Qt3 Movie Podcast: A Quiet Place


#1

This movie might be at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s only at 66.6% on this podcast.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2018/04/17/qt3-movie-podcast-a-quiet-place/

#2

I remember making a mental note early on that a Blunt subtitle spelled that bleh color of the English sky as “grey” confirming that she does in fact sign in her native tongue.

Or maybe I read wrong. Let me know!


#3

I for one would like to hear more of Tom’s thoughts on A Canticle For Leibowitz.


#4

The way Tom pronounced Bogota: Buh-GOAT-uh was my favorite part of the podcast.

I enjoyed the heck out of this movie. It doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny, and it could have been darker.

I greatly appreciated the silence, and the sheer dread of the pregnancy reveal, which I assumed was a death sentence for the family. It wasn’t brave enough to carry the movie where I’d have preferred it to go, but I still loved my time with it.


#5

I may end up in the same place, but I’m not sure I agree with Tom that it’s trying and failing to transcend the genre. My main issue with it, in fact, is that it doesn’t really try to do transcend the genre. It’s a solid creature feature, with a better than average premise, but nothing more. I’d never put it in the same category as It Follows, where the subtext is basically text. There’s no real subtext to A Quiet Place (only whiteboard text, heh).


#6

An Excellent opsis. I wonder if the DVD/Bluray will have a cut without soundtrack music. Except of course for Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.


#7

Also, to be boring, there wouldn’t be an accent on her sign language. ASL is completely different to BSL. Unless the movie was making a spectacularly strange choice, they would be signing in ASL.


#8

I really love that you bring this up, because I now remember reading that too and taking note of it mentally, while forgetting to write it down in my [very manly] journal [not a “diary” as Tom always calls it]. I’m not sure this qualifies as an accent, mainly because of the fact that I love spelling “grey” that way and I love the movie The Grey.

Also this.

Nevertheless I love that you brought this up.

-xtien

“It. Won’t. Work.”


#9

I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get your comment about Harvest Moon in there, especially since Tom [I think it was Tom] brought up something about Canada.

I’m so pleased you were instrumental in getting us to watch and review this movie. And I didn’t even think about it, but your idea about the DVD having a cut without soundtrack music is really cool. We should start a movement to make this happen. I’m not even joking.

-xtien

“It. Never. Works.”


#10

I didn’t see this movie because I’m not watching any of the movies these guys watch until they all watch Columbus, but I saw the trailers so I feel I basically saw the movie. I thought it was too quiet and the sound effects were too loud.

But seriously, Tom made a comment questioning the director having the monsters not be able to hear the baby noises when other sounds drown them out, and I think he made a similar comment about the director’s choices in another podcast that make me question what I know about directors, which is: don’t directors, like, direct? I thought the plot and dialogue and stuff were done by writers. Can the director just say, “I don’t like this part where Tom Cruise doesn’t kill Hitler. Let’s have him actually kill Hitler!”

j/k about the Columbus but not the other stuff


#11

These were exactly my thoughts on this film. It was a fun creature flick that was pretty by-the-numbers. The silence thing was the only real new-ish idea in that it gives phenomenal physical actors like Emily Blunt a chance to emote without resorting to words. I liked the pace, the constrained setting, and the resolutely focused narrative, but those are par-for-the-course for modern psyche-horror, and as Mr. Yellow says, It Follows, Green Room, The Babadook, The Witch, etc are just better films in nearly every way.


#12

If that’s the case, I like it even less.

To your point, you can tell the script was a bog standard creature feature. But if you listen to John Krasinski and Emily Blunt talk about it, they were obviously trying to do something with more heart, with more of a message, that was edifying in a way that creature features aren’t. They cared mostly about the message of family and sacrifice. I feel that attempt is obvious in the construction of the movie, with its focus on the family and with the time it takes to develop the characters, with the noble sacrifice moment played up some dramatically. I would also say the lack of information about the creatures seems to be a way to let them function more as a metaphor and less as a sci-fi fixture. These aren’t the usual trappings of a creature feature.

In other words, they intended an It Follows, Green Room, Babadook, or Witch. More precisely, an It Comes At Night. And I don’t think they got anywhere close because a) their template was a dumb story about CG monsters, and b) Krasinski isn’t that strong a storyteller.

But not for lack of effort! They wanted an existential apocalypse about communication and familial bonds. But they delivered screeching CG with rules that only applied as needed to tell the story of the family.

I’m not even sure what a canticle is. Isn’t it, like, a cup? So there’s a whole book about a thing that a famous celebrity photographer drinks out of?

What can I say? I’m very careful about enunciation. You’re welcome!

-Tom


#13

Tom, can you name films which depict this idea of a ‘social apocalypse’ (or an existential one, as you say)? I’m very curious about explorations of this idea, and how the end of humanity isn’t the same as the end of the world. Thanks.


#14

I was probably a little too cavalier rolling out that term, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to elaborate a bit. What I’m getting at is that some stories less concerned with the mechanics of the world ending (zombies! aliens! pandemic! a meteor the size of Texas!) and more concerned with examining the social and existential implications.

Kurosawa’s Pulse (Kairo, in Japanese) is my favorite example. It doesn’t really reveal its scope until well into the third act, but it’s definitely about an apocalypse. Don’t accidentally watch the dumb American remake unless it’s just for laughs.

It Comes At Night is another movie that’s less about what ended the world and more about how the survivors have to interact with each other. It has a lot in common with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. These are stories that examine the social and existential implications of the world ending, with almost zero concern for the actual mechanics. They’re both powerful vehicles to examine the pain, risk, and sacrifice involved in familial love. I would also put Take Shelter in this category, although it’s a very subjective/personal apocalypse because it’s a story about mental health. But to Michael Shannon’s character, it’s definitely an apocalypse and director/writer Jeff Nichols doesn’t pull any punches to show this.

The Survivalist plays with gender roles after the collapse of civilization, examining the idea of who has what kind of power. Children of Men has some of this by suggesting the world has ended when pregnancy ends, but it’s not a gender-based story as much as a story about parenthood and Clive Owen recovering his role as a father. But it’s definitely a sort of apocalypse.

The Happening, as dumb as the execution is, is pretty cool in theory. Plants release a fatal chemical when too many people gather, so humanity has to spread out and live apart. Basically, an apocalypse of isolation, which you see in a lot of pandemic movies. I love Carriers, by Spanish brothers Alex and David Pastor, which you might also put in this category, although it’s also got a lot of procedural thriller stuff about avoiding infection. However, they also made a Spanish language movie called The Last Days which isn’t very good, but it presents the, uh, interesting idea of an agoraphobia apocalypse. They might be trying to get at some sort of existential statement with that one, but if so, it was lost on me.

I think Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump’s High-Rise sort of fits the social apocalypse concept, even though it’s mostly satire that puts everything into the microcosm of an apartment building. But you can also think of it as an existential apocalypse for Hiddleston’s character as he goes from the epitome of the civilized (and British, of course) man to a forlorn and bewildered savage. That might be a bit of a stretch, but I like High-Rise best as a parable about the collapse of the wider world.

Those are some examples. I’m probably missing others.

-Tom


#15

Wait a minute…

Bold, Chick.


#16

Gotcha! Who knew there’s more than one director named Kurosawa? The other Kiyoshi Kurosawa movie I’ve seen is something from last year called Daguerreotype. It has points of commonality with Pulse, but it’s mostly a tame Victorian ghost story.

-Tom


#17

Well, I know what I’m doing this weekend. Thanks!


#18

Can I add a movie here to your comment? Z is for Zachariah. A movie that quickly moves past what happened, but focuses on what is going on in the very small setting where the bulk of the movie takes place.

A Quiet Place struck me more as a horror thriller, despite the setting, full of the requisite creatures, jump scares, dread, etc.


#19

Dammit, how could I miss that one! It’s easily one of my favorites. Can love exist without jealousy and insecurity – and even worse? – at the end of the world. It’s almost an apocalyptic Othello.

-Tom


#20

I would add that Aussie apocalypse movie @ChristienMurawski likes so much, The Quiet Earth, about what happens when you suddenly aren’t the last man on Earth, and the Argentinian Phase 7, about keeping your family secure when society is just beginning to break down.