by ANDREW BEGLEY
A Quiet Place is an original movie that hit theaters this spring. It serves as the first movie John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt have co-starred together in. The story was written by childhood friends Bryan Woods and Scott Beck with Krasinski helping draft the final script after he joined production. Krasinski also took on the role of director and executive producer on the film.
The movie is a horror film like no other. Throughout its duration, there are very few words spoken, thanks to the plot of the story. Blind creatures relying on their hypersensitive hearing have ravaged the human population, taking them out in large numbers. Forcing survivors to resort to a life of almost total silence to keep from attracting the deadly beasts.
Living on their farm, the Abbott family is among these survivors. Parents Lee and Evelyn have instilled a highly organized system for themselves and their children in order to continue avoiding the sightless predators. Their main form of communication: sign language.
In the role of Lee and Evelyn’s daughter Regan was deaf actress Millicent Simmonds. Because of her deafness, Simmonds presence on set went beyond just her acting. The entire cast had to learn American Sign Language and after starting their training, Simmonds advised having each family member sign in a way specific to their personalities. The father Lee uses short, concise signs as he is stern and focused on survival while Blunt’s motherly Evelyn has more elegant and expressive sings.
The film itself can stand as a major movie milestone for the deaf community. It was able to incorporate silence, subtitles, sign language, and Simmonds all while still putting out an exceptional product. Woods and Beck’s story which was inspired by their love for silent films could lead to more like it in the near future.
Krasinski and Blunt both put on spectacular performances. Krasinski was specifically strong as he nailed the traditional manly man role and created a sympathetic father who is willing to do anything for his family. With very few other cast members outside the Abbott family, it was important to have good, believable acting. They pulled it off with flying colors.
A Quiet Place proved to be both a critical and commercial success as an original film in a time filled with superhero blockbusters, remakes and plenty of sequels. It is reassuring to know that films like this can still be made and loved by average movie goers. Hopefully more like it will follow.
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