Good idea. Next a film where mobile phones become sentient and attack their owners, cinema goers are advised not to bring their phones or leave them at home as this film is so scary …


Directed by: John Krasinski

Written by: screenplay by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and John Krasinski
story by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck

Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott)
John Krasinski (Lee Abbott)
Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott)
Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott)
Cade Woodward (Beau Abbott)

Evelyn and Lee are survivors, they kept their children safe in a world devastated and nearly ended buy ruthless alien creatures that hunt purely on sound. To last you cannot make any noise that might attract the monsters. Few have survived over a year. Soon the family has a new child knowing that the slightest noise could mean instant death.

A rare cinema trip for me with my (step)grand-daughter and knowing little about the film apart from a cursory glance at a few online synopses off I went.

I have to say the concept was great. There have always been stories about being trapped in the world with an added disadvantage Blindness (2008) springs instantly to mind and more recently Don’t Breathe but not that many featuring being unable to make a sound from start to finish. Consequently, the film takes place mainly in silence or hushed whispers with sign-language skills being useful for all concerned, luckily the family have a deaf child so they already knew this. Yes, it was a contrivance but then again it meant we got the superb Millicent Simmonds front and centre who played the role of the conflicted teenager perfectly, all contradictions, anger and love able to bubble to the surface at any time. I would have to say the casting was perfect, director and John Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt not having to stretch themselves too much to play husband and wife but you do believe they are under considerable stress. The children are naturalistic and as in the case of most films if they are poor the whole thing falls apart. They aren’t and if anything they are the glue that holds the fantastical story together.

The utter silence of the film flows into the cinema and the whole running time played out to an impressive quiet as the audience concentrated on what was happening on the screen. Impressive. Another pleasing factor is the running time, hooorah, it is a nice compact and economic ninety-minutes and therefore the scary horror story doesn’t outlive its welcome.

The pointers and world-building in the short running time owe a debt of gratitude to many other genre films with Day of the Dead/28 Days Later newspaper headlines outlining what happened to humanity but the whole story never felt cliched or tired, despite the many sources it draws from.

I presume Kransinski was allowed free reign in this film due to the low risk involved in the reasonable small budget if this musing is the case he should be allowed to take more risks. The film is cast well, the visual effects are good but don’t overpower the story, the story itself is simple, smart and effective and scares are good but not cheap.

Once the film is over and you sit back and think about it the massive plotholes starting appearing left, right and centre but if I was being honest with myself this is a film about big weird monsters that have no eyes and eat people. Perspective is needed.

For hokey monster-movie and let’s face it that is what it is, this is good film, it takes the good parts and devices from other movies, spins its own lore and ideas into the mix and comes up with something that whilst not entirely original has enough originality in it to leave you coming out the cinema smiling and knowing you haven’t seen anything like this in a while.

Oh and it wasn’t bloomin’ zombies thank goodness.

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