Critics were anything but silent
Credit: Paramount Pictures

It looks like third time’s the charm for John Krasinski‘s filmmaking career. Following his behind-the-camera work for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and The Hollars, an audience gathered for the SXSW debut for his A Quiet Place on Friday night — and they were anything but silent.

Critics in attendance for the Austin, Texas-based film festival called Krasinski’s third feature film “a tight thrill ride,” “a kick-ass horror flick,” a “crowdpleaser,” and a “technically sleek” and “terrifying thriller.”

“By the time the credits rolled, my hands hurt from clenching them so tightly,” Mashable‘s Angie Han writes.

A Quiet Place first caught the attention of movie lovers with intriguing, voiceless trailers. The film, based on a story by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, sees a man (Krasinski) and wife (Krasinski’s real-life wife, Emily Blunt) raising their children in quiet solitude. The path into town is cover with sand, their Monopoly pieces are replaced with softer items, and they communicate in sign language. Any sound they make risks drawing the attention of the hideous monstrosities lurking in the woods.

Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck) and Noah Jupe (Suburbicon) also star in the film.

Critics have already begun publishing the first round of reviews on A Quiet Place, which will open in theaters on April 6.

Owen Glieberman (Variety)
A Quiet Place is a tautly original genre-bending exercise, technically sleek and accomplished, with some vivid, scary moments, though it’s a little too in love with the stoned logic of its own premise. The film generates a free-floating dread out of the fact that almost every sound a character makes is potentially deadly. The more you look at it, though, the more you see that A Quiet Place is at once catchy and contrived, ingenious and arbitrary. … Yet sometimes, getting on the clever/whatever wavelength of a horror film and just rolling with can be a part of the fun. A Quiet Place is that kind of movie.”

John DeFore (The Hollywood Reporter)
“A terrifying thriller with a surprisingly warm heart, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is a monster-movie allegory for parenting in a world gone very, very wrong. A couple with kids in real life, Krasinski and Emily Blunt here play parents in a world where even the slightest noise can lead to sudden, violent death: Training their children to be self-sufficient without making a sound is as unique a challenge as, well, let’s not waste the time explaining what in 2018 America might feel like a plague of revolting, apocalypse-creating monsters, because even moviegoers who don’t accept the metaphor are going to have the pants scared off them. Third time’s the charm for Krasinski in the director’s chair, as commercial success is all but guaranteed.”

Joanna Robinson (Vanity Fair)
“The success of the film hinges almost entirely on the way in which real-life couple and parents Blunt and Krasinski poured their fears about raising children into their performances here. As is the case with most successful, spare horror films of late, A Quiet Place has much more to say about its humans than its monsters and is especially invested in the ways families fail to communicate even their most basic needs to each other.”

Angie Han (Mashable)
“It’s not easy to make an entire room full of movie fans scream in terror. But John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place did just that Friday, thrilling the SXSW crowd with impeccably crafted scares, surprisingly effective drama, and one hell of a satisfying ending. By the time the credits rolled, my hands hurt from clenching them so tightly. I let out a long breath I didn’t know I’d been holding. And then I felt compelled to applaud, loudly, at what I’d just seen. Judging by the dazed looks on the faces of the critics around me, I wasn’t the only one. This is that kind of movie.”

Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
“For Krasinski, A Quiet Place marks a welcome step away from his other work, both as actor and filmmaker. His talky adaptation of Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and mundane family drama The Hollars fell short of indicating the markings of a sophisticated filmmaker. Now, Krasinski has found the ideal material for a total reboot, delivering a crowdpleaser where the scares come not with a bang but whispers and silence. In a chaotic information age, it’s liberating to become immersed in a movie where noise can kill you.”

Brian Tallerico (
“John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place is a nerve-shredder. It’s a movie designed to make you an active participant in a game of tension, not just a passive observer in an unfolding horror. Most of the great horror movies are so because we become actively invested in the fate of the characters and involved in the cinematic exercise playing out before us. It is a tight thrill ride—the kind of movie that quickens the heart rate and plays with the expectations of the audience, while never treating them like idiots. In other words, it’s a really good horror movie.”

Meredith Borders (/Film)
“Krasinki plays with tension in relentless waves, these cycles of fear and release, fear and release. So many of these recent contained horror films are all build-up and no pay-off, and A Quiet Place pays off again and again, with remarkable set pieces and long, unflinching looks at these arachnid beasts, their leathery, complicated physiques, endless caverns of teeth and giant, ghastly ears. The score is plaintive and mostly sparing, until the moments that our heroes are face to face with these horrifying creatures, and then it’s almost louder than we can stand.”

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