Opening 12 Apr 2018
The Abbott family lives on a farm in a quiet New York countryside. They are completely alone and isolated, because monsters have more or less extinguished all living beings. Lee (John Krasinski) and his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their children, Regen (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), have mastered the art of silence, which is the only way to remain hidden from the monsters, which cannot see, but have very sensitive hearing. The monsters, with huge, deep, wet, perked-up ears, roam the fields to pick up the smallest peep. The Abbotts walk barefoot everywhere and avoid sections of the house which might creak. They have underground rooms covered with thick padding, where they can cook and occasionally whisper. Otherwise, they communicate through sign language, something well-known to them as their daughter Regen was deaf and dumb from birth and wears a hearing aid. The family accepted silence the hard way: through the death of a third child. Now Evelyn is expecting a baby. How to give birth silently?
John Krasinski has directed, starred, and helped write an unusual movie, which demands steady concentration from the viewer (a young couple left after 30 minutes, obviously not their kind of film). I was so surprised to find myself literally watching a silent movie, similar to films from the early 1900s. The audience seemed to be afraid to breathe so as to prevent any kind of noise. As a result, a loud snarl from a monster literally pops you from your seat, it is so unexpected. The plot moves smoothly, showing interaction between family members, who face the same challenges which people in normal life would have: misunderstandings, expectations, hopes and love. For once, I could not predict the ending, but when it came, I was satisfied. See for yourself. All filmed in New York State. (Becky Tan)