After all the buzz surrounding it and a few recommendations from friends, I decided to see A Quiet Place in theaters. Being a horror fan, how could I not?
What A Quiet Place does well, it does very well. Tension draws out and there are genuine emotional scenes with real payoff, such as those moments when a character is finally, finally able to scream or even speak. However, I admit to being underwhelmed.
I am not saying this film was bad; far from it. I would rank it as above average for a mainstream Hollywood horror movie, which any horror fan will recognize as damning praise. From a technical filmmaking perspective, it was beautiful: John Krasinski, who stars and also directs, knows how to frame beautiful compositions, how to work with ambient lighting, how to film action so it’s exciting and tension so it’s heart-pumping, and how to draw evocative performances from his actors. The creatures look cool and their CGI is great.
As mentioned, the actors’ performances are strong, and there are several character moments that really resonate. Krasinski is great as a patient paternal figure, Emily Blunt is his tired, blonde, and eventually pregnant wife, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as the children work well together and the whole ensemble effectively portrays a nuclear family.
Most filmgoers and horror fans will enjoy the jump scares and leave the movie rattled, but I found myself frustrated by the end. There were a number of weaknesses that leapt out and jarred me right out of the narrative, and created what ultimately felt like a missed opportunity.
A more detailed unpacking appears below the cut. As always, there will be spoilers.
Game of Thrones is over (FOR TWO YEARS WHAT) but I am trying to get back to normal blogging. I had an expansive and interesting post kicking around the back of my mind for the past week but then #Irmageddon began edging over the horizon like a big brightly colored anal fissure and my life is hurricane preparedness now.
In honor of National Pets day, which was Tuesday, today’s post is about Herzog – Herzog the cat, not Herzog the German director known for probing the existential depths of the human soul. Although Werner Herzog is tops, too. After all, my cat is named after him.
This is Herzog.
Neutered male tabby, 15 lbs, about 40 inches long, age 8.
Long enough to stand on his back legs and pull things off table tops or the kitchen counter edge.
Very good health.
+5 Lung capacity for extended caterwauling sessions at 4 AM/PM.
+10 strength – can pull me while wearing his harness if I am on wheels.
Does tricks – Sit, Lie Down, Roll Over, and Up. Recognizes ‘Bedtime’ means it is time to go to bed, ‘Blender’ presages a loud sound such as a blender, garbage disposal or vacuum, and ‘Hop Up’ warns that I am about to get up and he must vacate my lap.
Will not perform ‘Speak’ on command; never shuts up otherwise.
Alternate names: Bubs, Bubbins, Mr. Mittens, Mr. Muffins, Mr. Meowsers, Fiddles, Cuddles, Cuddle-Bear, Snuggle-Bear, other nauseatingly cute things.
Anyway, I can’t help but writhe in frustration at the squandered opportunity here. I can’t help it! There was a fascinating movie in there someplace, and it got caught between the wheels of marketable, facile horror movie and slavish recreation of original.
October is Horror Movie month, where we let down our hair and celebrate all things macabre and scary! Not that we don’t during the rest of the year, but still… HORROR MOVIES! People who don’t like horror are encouraged to check back November 1st for less bloody and/or disturbing films. For everyone else, let’s put on our galoshes and WADE INTO THE MIRE!
Hello and welcome to Hell Is Other People* week here at Late to the Theater!This week’s selections are all about the biggest threat facing modern mankind –other people. All this week’s selections take place in Suburbia, and while they might feature supernatural flourishes, people tend to be the at the root of the problem. So throw some plastic flamingos on your lawn and turn up the music; we’re going to get a visit from the concerned people at our HOA**!
Note: Due to lack of planning on the author’s part, the role of Poltergeist will be played by the 2005 version of The Amityville Horror, for the following reasons:
Poltergeist isn’t on Netflix and I can’t afford to buy it/am too afraid to illegally download it
I watched TAH the other day and had Opinions
It fits into this week’s theme of Hell Is Other People
Some of these are things I can do something about. Some of them are things I must accept and deal with to the best of my ability. As anyone who has read Slaughterhouse-Five or been through recovery knows, the important thing is knowing the difference.
I had not intended these check-ins to become a regular feature, but life piles up and here we are.
Here is the Current State of Affairs in the Benevolent Dictatorship of Jennsylvania.
I have been writing almost 3k words a night for the last week, not including blog posts. I also have some places I want to send my fiction and nonfiction writing. I attended a cool spoken word performance Saturday night, am going to a writer’s group with friends Tuesday night, and to another writing group Wednesday night. Writing and I have our teeth in each other again, and neither is backing down.
I am working out with coworkers in the parking lot after work. I forgot my workout clothes but don’t care, I’ll do it barefoot in my work capris and blouse. We do calisthenics and kettlebells like the wild savages we are, and it’s AWESOME.
I am going out of town this weekend for my family reunion. I’ve made Herzog’s appointment to be boarded at the vet, and must remember to pack his favorite toys, something to snuggle, and a bag of spinach as a treat because he is a very strange cat.
I have to make something to take to the reunion, so I am making the Pioneer Woman’s Green Bean Casserole recipe. I made it a few years ago for the holidays and it was a big hit.
I have a new blue dress for the reunion and it is cute. I am excited.
Some fucko stole some personal information and tried to use to it to file a false tax return. This is coming JUST as I have paid off some major debts and a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. So help me, the light will not turn out to be the dumpster fire of some jackwad ruining my credit. NO SIR. I put fraud alerts on my accounts.
This might be the tip of an iceberg of a bigger problem. I am being VERY careful.
Because of a snafu with my insurance, I may have to find a new therapist. I go to a therapist once a month to check and make sure my head is staying on straight, and now I must either change after 3 years and get a referral, OR I could keep going to her and paying her whole fee out of pocket, which I can’t afford.
I have been loaned to another project at work, so I have two different projects to keep up with right now.
THREE separate friends are battling cancer in various forms. All I can do is be there for them, cook them healthful meals, and offer them rides and a shoulder when they need it, but what I wish most fervently is for cancer to magically take human form so I can take it apart with my bare hands. THE THINGS I WOULD DO TO IT.
The news is depressing as shit and I have all but given up on keeping up with it in depth, and just follow sound bites which is the worst way to follow news.
How We Do
Some of these are things I can do something about. Some of them are things I must accept and deal with, to the best of my ability. As anyone who has read Slaughterhouse-Five or been through recovery knows, the important thing is knowing the difference.
I am strong enough to weather the things I cannot change.
And as far as the things I CAN change…
… Around here, we take those problems One. Hit. At. A. Time.