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Review Roundup: John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place a Horror Masterpiece

When John Krasinki’s A Quiet Place opened SXSW this year, the horror-loving Austin crowd showered it with affection. SlashFilm’s Angie Han tweeted that the film was “INCREDIBLY effective: my hands hurt from clenching my fists this whole time. So tense people were actually screaming.” Jamie Broadnax, the founder of Black Girl Nerds, also took to Twitter to say that the film “had me jerking in my seat throughout the whole movie.” By the time we posted this story about the film’s final trailer, the review embargo had been lifted and critics were able to weigh in, and their opinions have been almost unanimous—A Quiet Place is the first must-see horror film of the year.

First, a brief breakdown. A Quiet Place was written by Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck, and stars Krasinski and the great Emily Blunt (his wife in real life) as a married couple with kids, living in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are terrorized by monsters who hunt by sound alone. Krasinski’s writing and directing are getting major kudos, as is Emily Blunt’s performance—multiple reviews point out how good of a silent actress she would make. Praise for A Quiet Place is just about as universal as it can get: It currently holds a 99% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. Here’s a quick spoiler-free tour of what some of the critics are saying:

The New York Times Jeannette Castoulis: “In its convincing portrayal of a situation where a rusty nail is as lethal as an unexploded bomb, and the few remaining inhabitants seem – much like the audience – more likely to die of stress than anything else, the movie rocks.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt: “When A Quiet Place has one finger on the panic button and the other on mute, it’s a nervy, terrifying thrill.”

The AP’s Jocelyn Noveck: “It is smart, it moves fast, it has a hugely satisfying ending — and it deserves to attract a much broader audience than the usual horror film devotees.”

Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers: “Director-star Krasinski creates a new horror classic about a family that can only stay alive if no one makes a sound. Emily Blunt delivers a tour de force of silent emotion as approaching monsters fry your nerves to a frazzle.”

A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd: “At just 90 minutes, A Quiet Place is brisk, but it’s also patient; this is one of those monster movies that builds tension from the absence of the monster…”

Is your interest piqued yet? A Quiet Place opens on April 6.

Emily Blunt plays Evelyn Abbott in A QUIET PLACE, from Paramount Pictures.

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