A Quiet Place’ speaks volumes in theaters

Millicent Simmonds in A QUIET PLACE, from Paramount Pictures.

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Sound is part of our everyday lives, and it’s all around us, but in John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” staying silent means the difference between survival and certain death.

   The film made me think of the quiet game my mom would have my brother and I play when she wanted us to be quiet. We couldn’t make a sound other than our own breathing, and whomever made a noise first would lose.

I thought of this game because the Abbot family must do everything silently. They can’t afford to make any sounds louder than a whisper because creatures, which hunt by sound, will attack them if they do.

It is an interesting concept because I thought about how we take sound for granted. We associate so many things with sound. We communicate through speech, through music and everything we do makes some sort of noise.

The Abbots are forced to put all of that aside because their very survival depends on them being as silent as possible.

This causes some very tense situations in the film, which I thought made the film suspenseful in a very Hitchcockian way, in that I heard people gasp during a scene where a lantern accidentally gets knocked over. It was that “Uh oh, something is going to get them” sort of feeling.

The aspect of the film that was most intriguing is Regan Abbot is deaf, to the point that she cannot hear any sound at all and doesn’t comprehend the fact that every movement she makes produces sound.

I realized how significant this was in a scene where the teenager is arguing with her father using sign language and she says, “I don’t make noise.”

Regan’s handicap made her a danger to the entire family because she could knock something over, attracting the attention of the deadly creatures lurking about and never know it.

That knowledge, as terrible as it is, made me feel the suspense even more. I think that was the intention of the story in order to add another level of tension within the film and not to convey an idea that deaf individuals are a danger to themselves and everyone else.

The filmmakers took care to show that even though this character is handicapped, she is very capable and is even depended upon by her parents to help around the house.    They also did something I thought ingenious. In some scenes with just Regan, they made all of the ambient sound go away. 

It gave insight into how she perceives the world around her — a world without sound, making her the antithesis to the creatures who only perceive sound and touch because they are blind.

I enjoyed “A Quite Place” because it is much more than a suspense thriller. It is a film that gives the audience an idea of how the world works when you can’t talk and where sound is not the blessing we all take it for, bringing to light the amazing capacity deaf individuals have to survive in a world congested with noise.