Hollywood has perfected the horror movie formula: a low-budget, a cast of up-and-coming actors, and a scary but clever concept. Last year’s wildly successful Don’t Breathe — budgeted at just $9.9 million — was a fine example: send some kids into a haunted house, take away one of their senses (in this case: sight), and every sudden sound, shake, or sensation becomes that much more terrifying.
Other horror films have employed a slightly different formula: showing the world after a terrible event. Movies such as 28 Days Later, 12 Monkeys, 10 Cloverfield Lane, I Am Legend, The Road each explored the aftermath of some catastrophic event, the handful of people who survived, and the often nasty things they did to do to stay alive. In each case, the “monsters” were largely hidden off-screen or only shown via TV or radio — it’s not unlike the original horror-event: Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938, which scared the crap out of a whole lotta people.
Actor John Krasinski’s second directorial effort, A Quiet Place, is a hybrid of these archetypal horror films. Krasinski combines elements of Don’t Breathe, 28 Days Later, and War of the Worlds to create something new and apparently quite terrifying, according to nearly every critic on Rotten Tomatoes (where the film currently holds an astounding 100%).
Similar to those other films, A Quiet Place is a low-budget horror film ($17 million), stars two popular young actors, and leverages another classic alien invasion setup. In this case, monsters who are attracted to noise — if you make any, they will hunt you, and it will not end well.
A Quiet Place is a small, focused monster movie set against the backdrop of a sedate, rural farming community. The Abbott family — Evelyn and Lee and their three kids, Marcus, Regan, and Beau — make up three-quarters of the cast, which only reinforces their isolation and desperation. They are survivors of a devastating attack by extraterrestrials, according to the latest (and final) trailer… and it looks damned scary.
The film’s early teasers and trailers were a bit elusive regarding the origin of these monsters, but thanks to this latest trailer we now know that a sudden, global alien invasion has resulted in massive human casualties — and it’s not clear how many people survived.
Following this setup, the latter half of the trailer contains a montage of running, hiding, sweating, crying, and shaking, as the Abbott family does all it can to evade the encroaching aliens, while also not making a sound. A Quiet Place looks like a tremendously frightening movie about self-reliance and determination against impossible odds.
A Quiet Place faces plenty of competition in theaters, as Ready Player One enters its second weekend and the teens vs. parents comedy, Blockers, debuts in wide release. However, the brilliant premise of Krasinski’s movie and its clever marketing has positioned it to compete head-to-head with these other films and become the first big horror hit of 2018.
A Quiet Place hits theaters on April 6, 2018.
SOURCE: Paramount Pictures