"A QUIET PLACE"
Versatile actor John Krasinski
gambled when he decided to direct "A Quiet Place," another
post-apocalyptic horror story, but with a twist. It has paid
"A Quiet Place" is an exceptional scary
movie and a successful one moneywise, closing in on $150 million
at the box office. Not bad for a movie that cost $17 million to
Krasinski also collaborated on the
screenplay with writers Brian Woods and Scott Beck. And he took
on a main role and plays opposite his real-life wife, Emily
The setup of "A Quiet Place" is similar
to the 2017 movie "It Comes at Night." Both focus on families
trying to survive in a world wherein a major disaster/invasion
has killed millions and decimated any infrastructure. Those who
remain alive must adhere to stringent routines to continue
While "It Comes at Night" never reveals
what the disaster was or what the relentless threat continues to
be, instead stressing how such an existence can lead to another
horror of being forced to trust someone you do not know, "A
Quiet Place" lets the audience in on what is so lethal. What is
not presented is what these blood-thirsty creatures are and how
they came to be. All we know is that they have keen hearing and
just attack any sound they hear.
So Krasinski and Blunt play Lee and
Evelyn Abbott, a couple with a deaf teen daughter, Regan
(Millicent Simmonds, who really is deaf) and a pre-teen son, the
somewhat fragile Marcus (Noah Jupe). Aside from her hearing
impairment, Regan also feels guilt for inadvertently triggering
a tragedy and believes her father has never forgiven her.
The Abbotts have set up a fortress/farm,
complete with surveillance cameras, yet sometimes have to go to
nearby towns to forage in silence for food to supplement what
they can sow from the ground. Even within the more secure
confines of their home they cannot make a sound.
Evelyn also is pregnant. Let's pause
here. Was I the only one who wondered how the Abbotts conceived
another child in an environment that demanded silent sex? And is
Evelyn prepared to go through the stress and strain of
childbirth without uttering a sound?
That problem aside, "A Quiet Place"
builds on tension as the family must continually put themselves
at tremendous risks simply doing tasks needed to survive. Amid
all this, Lee doggedly tries to put together an effective
hearing aid for Megan, at least partly as a gesture to prove to
the girl he still loves her.
As happens in life, circumstances arise
in which Lee and Evelyn cannot be there to protect their
children, and for Lee the greatest nightmare of not being able
to even protect his wife.
In a film like "A Quiet Place," viewers
have to be braced for the possibility someone will have to make
the ultimate sacrifice and others will have to step up to ensure
Krasinski does a fine job of maintaining
tension and getting the story across, as well as developing
character in a movie wherein dialogue is at a premium. Blunt
builds strongly as a woman not only carrying an unborn child,
but one who must unflinchingly go face to face with a terrifying
Simmonds scores as Regan, a teen
wrestling with guilt and someone who too easily misinterprets
her father's actions. Jupe has some fine moments when his father
forces him out of what comfort zone he has, a move necessary to
prepare the boy for a time he no longer can be dependent on his
"BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE"
Truth or dare has gained a lot of
traction in the entertainment world, not only because it can
trigger all kinds of emotional confrontations, but also because
it is a ripe concept for horror. Just do a search of "truth or
dare" on IMDB and you get a long list of projects that adopted
that name. Even behind the camera, the "truth or dare" concept
can create tension. My friend Jessica Cameron, who directed a
movie titled "Truth or Dare" in 2013, has had to deal with other
directors of "truth or dare" projects, harassing her because she
has refused to change the title of her movie.
The latest "Truth or Dare" is a so-so
effort that advertised it might be a turkey in the opening
credits, listing four screenwriters, including the director,
Jeff Wadlow. Collaborations that exceed three writers usually
means lot of problems with the script, thus many
rewrites. Not good.
The horror version of "truth or dare"
opens avenues of gore in the version of ghastly deaths. The
participants are drawn in and too late realize the terrifying
consequences. The dares are so brutal that they then opt for
truths. But here is where the silliness escalates. Rather than
reveal some benign truths, like admitting to wetting the bed as
a child, or picking your nose or confessing you still listen to
Donny Osmond records, these people resort to revealing sins like
sleeping with a best friend's boyfriend, or finking on a friend
who is being unfaithful, thus fracturing what had been stable
Blumhouse has earned a reputation
for putting out some decent horror films (although diehard
horror fans still insist mainstream horror movies are not nearly
as good as less-costly but intense independent scary movies),
but this one is not memorable at all.
("Pretty Little Liars) is Olivia Barron, a college student who
is planning on doing social work during spring break but ends up
being prodded by her lifelong best friend Markie Cameron
(Violett Beane) into going with her to Mexico. So a group of
young, mostly unsympathetic party animals go south of the
border, where Olivia meets Carter (Landon Liboiron), a seemingly
nice guy, who lures Olivia and her friends to an abandoned
church and talks them into playing truth or dare.
But it is a trap set by Carter and soon
Olivia and her friends learn to their horror they have been
drawn into a version of truth or dare unleashed by a demon. As
the body count piles up, and Olivia and Markie try to ride out
serious bumps in their friendship, the young people try to find
a way out before they are literally truth or dared to death.
The movie does offer some nasty deaths
and stirs up emotional turmoil as dirty little secrets are
revealed, but by the end of the movie, a sense of "who cares?"
TRUTH OR DARE" Official Trailer: