Yesterday I went to see A Quiet Place at the cinema with slight trepidation. Not because it was an absurdly sunny day to be going to the cinema but because I’m pretty shit at watching horror films.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a scary movie. I’ve completely geeked out over many of them, from the masterpieces (The Shining), to the divisive (Paranormal Activity) to the pure unapologetic (Drag Me to Hell).
But as someone who has been known to jump ten feet in the air when the person I live with unexpectedly walks into the room, I have to be in the right frame of mind to take on a horror, otherwise I’ll end up watching the entire thing through my fingers.
So, being stuck in a cinema seat with no escape made me slightly nervous. But as it turns out, it was the best film I’ve watched on the big screen in a long time and I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
Usually when a movie finishes and the end credits roll everyone gets up, eager for fresh air or a toilet break. When A Quiet Place ended, everyone in the theatre remained seated for a while, having to compose themselves for a bit. Then all around I could hear conversations confirming my own thoughts. It was bloody fantastic.
It tells the story of a family trying to survive in a world that’s been ravaged by an alien invasion. It sounds like a pretty generic formula but what makes this film so interesting – and terrifying – is the fact the monsters are blind but have an acute sense of hearing. Therefore we see a mum, dad, teenage daughter and young boy living life as silently as possible, padding barefoot on sand-softened ground, communicating via sign language and the merest of whispers. The mute life is such a killjoy, they even have to play monopoly with soft felt pieces instead of metal dogs and handbags. Ludicrous.
And without giving too much away, there’s an absolute gut-punch of a first scene which shows exactly why they don’t want to be making any noise whatsoever. These creatures do not mess around. They hunt by sound and they hunt fast.