Ever wanted to take your older kids to a horror movie? Probably not, considering the typical inappropriate content. But A Quiet Place is a totally different kind of horror movie, one that’s actually filled with positive themes. Here’s our review for Catholic families.
by Adrienne Thorne
I have no fondness for horror. Sure, I liked Stranger Things, but I can’t really think of another horror film/show I’ve even watched — except for the terrible movie Disturbia starring a young Shia LaBeouf (eek!). That’s about the extent of my horror viewing.
It’s not that I so strongly dislike being scared. I’m just not that interested in it as a genre. There are a lot more entertaining things out there.
Except for A Quiet Place. Because, horror movie or not, it is all-around fantastic.
A Lot More than a Horror Movie
This is a post-apocalyptic story about a family who is trying to survive in a world inhabited by brutal monsters that hunt only by sound. And even the smallest noise will bring these monsters and their frightening teeth coming.
But it’s a lot more than that. If this were the same premise except with a group of friends or of random strangers, the movie would be a total nothing, in my opinion. But instead, it’s a beautiful story of familial love, sacrifice and fighting for one another.
Early on, the family experiences a tragedy. Considering that they can’t even talk to one another — they do communicate with subtitled sign language a bit — it’s no wonder that they haven’t had a chance to really grieve properly with one another and express their anger, guilt, pain, etc. So while they’re out and about fighting for their lives against these hideous things, there’s some subtle family drama involved as well.
High Points — Hold Tight, There Are a Lot of Them …
- Marriage is portrayed very positively. Interestingly enough, the male and female costars John Kraskinski (Jim from The Office — he directs it too. And I have a feeling he won’t be known as only “Jim from The Office” much longer …) and Emily Blunt are actually married in real life. It’s part of the reason I wanted to see this movie so badly, because I’m a sucker for any married famous couples who give being married a good name. And well, these two certainly fit the bill, on and off the screen. If you look up interviews or commentaries from John Kraskinski, you’ll find some super sweet comments from him about his wife, how great he thinks she is, and how lucky he feels to be married to her.
- A subtle, sweet father-daughter story. The conflict between the dad played by Kraskinski and his young teenage daughter isn’t really the overarching story of the whole film, but it’s very essential to the plot. And I think it is quite excellent. The angst between them is sharp but never overly done or silly.
- The tension. Again, I’m no horror expert. But I definitely almost screamed a couple times. Almost, because it felt wrong to make noise, as we watched these characters tiptoeing around for their lives. And the whole theater did seem unnaturally quiet, so it totally wasn’t just me.
- These people are so fierce. Seriously. Emily Blunt’s character is pregnant, very pregnant. As a woman who has had two unmedicated births myself, I can’t imagine going through labor in silence. Youch. But they’ve got it all figured out, how to make it possible to bring another baby into the world in these terrible circumstances.
And the extreme preparations they have to go through to ensure a crying baby’s noise won’t equal death are super pro-life. I mean, it totally could have had an abortion element instead because, whoa, super hard things! But no, sacrificial love wins out in this story.
But it’s not just the pregnancy/birth plot element and all they have to do for this baby that makes them so intensely strong. They love each other fiercely, and they fight like mad to protect each other. Coming out of this movie, I felt so inspired. I felt like, monsters aside, that is a family I want to be like. Can we all just be that fierce against the things that want to destroy us, please?
I legitimately just had to look up what the rating was. My husband and I weren’t sure, even as we left the theater (a rare oversight on our part). We were talking about it, wondering. Because there was obviously no foul language (almost no words, so …). There was no sex — the only romance at all was a really sweet scene where husband and wife are dancing kind of sadly but lovingly to music on ear buds. So all that was left was the horror and violence.
The horror and violence are a little intense a couple times. But not excessively bloody gruesome. There is one scene near the beginning that’s a little hard to stomach, but its PG-13 rating feels pretty sound.
If I had old enough kids that wouldn’t have nightmares, I would definitely show it to them. But it is pretty scary. So definitely use discretion with your kids depending on their age and maturity.
See This Movie!
It’s not that often a movie comes out in theaters that feels like it was really and truly worth the price of a ticket, rather than waiting several months to pay $1.50 for a Redbox rental. This movie is an exception to that. No buyer’s remorse here.
And honestly, considering the fact that Hollywood revolves around how much money a movie makes, this is one we should totally support. It was brilliantly well-made but also had a lot of exceptional values in it. Even a couple days after seeing it, I’m still wowed.
Want more info? Here’s the Catholic News Service Review on it, the Common Sense Media Review, and Bishop Robert Barron’s Review (his is amazing but it does have spoilers, so don’t read it until you’ve seen the movie!)
Adrienne Thorne blogs at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic’s Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.