This sci-fi horror film starring, directed, and written by John Krasinski was, in my opinion, a fresh take on the classic alien-based thriller/horror. The film is centered on a family surviving in a world invaded by blind, alien creatures with hypersensitive hearing. Most of the human and animal populations have already been killed by these heavily armored monsters and the family has learned that the best way to survive is by making as little noise as possible. Already knowing American Sign Language due to the daughter being deaf, they communicate silently with each other and use a number of strategies to make their life silent. I personally found these strategies interesting. They marked the spots on their floorboards that don’t creek, they use large green leaves as plates, replace monopoly pieces with random soft objects, and so on. Krasinski highlights just how noisily we move through the world by showing the struggles the characters go through to remain silent. Without giving out too many spoilers, I thought the beginning of the film was sad, but honest and realistic of what could happen to a family in this world. While I enjoyed the novel idea of a movie where the characters aren’t able to speak out loud (besides a moment where the father shows the son a waterfall that deadens noise and allows them to speak), unfortunately I have a habit of finding plot holes in thriller movies. For example, how did they hand plant so much corn? Certainly a farming machine would be much too loud to use. Also, during the times when the monsters are within several feet of the characters, I would think that they would be able to hear heartbeats if they can hear things from so far away, but this didn’t seem to be the case. I had many questions about how this family actually functioned in a world where small sounds can get you killed instantly. Why not live by the waterfall or the river where the noise masks smaller sounds? What if you snore, or talk in your sleep? What if you sneeze? I’ll stop there, but you get the point. Most thrillers and horrors have plot holes. All in all, I thought the film was different than any other thriller/horror. I appreciated that the actress playing the deaf daughter is actually deaf in real life and I think it could possibly lead to more awareness or understanding of the deaf community. I felt that the concept and execution were fairly interesting.
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