Noise-intolerant neighbors are taken to all new levels in A Quiet Place, a new horror film from director John Krasinski. Krasinski also stars as Lee, a father trying to protect his family in a post-apocalyptic world besieged by horrific aliens who will tear you apart if you make so much as a peep. The aliens are blind, so they hunt by sound. Not, say, the sound of a river running or a bird chirping, but sounds that are more “interruptive,” like fireworks, a person screaming after stepping on a nail, or really loud farts. The gimmick lends itself to some faulty logic at times, but it does provide an overall interesting premise: Speak audibly in relatively quiet surroundings, and you will get your head bitten off. It’s like everyday life is a hellish library where the penalty for gabbing or dropping something is death. Krasinski’s film gives you no real back story about the aliens. A few glimpses of newspaper front pages let you know that the world has been wiped out by the species. One look at them—they are a cross between Ridley Scott’s Alien and the Cloverfield monster—and you know that just a few days with these things running around would decimate the world population. Blunt gives the film’s standout performance as somebody forced to keep quiet after not only a painful injury but, on top of that, having to give birth in a bathtub while an alien clicks and claws nearby. It’s scenes like this, and one involving a crying baby in a flooded basement, that give Blunt a chance to call upon a myriad of facial expressions that will chill your blood. The film declares Krasinski as a director of true ingenuity. He’s done well with family drama before (2016’s The Hollars), but this one takes his directorial value into the stratosphere.

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