The Zombie of the Veil: A Quiet Place

Sarah Hood

Not many movies take into account that some folks can’t hear properly. Why are the whispering scenes so damn quiet? Horror movies are bad about this as well. I understand atmosphere and suspense but you have to understand if you can’t hear what’s being said by the folks in the movie then you lose quite a bit of the movie and are left wondering what’s happening and why, for example, this one chick got bit. If you can’t tell I’m just a little bitter.

It’s a shame that Hollywood doesn’t jump on the idea of making films silent. I don’t mean like the silent films of yesteryear, I mean a horror movie through the perspective of a person with damaged hearing or completely deaf. Honestly, zombie movies would be a lot more interesting if everyone conveyed information to each other through Sign Language. It’d probably prevent a lot of stupid decisions that result in unnecessary bites.

A Quiet Place actually plays through the eyes of people having to convey everything through sign language. The movie stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, as a family surviving mysterious creatures hunting down everything that makes noise and killing it. It’s never discussed where the creatures come from but nonetheless the monsters are terrifying, moving swiftly with each little noise and striking quickly. The Abbott family at the start of the film is silently scavenging for supplies, their footsteps muffled by them walking on sand. Everything around them is desolate and silent, most of Earth’s human and animal population dead because of the creatures. We watch them talk via subtitled American Sign Language.

I have to applaud this movie for the excellent use of ASL and using subtitles for those hard of hearing. They even subtitle when they talk at a normal volume. I can’t praise them enough for this. They heavily use ASL in the movie for fear that any of the creatures may hear them, even in the bottom part of the house or while underground. They still use sign language to direct messages. The silence of the film adds to the tension that doesn’t get tiresome like with other movies but because you know that any little sound can attract the monsters. When you hear something make a sound, you’re frantically searching to see if the monsters are coming for you.

No real explanation is given on the monster, like with most horror movies, except from some of the notes we see from Lee about the monsters. The film is dark at the proper times and darker at times we weren’t expecting. We watch as the family signals to each other in clever ways, via lights in warning them of danger. A Quiet Place is unlike other horror movies, relying less on horror and more on suspense because of not knowing if the next noise you make will be your last. The true horror comes from things making noise that are out of your control.

It’s not all dark in A Quiet Place, we watch as this family tries to survive the world that’s been left in ruin. I won’t spoil this film for anyone, it’s one of those films you do need to see for yourself. Throughout watching the movie, I am left wondering about certain things, if any noise attracts the monsters did they try to attack cicadas? What is the limit of their attacking certain things? Do fish jumping in a pond attract them? At one point it is explained that large enough sounds, like running water, masks all sounds around them and masks them from the monsters. I thought this was terribly clever and a good way to survive.

A Quiet Place is equal parts horror, thrilling and sad, this family is essentially alone with no real way to contact the outside world, though not for a lack of trying on their part. It’s hard to get word out to the world without muttering a word. This movie will tear your heart out eventually but then give you hope in the end. I loved this movie despite it being a movie you have to pay attention to one hundred percent, if you look away for a moment you’ll miss something vital but it’s worth paying attention to. It’s a roller coaster ride of feelings and in the end, you’ll love every silent minute of it.

5 out of 5 loud toy rocket ships being loud.

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