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A Quiet Place

“You think I’m dying, but I’m laughing at you”

If their remains any doubt that critics are incompetent or colluding with producers and the audience is preconditioned to enter the theatre in a state of brain death, the doubt is over. A Quiet Place is a middle school production during the silent era with the level of writing that even in the most generous rooms should beget calls for laughter. And I have no qualms spoiling this already spoiled product because the idea of inflating its quality and thereby conning the audience into paying to watch this travesty is disgraceful.

Let me name the ways this 90-minute clown show goes wrong despite its setting a clear basis for the characters knowledge that survival is key.

FIRST, if you need to stay quiet, don’t leave your child with the opportunity to play with a loud toy when he’s already proven irresponsible. The fact the film would later pretend it’s no one’s fault that the child got massacred is absurd.

How about, if you need to stay quiet, don’t impregnate your wife and then leave her close to the time of deliver to gather some fish, I don’t care how much you need some genuine father-son team building. Good to know that leaving the women to take care of the home while the men go gather is still a concept Hollywood embraces.  Somehow, after having three children, the idea that babies are loud remains a foreign concept. Or perhaps this goes to the essence of our political culture that the idea of demanding sexual continence is an anathema, even when it leads to death? Survivalists hone their skills for survival, they don’t become idiots even in the heated exchange that a game of monopoly understandably brings.

Or how about those children, who are supposedly trained to stay their position and for some reason decide that they couldn’t wait for their father to find them even when a flashlight would have done the job perfectly well.

Or how about that Titanic homage where the deaf child tries to save her young brother and in the process happens to forget to hold on for safety.

Or how about the fact that these Starship Trooper-looking creatures have a supernatural ability to find their prey despite being blind and despite the absence of sound that would otherwise guide them.

Or how about the useless introduction of sacrificial neighbors who serve absolutely no purpose. Or the “sound proof” basement made by covering a hole with a mattress, meanwhile providing holes for rushing water and the magical welcome of the monsters who just happen to have an uncanny weakness for hearing a baby crying.

Or how about the fact that the film has no back story or a real ending that makes the finale of I Am Legend feel like Apocalypse Now. Even the plot of It Comes at Night manages to do a better job developing the semblance of a narrative. It is beyond lazy that the THREE writers put out this product in its current form and the critics embraced its defects in what could only be explained by a spell of group hallucination. The fact that some like Justin Chang (L.A. Times) would dare to speak of Kransinki in the same sentence as Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” and “Jaws”-era Steven Spielberg is grounds for termination. Where Ann Hornaday (Washington Post) may think A Quiet Place, “like the best movies . . . teaches the audience how to watch it within the first 10 minutes;” for me, it made me appreciate MoviePass all the more because I could walk out of the theatre with zero regrets. Then there’s Peter Travers (Rolling Stones) who blows another review.

If people question why cults gain a following, ask yourself how this film tricked so-called professional critics to give it an average rating (8.3) above much better suspense thrillers like Cabin In the Woods (7.8), It Follows (8.1), and 28 Days Later (7.4). The fact that the writers came up with this plot and the critics (every single top critic on RT) have swallowed it whole makes me question who is responsible for bribing these Hollywood Canaanite women? (I know, I know: even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.)

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I don’t know enough about the inside train that helps explain the superficial inflation of a defective product such as this, but it’s exactly what you’d expect with a film connected to Michael Bay. It is a waste of your money and a waste of your time, especially in the modern day movie going experience where people can’t turn off their phones for one hour.

Since I can’t stomach reciting anymore of those critics who flocked in sycophantic adulation, I will only thank those few critics who got it right and mention a few of their more keen observations.

Thank you K. Austin Collins (The Ringer):

Ditto to a guffaw-worthy magical childbirth, and especially to the makeshift, soundproof crib devised for that occasion, which made me squeal at its inventive ridiculousness. When a rusty nail sprang out of nowhere to ruin everyone’s day, I went catatonic.

Thank you Damien Straker (Impulse Gamer):

As it stands, the film is muted in form but also in its depth compared to progressive and subversive horror stories from various mediums.

Thank you Chuck Koplinski (Illinois Times):

Take into account one too many decisions that have you questioning the intelligence of all concerned and the film finally stretches its logic to the breaking point.

Thank you (again) Kyle Smith (National Review):

You would think . . . that after more than a year of evading the monsters . . . the couple would have figured out how to completely soundproof their house, but they haven’t.

Thank you Christopher Llewellyn Reed (Film Festival Today):

Unfortunately, the entire affair is compromised by a flawed script (on which Krasinski collaborated) that never does the hard work of world-building that would make its premise effective; said screenplay needed a good many more drafts to iron out the improbabilities.

Thank you James Verniere (Boston Herald)

I preferred Mel Gibson’s nutcase ex-reverend in “Signs” to these bland people, tell you the truth. I also kept wondering why the Abbotts hadn’t seen “The Walking Dead” and learned a few lessons from it.

So far [184 reviews],  that is it….

John Lithgow once said: “I’m a con artist in that I’m an actor. I make people believe something is real when they know perfectly well it isn’t.” In A Quiet Place, Jim Halpert made critics believe in the quality of his product when they should know perfectly well that it’s rubbish. This is a textbook example of ageusia, perhaps indicative that the movie review industry is aging and needs to find its own quiet place to perform a ritual suicide.


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