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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

(Shh) It's a Boy! (shh)

A Quiet Place (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Farmer Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) has written down what he knows about the latest pest to invade his corn plantation. Starting with Creature Characteristics he lists: blind; attack sound; armor; three confirmed in area. Except for the “attack sound” (and, of course, their size) this could be the common shrew. Shrews have poor eye­sight & sense of smell, but they have keen hearing. They have an extremely high rate of metabolism necessitating they eat five times their body weight per day. This food demand makes them extremely aggressive predators. They'll eat grubs, beetles, centipedes, worms, small mice, roots and nuts. They can go into a slumber mode to conserve energy, but most of their time is spent on the hunt. They hunt alone and are territorial occupying 1.8 acres or so—that expands slightly during mating season. Beneath their skin is a smelly substance that gets released when their skin is broken, discouraging larger predators. They've got very sharp teeth and quick movements, though they'll slow down once they're indoors and perceive being tracked by an intelligence. I wouldn't want to run into a space-shrew bigger than me. The ones in “A Quiet Place” look like huge locusts built to kill.

Next, farmer Lee has written Survival and listed: medicinal supplies; go underground. The movie opens on “Day 89” when his family makes a run to Larkin's Market to appropriate some prescription drugs for their elder son Marcus (Noah Jupe) who's sick. The store is deserted and its entrance plastered with “Missing Person” posters. The invaders have put quite a dent in the local population in just three months. The Abbotts tip toe back home, and if we look fast we can see the population decrease by one more. Family life is quiet in the extreme. They have a redoubt in their basement.

On Day 389 we see that Lee's wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) looks to be about six months pregnant. She makes quiet preparations for the new arrival. She shares a set of ear buds with her husband and they slow dance to Neil Young's “Harvest Moon.” Even in this short 1½ hour film, we are not given any back­ground story on the nature of the invasion that put “New York City on Lock­down.” All we see is the farmers' awareness of the passing seasons—i.e. harvest moon, growing old, etc.—whence the day-numbered “captain's log” from which we must make our own deductions. Lee's third category lists Weakness. There isn't any that he has discovered.

On Day 472 Lee continues to send SOS on known shortwave broadcast frequencies, but to no avail. On Day 473 we get a prolonged display of a calendar on the wall, marking the day's date, Oct. 3, and Evelyn's due date, Oct. 25. That, coupled with a memorial of the younger son's demise in 2016—on Day 89—gives us calendar references. The invasion would have started around the 18th of June, 2016, by my reckoning, about the time Lee would have purchased his fire­works for the 4th of July celebration. By the 4th he'd have repurposed them as we see later.

Okay, the main frights in this film have to do with trying to keep a newborn quiet in a world where the slightest sound kills the whole family. That's some­thing we're only used to seeing in a police state, hiding out from the roving “Gestapo” with a youngster who doesn't under­stand. His conception nine months before his birth would be Jan. 25, 2017. What kind of holiday would the Abbotts celebrate carnally when the child produced would be like bringing it into a police state? From his short­wave listening hobby he'd had from his youth up, Lee would have been familiar with holidays around the world. Oh, January 21 is the day the Soviets commemorated Vladimir Lenin. Close enough. The film is dealing in high irony of some kind. The Abbotts play Monopoly, a capitalistic game par excellence.

Okay, our next Jan. 21, 2019, is shared with Martin Luther King Jr.'s (MLK) birthday, and with Robert E. Lee's birthday—they come on Mondays so they bounce around a little, but they're close enough for our purposes. Lee was a general defending his native state (Virginia) and the South from the Yankee invaders during the Civil War. We don't honor him much for that any more but we used to. In this movie the army defended us from the invaders by telling us, “You're on your own.” Bummer! Where are the generals when you need them?

The most excited utterance the Abbotts make, in need of muting, is, “It's a boy!” One of MLK's objections to his treatment, which he mentioned in his Letter From Birmingham Jail was being called “Boy” so often. In the South men call each other “Boy” as a matter of course. In this case it marked the man as low status, but it wasn't a “bad” word per se. His holiday pegs Whites as being at fault for slavery and perhaps in need of a judgment of a plague of locusts. The shrew attacks vermin that we don't want around, and in the movie the creatures seemed to attack mostly white males. Yet Virginia didn't start out as a slave state. When they started raising tobacco, though, they didn't have enough paid labor to harvest it, so they acquired slaves from the Caribbean, like from the Barbados. In the movie Lee has a working farm, with a crop springing up the second season, seed in the silos, but only noisy machinery to work it, which ain't a good idea. He puts out a call (SOS) for help. If help comes he'll have to pay them in fish, what he teaches his son to catch. For medical benefits, they can raid the market. And yet in the infested world they're in, we'd call this “slavery” a step up.

Somehow making love on MLK Day only increased tensions in their world, a holiday that didn't even exist before it supplanted half Lincoln's and half Washington's Birthdays. This could have been predicted by, (Prov. 30:21-22) “the earth is disquieted, and … it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth.” Despite the hot-button issues, this movie is existential rather than political.

Production Values

This horror film, “” (2018) was directed by John Krasinski. Its screenplay was written by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. It stars Emily Blunt & John Krasinski as a married couple who in real life are also married to each other. Millicent Simmonds plays deaf daughter Regan. She is deaf in real life and adds a corresponding veri­simili­tude to the part. All the (silent) actors did well.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for terror and some bloody images. The music, what there was, enhanced the mood some­what and masked audience back­ground noises. When one is supposed to be immersed in a world of silence, it doesn't do to hear the whir of the luxury-loungers reminding us we're sitting safe in a theater.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This is one scary movie! I haven't seen monsters so ugly since I saw a picture of the giant grass­hopper in “National Enquirer” or a blowup of lice in “Scientific American.” Not for the faint of heart.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.