess that's a moot point anyway.

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Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:20 pm
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I agree, as I've said before, the movie doesn't hold up under the merest scrutiny. Either you can go along for the ride and accept whatever the writers ask you to accept, no matter how flimsy or preposterous, and enjoy the movie, or you can't and don't.
I fell more toward the latter. I'm really struggling with reactions of some critics and fans as I thought this was a movie with pretty good craft but a pretty poor script, and some very clumsy and amateurish storytelling.
By comparison, last year's hot runaway horror movie, Get Out, is far, far ahead of A Quiet Place with a much more carefully thought-out story and much more skilled story-telling.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:47 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
There's the emotional factor, out of guilt to replace the child killed at the beginning. It's not wise, but it's sympathetic. Also, although the film is conspicuously absent of religious cues, we really don't know the family's morality regarding birth control.

I was thinking that they must have been planning to deliver at the waterfall, but didn't anticipate the nearly two week premature arrival.


The pregnancy is simply a shoe waiting to drop. It's Chekhov's gun, nothing more than set-up and payoff. You can just imagine the writer's room.

Writer 1: How would you survive with a baby in this world?
Writer 2: What if we did a thing where a mom suffocates her baby because of the noise?
Writer 1: Didn't they do that in Quigley Down Under?
Writer 3: OK, but what if they just have the baby? It will be the Sam and Merry getting everyone into trouble at any given moment?
Writer 1: Uh, no. They'd already be dead if they'd had the baby when the attack started.
Writer 2: What if they haven't had the baby yet? What if mom is pregnant?
Writer 1: I like it! The elephant in the middle of the belly. And then we pay it off with a birth scene and attack.
Writer 3: This will be up there with the chest-burster in ALIEN!

How fast is Star Trek's Enterprise? She moves at the speed-of-plot. Why is mom pregnant? Because it is something to pay off in the 3rd act. Also, women don't show for months, so she may very well have been pregnant when space shuttle boy got his.


Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:26 am
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Wooley wrote:
I thought this was a movie with pretty good craft but a pretty poor script, and some very clumsy and amateurish storytelling.

I'm more or less with you, and I'll add that I found the different scares that the movie opted for to be really obvious. As soon as the movie showed a potentially noisy object, you knew it would be going off pretty soon, and the movie didn't vary the beats of those payoffs enough to not make them terribly predictable.

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Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:38 pm
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Way late to the party here.

First of all, I'm impressed that a mainstream film committed to the silent gimmick. The current cinematic climate doesn't really support that approach, so it took some guts to stick with that, which I appreciate.
Krasinski has said in numerous interviews that the point of this film was to examine the lengths to which one would go to protect one's children, and I think he was successful there.

Now the bad news: I'd been led to expect a very tense experience and I didn't really get that. As others have said here, pretty much all of the "scary" parts were telegraphed ahead of time. Kid steals the toy and I think "that's a potential noise-maker". Baby bump is revealed- "that's gonna be noisy". Exposed nail on the staircase- "Somebody's gonna step on that" and so on. As a result, my mind was free to wander and start nit-picking things. This is not something I normally do, and if I were sufficiently riveted I would be happy to ignore these minor bits. (Example: The NY Post clipping with the headline "It's Sound!" or whatever, made me wonder how they even got that paper. A newspaper's pressroom is a noisy place, and the paper would have to be delivered somehow, presumably by a (noisy) truck.) That's not at all important to the story, but it's the kind of dumb stuff I found myself thinking about. There were lots of others but I won't go into all of them here.

This one's mostly my fault, but I was expecting a more ambiguous It Comes At Night sort of thing. I didn't know the monsters were going to be so literal, so that was sort of a letdown as well.

So yeah, as compared to other mainstream horror films this one's not bad, but not quite as good as its hype had led me to expect.

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:12 am
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Also wanted to say that Krasinski was obviously less interested in the world-building part and someone like Del Toro could've done a better job with that, eliminating some of the inconsistencies and so on.

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:18 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Way late to the party here.

First of all, I'm impressed that a mainstream film committed to the silent gimmick. The current cinematic climate doesn't really support that approach, so it took some guts to stick with that, which I appreciate.
Krasinski has said in numerous interviews that the point of this film was to examine the lengths to which one would go to protect one's children, and I think he was successful there.

Now the bad news: I'd been led to expect a very tense experience and I didn't really get that. As others have said here, pretty much all of the "scary" parts were telegraphed ahead of time. Kid steals the toy and I think "that's a potential noise-maker". Baby bump is revealed- "that's gonna be noisy". Exposed nail on the staircase- "Somebody's gonna step on that" and so on. As a result, my mind was free to wander and start nit-picking things. This is not something I normally do, and if I were sufficiently riveted I would be happy to ignore these minor bits. (Example: The NY Post clipping with the headline "It's Sound!" or whatever, made me wonder how they even got that paper. A newspaper's pressroom is a noisy place, and the paper would have to be delivered somehow, presumably by a (noisy) truck.) That's not at all important to the story, but it's the kind of dumb stuff I found myself thinking about. There were lots of others but I won't go into all of them here.

This one's mostly my fault, but I was expecting a more ambiguous It Comes At Night sort of thing. I didn't know the monsters were going to be so literal, so that was sort of a letdown as well.

So yeah, as compared to other mainstream horror films this one's not bad, but not quite as good as its hype had led me to expect.


The set-ups and payoffs worked for me, but yes they were very obvious. Suspense is an exercise in (more or less) knowing what is going to happen and squirming while you wait for the inevitable, so I don't object the basic math of set-up & pay-off.

My gripe is that the monster has a Death Star weakness that makes it vulnerable to 00 buckshot after these monsters have conquered the entire planet.

I've noticed that our monsters have a rather similar look these days. They're top-heavy brutes with huge forearms.

The exposition by paper clipping didn't really work for me either, but I suppose you have to use some sort of device to ground us in the world. We could go with the cliche montage of cable news reports or have an "Indianapolis" speech from mom or dad (but they already know what happened). Even so, this was too on the nose. It would be better to let us work things out for ourselves while dropping subtler breadcrumbs.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:04 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

My gripe is that the monster has a Death Star weakness that makes it vulnerable to 00 buckshot after these monsters have conquered the entire planet.

This was probably my biggest gripe as well. You can just shoot 'em in the face once with a shotgun and that's it. But all the world's militaries combined couldn't stop them.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:37 pm
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Deschain wrote:
The most unrealistic part is that a couple would dance to a Neil Young song.


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Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:46 am
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