A Quiet Place (2018)

Directed by John Krasinski

A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

Although A Quiet Place was not actually one of the best films I saw in 2021, it's certainly one of the more interesting mainstream Hollywood franchises I came across. The film is very ably constructed and certainly engages on a visceral level, and I should point out that it is rare that the artificial peril of conventional horror movies lands with me — my preference is typically usually to focus on its cultural and political aesthetics.

Anyway, the conceit of this particular post-apocalyptic world is that a family is forced to live in almost complete silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound alone. In this sense, A Quiet Place engages on the intellectual level I was interested in, and this probably works in tandem with the pure 'horror' elements and makes it stick into your mind. In particular, to my mind at least, A Quiet Place is a deeply conservative film below the surface: it exalts the family structure and the sacrifice yourself for your family. What's more, the music often had a passacaglia-like strain, forming a tombeau) for America. Moreover, you survive in this dystopia by staying quiet — that is, by staying stoic — perhaps suggesting that in the wake of any conflict that might beset the world, the best thing to do is to keep quiet: don't emote, acquiesce to fate instead, and don't, whatever you do, speak up. In The Quiet Place, even communicating with your loved ones can be deadly to both of you, so you don't need don't confer at work.