Written by: Liam Watts
To quote Coach John Wooden of UCLA, “the most important thing in the world is family and love.” Certainly, family is important to each of us, and as such, it should come as no surprise to anyone that movies are filled with stories about family. Although a lot of people’s families might be broken, we all are familiar with the concept, which means these movies contain stories that anyone can relate to. Additionally, because the dynamics within our families shape our worldview and perspectives, many see the value in telling these stories in order to influence what our families look like. Despite knowing this, I was still surprised to find a message about the importance of family at the center of the recent thriller A Quiet Place. While it was a good movie on its own merits, it’s the heart behind it that makes it great.
For anyone who hasn’t heard about this movie yet, A Quiet Place tells the story of the Abbott family, who is forced to live in complete silence after the appearance of mysterious creatures that destroy anything they hear. As far as anyone can tell, these creatures have no sense of sight or smell; however, acute hearing, lightning speed, and bullet proof skins make for a lethal combination. We arrive in this story after nearly two years have gone by, and in that time these creatures have decimated the human population. The remaining survivors, including the Abbott family, have learned to make do in this new world the best they can. While it hasn’t been easy, Lee and Evelyn Abbott have managed to carve out an existence for their kids Marcus, Beau, and Regan. With Evelyn pregnant and preparing to give birth to their fourth child, however, the Abbotts have been nervously preparing for such a noisy event. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees their preparation will be enough to protect them.
Before A Quiet Place came out, all the advertising seemed to point towards a mysterious thriller and a unique horror experience, and that is what originally attracted me to it. While it is definitely an intense movie, what really sets it apart is director John Krasinski’s clever use of this horror environment as a vehicle to talk about family. What I realized when I finished the movie was that at the end of the day, as fun as all the action was, and as spooky as the monsters were, all I really wanted to do was call my dad. That’s because the thing that ties this film together and elevates it beyond being “just a scary movie” is the message it leaves behind. A Quiet Place doesn’t exist just to scare you. It exists to remind you that your parents will always love you no matter what you say or do, that family is never left behind or forgotten, and that in the end, we would be nothing without our families.
As a horror movie, A Quiet Place succeeds because it will scare you, but as a great movie, it succeeds because it will mean something to you. Altogether, A Quiet Place is a constant rollercoaster of emotions. It will unapologetically scare you, but it will also pull at your heart. Whether you like scary movies or not, this is a film you shouldn’t miss.