In my review for A Quiet Place, I mentioned that there were three things that hindered the film for me, but for fear of spoilers, I didn’t want to go into them there. Normally that’s a big no-no for me, as I generally think most criticisms can be addressed without spoiling a film. However, with my issues with A Quiet Place, I found it increasingly difficult to explain my position without spoiling significant elements from the film. So, without further ado, here are my issues with A Quiet Place.
(Naturally, spoilers ahead.)
1. Sound Cannons
This is more of a minor issue, not one that I really hold against the film, but the military would have gotten these things out of here real quick. Local police forces already have sound cannons that they use in riot control. Discovering the proper frequency and volume to disrupt these guys would be a fairly easy adjustment to implement. Also, Emily Blunt’s Evelyn Abbott kills the thing with a shotgun. Even if they are armored, it didn’t seem that hard to shoot these guys in their soft fleshy bits. But hey, I get it, the film has to get us to that truly awesome ending – I can suspend my disbelief.
2. The Nail
The nail I’m less forgiving on. In a film where so much of the worldbuilding is consistently thought out, and we see how meticulous the Abbott family has been about not making a peep, missing a nail in stairs they have to travel frequently seems… unlikely. Additionally, when Evelyn snags the bag of laundry on the stair, there isn’t anything that prevents her from stopping, looking at what she’s snagged the bag on, and then going, “Oh s*** a giant nail! It’s a really good thing I didn’t step on it. Let me turn that down!” But silently. The nail just comes across as a very contrived bit that didn’t need to be there.
3. The Pregnancy
Out of all the flaws, this was the most damning for me. It’s not so much that I don’t buy that a family farming in a rural area might be against abortion, or contraception, or the multitude of sexual practices that wouldn’t result in a pregnancy, but it’s such a big choice that it’s a shame A Quiet Place doesn’t explore any of it. It would have been nice to actually see Lee and Evelyn navigate that tense decision to have and keep the child without making a sound. The timeline of the film’s title cards show that Evelyn became pregnant after the loss of their son Beau. Was this decision a way to try to replace him? How do the children Marcus and Reagan feel about their unborn sibling who will put them at further risk? How do they feel about their parents, who made this decision for them? A Quiet Place deals so much with the hardships of parenting and it’s frustrating that the pregnancy comes across as merely a prop for more scares. The writers, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck have said that the pregnancy was meant as a thematic hook, with Woods specifically saying, “The idea that the final film embraces is that this family is trying to find normalcy in a world that’s turned upside down. They’re trying to find hope.” Respectfully, I don’t think that shows up strongly enough in the film.
Is It Good?
Ultimately, I thought A Quiet Place was a solid film, that packed a lot of drama and thrills in its tight 90 minute runtime. That being said, these underexplored and contrived portions of the film held it back from truly being great. Do you agree? Want to see me eaten by a clicker? Sound off in the comments below.