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Westside Steve

A quiet place review

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A Quiet Place
PG-13.                   95 min
So, especially at this time of year when the odds of releasing something of substance are somewhat shorter then in late fall, I tend to award a few extra points just for originality. It doesn’t have to be a watershed to change the direction of American film making forever but something other than the same old same old is certainly refreshing. This is probably a good place for a spoiler alert so if you are planning to see a quiet place do so then come back and see if you agree with me.
Writer-director John Krasinski and his real life wife Emily Blunt play Lee and Evelyn Abbot living in a secluded farmhouse with their three, soon-to-be four kids, or three soon to be two and then soon to be three again depending on how you count... The audience immediately assumes the family is deaf because they communicate in sign language but there’s a much more terrifying reason. Outside the farmhouse in the cornfields and the woods, like the old admonition on pre round Earth maps, “Beyond here there be monsters.” These monsters share the slimy bug like visage of many modern goons with one big exception. They apparently can’t see or smell but hunt their prey, basically humans and other living creatures, by means of their extraordinary powers of hearing. The film doesn’t spend much time explaing up this situation beyond panning across some newspaper headlines and notes tacked to the wall in Dad’s makeshift research lab. They are quick, vicious, deadly and worst of all nearly impossible to kill due to a natural armor. 
The family has been living a life of silence and has learned some clever survival tricks to avoid being eaten. Well at least most of them. Krasinski does a nice job of keeping the suspense high, an impressive feat remembering that there is almost no dialogue. 
Starting right in the midst of the conflict with almost no precursory information is good in a way because it will take your mind off of a few minor WTF moments. Keep in mind folks, it’s science fiction, don’t worry too much about that. Personally I think they could have fleshed out the monsters weakness a little bit better when they telegraphed the solution somewhere about halfway through the film, but that’s not a deal-breaker. Just assume that their Achilles heel contributes to the eventual method of execution. Okay? Fine.  It really is an original concept and lots more entertaining then one might expect given the lack of dialogue and action. 

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