A Quiet Place 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
It takes a lot for me to show any interest in a horror movie. I know slasher and torture films have their fans, but they’re not for me. For a horror film to work, it first has to have an incredible and original premise and then it has to be executed to near perfection. I wouldn’t have thought that John Krasinski was the guy to pull it off, but he’s crafted a very intelligent, intense and immersive horror film with A QUIET PLACE.
The setup for A QUIET PLACE is simple; the film follows the Abbott family living in a world where humans are hunted by blind monsters that attack the slightest sound. So Lee (Krasinski), his wife Evelyn (Blunt) and their three kids have learned how to cope in a world without sound. The basic premise has set up a situation where the director can make the audience gasp by threatening the slightest sound. It’s not only a great premise, but it’s a field day for a talented director and for the most part, Krasinski delivers.
It’s surprising how much the audience cares for the Abbott family despite knowing very little about them or who they are. We really don’t even understand the world they’re living in or the rules that govern it, only that there are monsters that hunt based on sound. The opening scene sets all of that up, but as the film progresses and especially when we learn that Evelyn is pregnant, we develop a connection to them and we desperately care about what happens to them. The mistake that the characters make in the first scene is still fresh in our mind, but it only adds to the emotional connection the audience has with the Abbotts.
A lesser director would have relied heavily on the false scare tactic, especially in a world where any sound could lead to monsters appearing, but thankfully Kraskinski avoids that trap and stays true to the “sound equals monsters” rule he established early on. There are hand prints in my seat from me gripping the sides for nearly an hour as the final act plays out. The film somehow manages to give the audience what they want (monsters) while making it heartfelt and original at the same time. That’s a rare feat, especially for a PG-13 horror film.
I only have two minor complaints with A QUIET PLACE and they really are minor. The first is with the opening scene, which they tried to fix later in the film but it still sticks out as a problem. The issue is that I don’t think any parent would exit a store before their infant son, even in a deserted world. This is minor, but the youngest son ending up with that toy was the launching point for virtually everything else in the film. I just didn’t like how it happened and felt like the parents had to make an obvious judgment error in order for it to transpire. The kid could have ended up with the toy without the parents making the mistake, but again, this is a minor point. The other issue is actually a credit to the film in that I wanted more. At 90 minutes long, I would have liked to have an extra 15 minutes or so just learning about the Abbott family and the world they were living in.
Despite some nitpicking, A QUIET PLACE is a great horror film but maybe a better family action/drama story. It’s a rare blend of emotions and scares that Krasinski pulls off wonderfully. I know horror films immediately get sequels, but I feel this one ended perfectly and I hate the idea of a sequel ruining the brief peak into this terrifying world. But if Krasinski is directing, I won’t be able to resist giving it a shot.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: The 4K presentation for A QUIET PLACE is only moderately better than the Blu-ray. This just isn’t the kind of movie that relies heavily on visuals as most of the film takes place either at night or in heavy overcast skies. There are things that stick out on the UHD that show off the detail a little more, such as the bright red lights contrasting with the dark background and the sun shining on Evelyn’s face while she’s hanging up clothes. This is a nice looking 4K, but it’s only a slight upgrade over the Blu-ray.
Audio: One of the great things about A QUIET PLACE is that every sound means something. The audio track is efficient, but the scene that had me wowed occurred towards the end as Evelyn is standing under running water. I actually looked up, momentarily thinking water was running down my wall.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does come with a Blu-ray of the film, which has the following special features:
Featruettes: I was really hoping for a commentary from John Krasinski, but instead we get three featurettes. The first is a broad making-of featurette and the other two focus on sound and visuals. They’re okay as far as featurettes go, but I feel like there was a lot more to learn about this film than what was included here.