A Quiet Place: Making Noise In a Time of Silence
One of my colleagues strongly encouraged me to watch a new movie that hit the theaters early April starring a couple of my favorite actors from two great movies. Emily Blunt, who starred in Sicario, and John Krasinski, who starred in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (two movies I highly recommend watching). I booked my tickets the first opportunity I got when I learned Krasinski, who also starred in The Office, directed the film and Michael Bay was involved in its production.
Although the genre is listed as a thriller, in my mind, that’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away from being a horror film. Being the man-child that I am, I was sure to bring someone with me so I wouldn’t have to be petrified alone. I had no idea what to expect from the movie, but by the time it was over I was dumbfounded at the riveting plot, white-knuckle suspense, and poignant parallels to our current societal state.
I’ll start out by giving a summary of the plot without completely spoiling the movie for you. I need to do this in order to draw the parallels that were screaming at me throughout the film. If you would rather experience the movie for yourself first, feel free to stop reading now and continue once you’ve seen it. Just don’t forget to come back!
At the center of this movie is a family that has been placed in an apocalyptic scenario where their sole objective is to survive. It may seem generic, but, believe me *Trump voice*, this film is far from it. It becomes clear very early in the film what this family is up against. You hastily become aware of the consequences of not being in a continuous state of hyper-vigilance and, most importantly, not operating in complete silence.
Despite popular belief, the quality of a movie weighs heavily on the excellence of the antagonist. Think of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. The depth of Joker’s wickedness, insanity, and desire only to see the world burn is what made Batman such an incredible hero. When the antagonist is sophisticated and the protagonist has much to lose, the viewer connects with the film on a deeper level. This theory rings ever true in A Quiet Place. The antagonists are vicious, otherworldly creatures who hunt prey that make even the slightest noise. This is extremely frightening when we pause to consider how much noise we effortlessly make on a daily basis. The family learns to cope with these extremely oppressive living conditions only because it is the difference between life and death. To survive they had to communicate without speaking. They abandoned the use of shoes because of the loud noises they make in forestry and gravel. They utilize sand to make paths to areas they would frequent for medical supplies, food, etc-- such as a small town and various locations around their home.
In our current social and political climate, we are being programmed to believe that being silent on certain issues equates to survival. If you make too much noise like Diamond and Silk, Candace Owens, or any proponent of free speech and thought, the ideological predators, also known as the Thought Police, move quickly to discredit your cause and hush your voice by way of demonetizing or shadow-banning. If, like Kanye West, you refuse to quietly stay on the path of sand established by mainstream thought, certain death in the form of boycotts, character assassination, and smear campaigns are a guarantee. The CEO’s of Facebook, Google, and those who hold a mega-monopoly on mass-media and online social interaction lay dormant in the darkness with their ears eagerly engorged awaiting any who choose to stand and challenge the status quo.
In a time where silence means survival-- where we are required to tip-toe through discourse on social issues-- I choose to cry out defiantly in the face of the ideological predators. I will boldly face their feigned ferocity with one powerful weapon: My voice.