Just been watching…(62)

A Quiet Place (2018)

***No spoilers***

I have just seen a 2018 film, in the same year it was released! (Is that a first for me?) I actually went to the cinema in Dereham tonight. The local ‘flea-pit’ family cinema was actually showing a film I wanted to see. Hooray! But they relegated it to ‘Cinema Three’ (Tiny, small screen) and one showing per day, at 7:00 pm. (So yes, I am not long back, and it is fresh in my mind.)

I bought my (old person’s discount) ticket, and went into the cinema around fifteen minutes before the film started. I was the only one there, so sat in the middle of the front row. (The screen is not so big) Once the film had almost started, three other men came in, and sat in the back row. In a market town of almost 15,000 inhabitants, the film could only attract four people, on a Tuesday night. That says a lot about Norfolk, and also how the cinema manages to make ends meet. Still, I digress. On to the actual film.

This is a film about sound, in every way imaginable. The basic plot is that aliens have taken over the Earth, and most of the people are dead. But those dinosaur-like aliens are blind, (they have no eyes) so depend on sound, to hunt and kill us earthlings. We are straight into the action,. with no set-up. (I like that, it presumes some intelligence of the audience) We get clues; newspapers, a family hiding from alien terror, and some stuff written on a white board. And we get an early shock too. One that makes us sit up, and think, ‘WOW!’

Move on just over year, and we are following a family surviving where others have not. They have a head start. Their daughter is deaf, so they can all do sign language. This means that they don’t have to speak out loud, and the monsters won’t hear them. They have moved into a farm, and live most of their lives in the cellar, soundproofed from alien ears. (And they are super-dooper alien ears, I kid you not) They manage as best as they can, and for some reason, they still have electricity. (Though they use candles and oil lamps for light, which is not explained) They have to go out to catch fish, and live their entire lives in fear of making any noise.

OK, flippant stuff over. They show this very well. The kids play Monopoly by shaking the dice onto a soft cloth. They use cloth counters, so as not to make a noise. They speak in sign language all the time, which means subtitles, for those of you who don’t like them. They spread soft sand on paths to walk on, and paint spots on floors and stairs, so they can walk without creaking the boards. The ‘small stuff’ is done very well, and makes the film very interesting. But as I said, this is all about sound. Much of the film is muted, or silent, but when the sound comes, it makes you jump out of your seat. The blind aliens make some great unnatural noises, as well as moving fast. Very fast indeed.

The tension is racked up so high, even an old cynic like me felt it. There are genuine ‘wow’ moments, and I could even forgive the rather clunky (and vaguely familiar) alien close-ups. Much has been made in reviews of the fact that the adult stars are a real-life couple.(Emily Blunt, and John Kasinski) This was not an issue for me, either way. Their acting is solid, that’s for sure. But their two older children take the laurels, managing to appear both genuinely terrified, and resolute at the same time.

This is a dystopian/alien invasion film like no other, based on its use of the sense of sound, and lack of sight for the aliens. It’s a great idea, and it works very well indeed. And the ending is a refreshing change too. But I won’t spoil that.


52 thoughts on “Just been watching…(62)

  1. You were a lot kinder then I was in regarding this film…..but I did enjoy the acting,the cast was much better then the story.
    I can’t tell you how many times I saw a film like you did…..except my city had 800,000 people in it and the film still only attracted a handful of us…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps because I so rarely go to the cinema now, the excitement of the experience made the film seem better than it was. 🙂
      In truth, it was mainly the sound that impressed me. Both the lack of it, followed by the boom of it. I thought that was incredibly well done, and best seen in a cinema for that alone. And I also liked that it didn’t have a happy ending. If the aliens had flown off, leaving the family happy and smiling, my review would have been very different.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this, Pete. It’s a film that’s on my radar without my knowing anything about it. Now you’ve given me a taste – definitely one to watch. Eventually. Like you, a trip to the cinema to see a current film ‘live’ is a rare thing indeed 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I rarely bother with the cinema these days. However, this film is one I would suggest plays better with a good sound system in a Cinema, as it really is all about sound. Unless you have a good home sound system of course, as many people do. (But not me)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed it. You’re welcome. 😉 But seriously I’m glad you saw a current flick and it was good. This film has done monster business at the box office so fascinating to think that it played to 4 people in the smaller theatre but then again in a previous post you mentioned it did well to get a perch with all the kiddie releases. Thanks for the review Pete, you’re right sound plays a part. I’ve read some excellent reviews which point out plot holes but this is all about mood and the little things as you said and so for me it’s a good movie too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was a little irritated at some inconsistencies, and those plot holes. But as I so rarely go to the cinema, I decided to just sit back and experience it as a film. I’m glad I did.
      Cheers, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I plan on seeing it later this week, and your review is certainly renewing my enthusiasm, which is a change of pace from my usual attitude toward the cinema lately which has become entirely adversarial. For some reason I always get a greater kick out of hearing someone else enjoying a film more than if I had seen it myself. Why is that doctor?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lost heart in the cinema when the age of the multiplex dawned. Smaller screens, less of a ‘special feel’, and of course the gangs of friends munching their weight in popcorn, and rattling the ice in their bucket-sized drinks. But the real killer for me was the appearance of well-lit auditoria. I tackled a London cinema manager on this, and he told me “Health and Safety”. I was watching films in cinemas not much bigger than my house, with more ambient light than I would have had in my own living-room, surrounded by fidgety people checking their phones, and sending and receiving text messages.
      I often felt I was the only one actually looking at the screen.
      Now I live in a place where the small (and shabby) local cinema concentrates mainly on ‘family films’, so I was actually surprised to see they were showing this.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Agree with your comments Pete, went to see this film 1 week ago, couldn’t believe how quick the time passed. well worth the ticket price.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Worth a watch, Kim. Funnily enough, it is not a ‘big screen’ film. Only four main characters, and mostly set inside. However, it is all about the sound, so best seen at a cinema, with a good surround sound system. I am glad I didn’t watch it on my tiny-speaker TV.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One caveat, Cindy. It needs great sound to work, In the cinema, it had that. (Sony Cinema Stereo) Personally, I don’t have any surround sound or sound bar at home. On my lame TV, it would be average, to say the least. Otherwise, it is not necessarily a ‘big screen’ film at all. Only four main characters, and quite claustrophobic. So a DVD/Rental will work, if your TV is up to the sound requirements.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pete, my wife and I went to the Carnegie Hall Theater, located – you guessed it – downstairs at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall! We were so excited, although not sure why such a great concert hall would have a theater in the basement – or rather, 3 theaters, since they took an old large one and strung up drapes to make it three theaters the size of my living room – not an ideal way to see a film, and sounds a bit similar to you, but at least it was worth your time!

    Liked by 1 person

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