When a horror film manages to blend thrills and other spooky science-fiction moments with mature, human themes, it’s worthy of praise, and that’s exactly what A Quiet Place does.

A QUIET PLACE BLU-RAY REVIEW

This gripping film sees real-life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski portray parents of young children in a near-distant future, somewhere in the United States. This post-apocalyptic landscape is marked by nameless creatures that are attracted to loud noises. Thus, Evelyn (Blunt) and Lee (Krasiniski) and their three offspring — some of the few humans left alive — live a nomadic lifestyle as citizens of a world in which they must keep sound levels to a minimum in order to ensure survival.

Krasinski — who also serves as director and co-writer of the movie — described the project in several interviews as “a love letter to my kids.” He and Blunt, who have two young daughters, surely had quite a bit to draw upon in playing the parents of youngsters. Because although A Quiet Place has nearly all the trappings of a horror flick, it is also, in essence, a family drama. The brave young couple demonstrate many times throughout the film, with both words and actions, that they are prepared to do anything to protect their family.

As one can imagine, the film contains very sparse dialogue, as most of the communication is limited to soft whispers or sign language (presumably American Sign Language). Having real-life mute actress Millicent Simmonds play the couple’s eldest deaf-mute daughter Regan only makes the story stronger, particularly as she and one of her possessions play a key role in the fight against the deadly creatures. Krasinski revealed that he learned a lot from having Simmonds on set.

Watch our interview with Millicent Simmonds

Many horror fans may have likely asked themselves: “What is the appeal of seeing a film with so little dialogue? What is the difference between this and a silent film?” The answer: a poignant drama replete with a mix of suspense and tender moments. Few other scary movies will include so many themes about familial protection and sacrifice, of life and death and survival as seen through the eyes of a child. Plus, the cross-cutting in one particularly chilling scene that involves Blunt silently giving birth in a bathtub will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end for quite some time.

Blu-ray features include three featurettes: “Creating the Quiet – Behind the Scenes of A Quiet Place,”  “The Sound of Darkness – Editing Sound for the film,” and “A Reason for Silence – The Visual Effects of the film.”