If I could go back in time I would have never watched a single trailer for A Quiet Place. If you have somehow avoided the trailers, I highly suggest you stop everything you’re doing and see this film now. Spoilers for this review: A Quiet Place earns my highest recommendation, stop reading and just go see it.
That said, my enjoyment of the film is permanently colored by an aggressive trailer that surely sold millions of tickets, but spoils far too much of an elegant, brisk, 90-minute horror masterpiece.
A Quiet Place tells the story of a family trying to survive a deadly creature that hunts based entirely on sound. Much of the world-building and attention-to-detail is shown in the trailers. We see how this family lives day-to-day in this new world. We see many of the precautions they take, and we are even shown several instances where those precautions fail them. Not only do the trailers lay out the film’s first hour or so, they show a lot of the small touches that make A Quiet Place so good.
My experience feels forever tarnished by cowardly marketing. And yet, the performances and execution shine through. Trailers can’t spoil pacing, nor can they spoil all the clever ways that this film builds tension. This is traditional horror at its best, playing on common fears rather than trying to be overly flashy or gross. Think M. Night Shyamalan at his best. I got some serious Signs vibes from A Quiet Place.
A big part of what made the trailer situation so frustrating is also one of the film’s strengths — it doesn’t tell you more than absolutely necessary. This is a microscopic view on a worldwide crisis, and it gives you enough to chew on without over-explaining. A Quiet Place never compromises its scope or focus, avoiding the explosive finale that drags out many lesser films.
When the credits rolled, I was caught off-guard. I would have happily watched another hour if it were there. But the fact that it wasn’t there was assuredly a strength. A Quiet Place says everything it needs to say with as few words as possible. It’s as if writer, director, and star John Krasinski himself was under the threat of a deadly creature that hunts with the sounds of too much exposition.
But then there’s those trailers again. Often when a trailer seems like it shows too much, those scenes are all from the first hour, with another hour of surprises in store. Here, once that first hour is over, we’re already racing towards a finale. I may never reconcile my true feelings about this film with how much the trailers compromised them, but I can guarantee I’m 100% there for whatever Krasinski makes next.