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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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