I have been watching reruns of The Office lately. The American version. So, when I saw that John Krasinski is going to star in an upcoming film with his real-life partner and incredible actor ‘Emily Blunt’, I made up my mind that I had to see this film. I generally don’t watch Scary Films, but then I knew this was more of a creature feature and not really a supernatural horror. And I am glad I watched it.
It’s quite unlike anything you have seen at the movies. It’s a really quiet film, which is different from a silent film - because Silent Films are not quiet, as they have a lot of Background Music. This has no dialogues, no music and just a barely audible sound design. And everyone has to watch quietly. Even having popcorn might land you in trouble coz people around you might get pissed by the constant crunching sound!
The plot is simple. A Family is stuck in a post-apocalyptic world where Aliens have taken over. These creatures are blind, but they have an extremely keen sense of hearing. As soon as they hear a pin drop, they attack and kill. So, this family has to live extremely quietly. The rule is simple - if you stay silent, you stay safe. But then the wife gets pregnant. And you can’t keep a baby quiet, can you! And that is when things get really tricky.
In terms of horror, it’s all about the build up here. The film starts slow, but when it gets into a higher gear there are no brakes till the very end. The screenplay is brilliant and there is always a lingering sense of doom. You just know something might go wrong and a character might die. What gets your goat is the brilliant sound design and the stellar cinematography. Ofcourse, the Indian movie theaters completely ruin the build up with an ill-placed interval. Just when things start getting warmer, they spoil it. Anyway, even if the presentation is a downer, the film triumphs.
Is it scary? Well, if you go to watch this film expecting a horror, it will disappoint you. But if you go to watch a really thrilling drama, you will be more than satisfied. It’s a human tale about a family trying to survive against the odds. It touches you more that it scares you. The opening 20 minutes sets it up brilliantly and you start caring for the family. And that is its greatest strength. Now, you don’t want things to go wrong. A small misstep and you are wondering who will die. But you don’t want them to, coz you are emotionally invested in them.
Kudos to Krasinski for writing the screenplay and directing this gem of a film. He’s the last person you would expect to make such a film, but he does a stellar job. In terms of the performances, the kids and Krasinski are competent but Emily Blunt really powers the film with her amazing range.
After a long time it is a film I want to go watch again at the theaters. Because I want to notice the little things that the film does to keep one emotionally invested. It does have a few clichéd scares, but then most of the scares come from the cares! So buy a ticket right away and go to the cinema today. But remember, in the theater – just shut up and watch!