Quiet Place, A (Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 17-Jul-2018

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Featurette-Creating the Quiet – Behind the Scenes (14:45)
Featurette-The Sound of Darkness – Editing Sound (11:44)
Featurette-A Reason for Silence – The Visual Effects (7:33)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 90:14
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Krasinski
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Emily Blunt
John Krasinski
Millicent Simmonds
Noah Jupe
Cade Woodward
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Marco Beltrami


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Atmos 7.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Three months previously a race of alien creatures appeared on the Earth. They are blind but have acute hearing, hunting and killing any creature, human, animal or bird, which makes even the slightest sound. The few remaining humans such as the Abbott family, father Lee (John Krasinski), mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their three young children Regan, who is deaf (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and the youngest Beau (Cade Woodward), have learnt that to survive they cannot make the slightest noise. They communicate by sign language, walk on bare feet on specific paths covered in sand, the house has boards marked that do not creak, they play Monopoly with felt pieces and eat off leaves without utensils. Any lapse, as we see early in the film, leads to sudden death. It is a precarious existence; Lee seeks a way to protect his family, which is made much more difficult when Evelyn becomes pregnant. Is it possible to give birth in silence and to keep a baby quiet?

     A Quiet Place is a tense and unsettling film co-written / directed and starring John Krasinski that has, not surprisingly, almost no dialogue. As a result the story is carried by the acting, the visuals and, above all, by the sound design. Emily Blunt, who has been married to John Krasinski for almost a decade, is superb; the sequence in which, her waters having broken and bleeding from an injured foot, she hides in a bathtub as a creature roams the room, all with only the sounds of the creature’s feet and “clicking” noises, is heart in mouth stuff; for in this is a film we have already seen one of the family killed so there is no certainty that others also will not die. John Krasinski is also very good yet it is Millicent Simmonds, herself deaf, who is a revelation, her eyes expressing a wide range of emotions. Some of the terror in horror films comes from them being set in a serene, unthreatening landscape and this is the case with A Quiet Place which is set in a beautiful rural environment amid autumnal trees, silos and waving fields of corn, all enticingly shot by cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen, who had earlier worked with Emily Blunt on The Girl on the Train (2016).

     But where A Quiet Place shines is the sound design. Without dialogue and, it must be said, without much by way of ambient sound for there is little wind in the film and no bird and animal calls as most life has been exterminated by the creatures, every sound such as a muffled footstep carries an incredible weight. Indeed, in much of the film there is no sound at all so the sudden crash of a creature’s feet is almost overpowering. Sequences where there is ambient sound, such as running water in the creek, the crash of the waterfall or indeed water flowing from a ruptured pipe, seem all the louder because so much of the film is silent. Praise is also due to composer Marco Beltrami for a subtle score. Beltrami has been nominated twice for Oscars, for 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and The Hurt Locker (2008), and he can certainly do bombastic scores such as Ben-Hur or Gods of Egypt (both 2016) but here he dials the music well back, providing atmosphere without signalling scares and the like.

     A Quiet Place explains nothing. Starting with the text “Day 89” on screen we are thrown straight into a deserted town where we see a family scavenging for medicines and other supplies; we don’t know what happened to the people until later and we are never told where the creatures came from. Indeed, following the example of Jaws, other than a fleeting glimpse the creatures are not shown in detail until after more than 45 minutes has elapsed, and then only sparingly. Because we have seen so many alien creatures over the years it is hard to make anything look very different and the creatures in A Quiet Place, hominoid (i.e., with a head, arms and feet) and making clicking sounds like the Predator, are perhaps the least interesting part of the film; one feels one has seen them before, the only variation here is that they are blind and thus have huge “ears”.

     A Quiet Place is a gripping and effective thriller, with some heart in mouth sequences such as the creature emerging from the flooded basement or searching the house with Evelyn giving birth in a bathtub! The performances are compelling and, after an early death in the film, survival of the rest of the cast is not guaranteed! Some do survive though: A Quiet Place 2 is currently in post-production.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     A Quiet Place is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film is set in a beautiful rural environment with glossy digital colours including red and yellow autumnal trees, silos, waving fields of green corn, dark forests and deep blue skies. Much of the film also takes place at night or in darkened rooms where blacks are solid and shadow detail excellent and there are some stunning images such as the green leaves of the corn glistening in the moonlight or the red warning lights that ring the house. The fireworks are colourful. Skin tones are natural, contrast and brightness consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent.

     English, English for the hearing impaired plus French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of English Atmos (which defaults to Dolby TrueHD 7.1), English descriptive audio, French, Spanish and Portuguese, all Dolby Digital 5.1.

     With so many silences A Quiet Place has a subtle sound design and I regret not having a 7.1 set up as in this film every slight sound, such as muffled footsteps on or off screen is important, indeed, the relative quiet of most sequences means that sequences with sound, such as the stream, the waterfall or the fireworks, seem very loud indeed! The sounds of the creature overhead in the house, its footsteps thumping and with clicking sounds like the Predator are suitably scary. The subwoofer was used effectively to add depth and rumble to the creature’s feet, water effects and the fireworks.

     The score by Marco Beltrami was subtle and effective.

     With so little dialogue there are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Creating the Quiet – Behind the Scenes of A Quiet Place (14:45)

     Writer / director John Krasinski, producers Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, writers Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft and cast Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe with some film clips and behind the scenes footage discuss the original idea for the script, the challenges of a film without dialogue, how Emily Blunt was cast, working with a deaf actor, communicating in sign language.

The Sound of Darkness – Editing Sound for A Quiet Place (11:44)

     Sound editors Brandon Jones, Ethan Van Der Ryn, Erik Aadahl, plus the director, producers and writers discuss the challenges of a film without dialogue, the sound of the creatures, the use of music.

A Reason for Silence – The Visual Effects of A Quiet Place (7:33)

     With pre-vis, models and film clips the director, producers and a range of visual effects and animation supervisors, creature modellers and designers discuss the evolution and presentation of the creatures.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This release of A Quiet Place is the same as the US Region free Blu-ray, right down to the FBI warning and US ratings information logo.

Summary

     A Quiet Place is a tense and scary film and, if one accepts the premise that the alien creatures exist, it feels realistic; there are no false heroics and no-one does anything totally stupid, such as the people in other horror films who go alone down into a dark basement! Nothing is explained, but everything, again if one accepts the premise, is logical. And in Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe we have a family we care for and are apprehensive about their chances of survival.

     The video is fine, the audio outstanding, the extras are reasonable and we get what is available elsewhere.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, November 01, 2019
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
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