A Quiet Place Blu-ray Review

‘A Quiet Place’ 4K Ultra HD Review: The Year’s Sleeper Horror Smash Proves Silence is Golden

July 16, 2018Ben MK

For years, actor John Krasinski was best known for his comedic role as Jim from The Office. But ever since he beefed up to play an elite soldier in Michael Bay's action-packed war film 13 Hours, it's been hard to look at him in the same light. Now, with his sophomore directorial feature, Krasinski proves that he can make a mean little horror film too.

In A Quiet Place, Krasinski stars alongside real-life wife Emily Blunt as Lee and Evelyn Abbott, parents to Regan (Wonderstruck's Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Suburbicon's Noah Jupe) and their youngest, Beau (Cade Woodward). By all accounts, the Abbotts are your typical American family. However, this is far from your typical America, but rather a place where vicious, feral creatures that hunt by sound are ready to pounce on them if they make the slightest noise. Hence, if the family wants to stay alive they must stay silent.

Scripted by Krasinski, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, A Quiet Place is short on plot and dialogue. But make no mistake, what it lacks in conventional narrative drive it more than makes up for with a nail-bitingly tense atmosphere and edge-of-your-seat suspense. There are a few jump scares scattered throughout the movie, but none of it feels like an attempt to coerce the audience with cheap scares. Instead, the film utilizes its central conceit with stunning effectiveness, bringing them to bear via a few brilliantly staged set-pieces, and the terror it inspires in viewers is genuine, even if the predators are for the most part realized with visual effects.

Clocking in at a brisk hour and a half (and that's factoring in the credits), the result doesn't overstay its welcome. However, with a cast as superb as this, one might not necessarily disapprove. In the end, though, it all boils down to the movie's execution, which is where A Quiet Place really shines.

By its very nature, A Quiet Place isn't the type of film you'd break out to show off your new 7.1 home theater setup. However, by no means does that imply that this Dolby Atmos sound mix isn't a stellar and effective one. That's especially true of the movie's latter portion, which ratchets up the tension thanks to composer Marco Beltrami's nail-biting score, which is bolstered by the otherworldly screeching and clicking noises made by the creatures. As for the 4K image quality on this release, it's definitely a step-up over its Blu-ray counterpart, with improved HDR color fidelity that makes itself apparent during the film's sparing daylight scenes, as well as an abundance of 2160p detail visible in the rustic setting and the creature effects.

Paramount's two-disc 4K Ultra HD release includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. There are no extras on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray:

  • Creating the Quiet - Behind the Scenes of A Quiet Place (14:45) - A look at the origins of A Quiet Place, finding the right location to shoot, how John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt became involved in the project, what Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe brought to the movie, and more.
  • The Sound of Darkness - Editing Sound for A Quiet Place (11:44) - The filmmakers, Supervising Sound Editors Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl and Co-Supervising Sound Editor Brandon Jones talk about creating the sound design for the film, from the "different shades of quiet" to the noises made by the alien creatures, as well as composer Marco Beltrami's score for the movie.
  • A Reason for Silence - The Visual Effects of A Quiet Place (7:33) - A look at the inspirations for the creatures' design and some of the visual effects involved in their creation.

A Quiet Place is available from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment as of July 10th, 2018. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 30 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this 4K Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on April 6th, 2018.

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