The long-awaited horror movie directed by John Krasinski has finally made its way to theaters and my friend Ireland and I went to go see it a couple of days ago. We went on a Monday afternoon, so not only did we get discounted matinee tickets but we got to sit in a mostly empty auditorium at the theater.
This eerie, nearly-silent movie follows a family working on their survival after a tragedy puts strain on both parents and children. They walk on trails of sand throughout their land and even the abandoned city, where it’s vacant and silent – not even animals roam around. Most of the movie’s dialogue is in American Sign Language, and actress Millicent Simmonds is actually hard of hearing and this is the debut of her acting career. Everyone, including the undiscovered talents of the child actors in this movie, are very skilled and gave a heartfelt performance.
The cinematography of this movie was also really beautiful. There were strategically filmed scenes that gave indirect hints that didn’t need to be spoken or pointed out for the audience to fully understand. At moments of high tension, the shaky camerawork gave the movie a panicked, suspenseful vibe rather than feeling shifty and shallow.
The whole idea of the movie is unique and well thought out. However, some choices the characters make are not the smartest, and obviously that’s needed to fuel the plot, but to me they were definitely irritating. In a world that needs to be silent, why would you choose to have a baby – one of the nosiest and unpredictable things in the world? It makes surviving a whole lot harder because you have to constantly worry about whether it’s going to make noise or not. A baby can’t even understand the concept of noise and what it means to be quiet, so I just wouldn’t risk it? Especially since you have two other kids you need to worry about. And there were some things that would make noise, but I guess is untouched by the creatures? Like I remember a scene that showed crows flying in the air and you could hear them squawking. Wouldn’t the creature be attracted to that noise, and go crazy looking for it? Or does it know that a bird makes that noise while in the air, and I’m guessing the monsters can’t fly (but they can swim) so they don’t even bother. They did prove a point by showing that even animals that make noise get killed by the monsters with the scene of the raccoons. So, do they catch and follow those birds or what?
On the topic of the creatures, they were pretty scary looking. My sister saw the movie before me and kind of talked their design down, saying that it wasn’t “that spooky”. But they had a unique design and had beast-like mannerisms that put me on edge (like their ability to just dive into the fucking water, or how quickly they can zoom across the land). It was definitely a monster universe I would NOT have survived long in.
This movie was an excellent horror movie for anyone who enjoys anything remotely unnerving. It has all the elements of a high budget movie, as well as a gifted cast, unique storyline, and nonstop suspense that will keep you holding your breath.