Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Film Review

The second outing of the revamped: ‘Planet of the Apes’ series and in my opinion, the best of the most-recent trilogy. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ takes-place a decade after the previous film, now taking the story into an apocalyptic world where humans and intelligent apes co-exist. Featuring another spectacular performance from Andy Serkis as ‘Caesar’ as well as a much larger role for the vicious ape: ‘Koba’ this time around (now portrayed by Toby Kebbell), this thrilling and propulsive sci-fi blockbuster is sure to keep most viewers gripped to the screen.

Plot Summary: Many years after ‘Caesar’s escape from captivity and the outbreak of: ‘Simian Flu’ that followed, the clan of intelligent apes and chimps now resident within the Muir Woods just outside a derelict San Francisco. Living a peaceful existence amongst themselves until a group of human survivors journey into their territory in order to find a solution to their colony’s lack of power, soon leading both sides to consider the possibility of war.

Now giving directorial control over to Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), Reeves would write/direct both this film and the following entry in the series: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’, allowing Reeves to really give a sense of continuity within the story and style (not to say the sequel doesn’t retain continuity from the first film). Yet what makes this sequel stand-out when placed against the first entry in the trilogy is its narrative focus, as ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ continuously builds tension throughout its runtime, with much of the film leaning on the two species as they balance on the brink of a war that could desolate both parties.

Andy Serkis leads the motion-capture cast of apes once again as ‘Caesar‘, developing his character even further after the first film as ‘Caesar‘ now cares for the clan of apes alongside his newly-found family, and just like the first film, Serkis once again manages to make an animalistic ape a far more interesting and likeable character than would initially seem possible. Its the criminally underrated actor Toby Kebbell who shines most within the film however, as the sequel provides the war-mongering ape: ‘Koba’ with a much larger role, having the ape serve as the film’s main antagonist. In addition to the apes, the film also features a number of human characters portrayed by Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman, who are all great in spite of their limited screen-time.

Whilst ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ did feature plenty of attractive shots, Michael Seresin’s cinematography is actually an improvement over the previous entry, as the sequel manages to utilise its dim lighting and overgrown/dilapidated cityscape of San Francisco to fantastic results. The cinematography also helps add too much of the film’s action, as despite the film only containing two action set-pieces, both scenes manage to feel like an excellent pay-off to the large amount of build-up before them. Yet personally, I believe one of the most impressive aspects of the film has to be its practical sets, from the overcrowded ‘Human Colony’ to the decrepit streets of San Francisco, nearly all of the film’s sets are breathtaking in both size and detail, with the ‘Ape Village’ being the clearest example of this superb craftsmanship.

Capturing the bleak and ominous tone of the story flawlessly, the original score by Michael Giacchino is also continuously brilliant, and personally I think very underrated. As immediately from the stylish opening sequence which informs the audience of all of the events that have taken-place prior to this film, the backing-track titled: ‘Level Plaguing Field’ really elevates the scene’s overall emotional impact, with later tracks like ‘Past Their Primates’ and ‘Along Simian Lines’ continuing this trend. 

Although it could go without saying, the visual effects throughout are the film are fantastic, while still perhaps not as pristine as ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’s effects, the CG visuals do still hold-up very well since 2014 and contain an immense amount of detail in areas. In fact, the company that created the apes, Weta Digital, were even brought-back to bring-to-life a variety of other animals for the film including: deers, horses and a grizzly bear, each sharing the same high-level of detail.

To conclude, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is another remarkable instalment in this new series, upping the stakes and visuals from the previous film alongside continuing the story in a meaningful and entertaining fashion. This science fiction sequel is certainly worth a high 8/10, and whilst I would recommend watching the entire trilogy in order to experience the full story of: ‘Caesar’ as a character, if you have limited time or perhaps don’t usually enjoy sci-fi, then I’d say the middle chapter of this trilogy is truly the most exciting/memorable of the three.

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Snowpiercer (2014) – Film Review

One of my favourite sci-fi films from this past decade, 2014’s ‘Snowpiercer’ is constantly engaging, rousing and gritty throughout both its original plot and exploration of the interesting world its story takes-place within. As the film chooses to explore the worst of humanity through some gorgeous cinematography by Kyung-pyo Hong and some truly brilliant writing. Making ‘Snowpiercer’ overall, a superb science fiction thriller, all under the genius hand of director Bong Joon-Ho, who recently gained a large amount of traction through his Oscar-winning film: ‘Parasite’.

Plot Summary: In a future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the ‘Snowpiercer’, a train that travels around the globe, a new class system begins to emerge on-board as ‘Curtis’ leads a revolution with the train’s lower-class citizens.

Despite director Bong Joon-Ho (Memories of Murder, The Host, Okja) usually sticking to this style, the very bleak tone of: ‘Snowpiercer’ may leave many audience members in a depressing mindset long after their initial viewing, as the film deals with a variety of themes such as poverty, social class and survivalism, all portrayed in a dark and negative fashion. However, in spite of this, the film never fails to still be very entertaining and thrilling, mostly as a result of its fairly quick-pacing and exhilarating action scenes. Although it may surprise many, ‘Snowpiercer’ also takes heavy inspiration from the French graphic novel: ‘Le Transperceneige’ by Jacques Lob, with the two stories sharing many similarities and many differences throughout their respective mediums.

Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt and Ed Harris are all fantastic throughout the film within their various roles, especially Tilda Swinton as the villainous and oppressive: ‘Manson’ (who completely nails many of the film’s most memorable lines). In addition to this, the film’s characters also get plenty of development throughout the narrative, to be specific, the film’s protagonist: ‘Curtis’, as this character becomes far more tragic nearing the end of the film, eventually leading him to devolve from what we would usually expect to see from our main character.

The cinematography by Kyung-pyo Hong is pretty creative and visually impressive throughout the majority of the runtime, as the film’s cinematography backs-up it’s story and drama very effectively. The film’s colour palette also plays into this, as the dirty greys, greens and blacks of the train’s tail all further display the contrast between the wealth of the different people on-board. Of course, due to the film also being packed with a large number of action scenes, the cinematography does become slightly shakier during many of these moments, yet it is still clear what is happening throughout. One of these scenes in particular, known as: ‘The Tunnel’, I found extremely inventive, as this entire scene takes place in total darkness, with night-vision being utilised exceptionally-well. This scene was also filmed without any additional lighting according to director Bong Joon-Ho.

Although a little uninspired during some of the action scenes, the original score by Marco Beltrami does fit the story perfectly throughout most of the film. Especially when it comes to tracks such as: ‘This is the End’ or ‘Yona’s Theme’, as the soundtrack matches the bleak tone of the film extremely well. The score also helps to add more impact to many of the more shocking moments within the story, as at multiple points during the narrative, the film reveals certain aspects of this twisted train society which really deepens film’s world.

As the film is set entirely within the futuristic train, the film does do a surprisingly excellent job of the keeping the film’s set-pieces unique through the sheer variety of sets on display, as the film takes the audience from the dirty tail of the train, through to a classroom, a nightclub, and eventually even a spar, further emphasising ‘Snowpiercer’s themes of social class. Another element of the film I adore is Joon-Ho’s focus on small details, as the film always alludes to smaller aspects of the story or characters which aren’t fully delved-into, only hinted at. Despite all of this however, ‘Snowpiercer’ isn’t totally flawless, as the film does become a little cheesy at points, mostly due to the occasional editing choice or line of dialogue, but this is very rare.

Even though ‘Snowpiercer’ isn’t the best modern sci-fi to date, I personally don’t think the film is far off, from its creative ideas through to its beautiful cinematography and great original score. The film easily overcomes its few cheesy moments and slightly dated CGI here and there. Overall, a high 8/10, with a few tiny changes, I honestly believe that this exciting sci-fi flick could be up there with the likes of: ‘Arrival’, ‘Ex_Machina’ and ‘Moon’ when it comes to modern science fiction.

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Children of Men (2006) – Film Review

A clever, dark and grounded sci-fi film, with ‘Children of Men’ director Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Gravity, Roma) crafts a truly memorable experience. As the film’s fresh-take on the science fiction genre combines some great performances, alongside decent writing and some absolutely incredible cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, all alongside many scenes throughout the film being done completely within one single-take.

Plot Summary: In a world in which women have somehow become infertile, a former activist (Theo Faron) agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman across a war-ridden country out to a sanctuary at sea in order to save the human-race.

The narrative begins with a quick peek into the grim world of the film, as our protagonist ‘Theo’ makes his way into a small cafĂ© to grab a coffee. This soon leading onto a very shocking moment, which instantly establishes the tone of the film, and really helps give the audience a clear understanding of how these characters are coping with this reality. This soon leads onto the opening becoming very iconic in its own right (as well as my personal favourite scene of the film) and still feels very effective even today.

When it comes to the characters, all the performances throughout the film are pretty great, as every actor is really giving their all here regardless of the importance of their roles within the story. As Clive Owen, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Caine are all terrific. Julianne Moore as: ‘Julian’ in particular was a stand-out for me however, having some very memorable moments within only a short amount of screen-time. This is also one of the few films where I must really praise the extras, as many of the continuous takes are done using enormous amounts of extras, and from the foreground through to the background, there isn’t one out-of-place extra.

Every piece of the cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki throughout the film is nothing short of phenomenal, using hand-held shots to the best of their advantage. Many scenes are filmed from the perspective of the characters, placing the audience in their own tense scenarios. The dark grey colour palette of the film also lends itself well to the war-ridden country setting, as every location always feels rustic, dirty and lived-in. The original score by John Tavener is also effective, despite being used very sparingly throughout the film to further add to the bleak atmosphere.

My only real criticisms with the film are related to the lack of character depth and the film’s overall pacing, as the pacing throughout the film is extremely slow, leading to many scenes feeling a little drawn-out at points. Despite this slow-pace sometimes adding to the building of tension, it feels mostly unnecessary for most of the film’s runtime. The lack of characterisation throughout the film is also a problem, as although a few characters do get some development, it’s usually few and far between, as I found myself finding more information about the characters online than within the film itself, luckily however, the decent writing does save this from being a huge issue.

To conclude, ‘Children of Men’ is an exceptional piece of the sci-fi genre. Coming-off as a very different approach than what you’d usually expect from a film such as this one, the film almost feels like more of an apocalyptic drama at points. But with a thought-provoking narrative, some amazing cinematography and a fantastic cast, ‘Children of Men’ truly is a very captivating (if not a very bleak) piece of entertainment. An 8/10 for me, this film never fails to impress me every-time I revisit it.

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World War Z (2013) – Film Review

Very loosely based-on the novel: ‘World War Z’ by Max Brooks, this film adaptation directed by Marc Forster attempts to tell an enormous globe-trotting story of a spreading zombie virus, and although it does have a few entertaining elements here and there, I personally found the film to be extremely messy, and overall, pretty forgettable.

Plot Summary: After narrowly escaping an attack in Philadelphia, former United Nations employee: ‘Gerry Lane’, traverses the world in a race against time to stop a zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, soon threatening the survival of humanity itself.

Even with a pretty standard plot for a zombie flick, the film unfortunately is still brimming with plenty of clichĂ© moments and jump-scares throughout, in addition of course to the film’s overall lack of style. Making the entire experience really struggle to stand on its own amongst the many other films within its genre, which I do feel can be mostly put down to the director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, Christopher Robin).

Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos both do a decent job as: ‘Gerry’ and ‘Karin Lane’ within the film, despite their characters having pretty much no characterisation outside of them being a loving family. Their children however, portrayed by Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove. I found very irritating, as aside from their constant screaming and crying, their child performances weren’t very convincing to me at all. Strangely, Peter Capaldi also has a small role within the film, despite barley adding anything to the story.

Ben Seresin handles the cinematography throughout the film, and aside from a few scenes were hand-held camera techniques are used to reflect the chaos we see during many of the zombie attacks, many of the visuals are extremely flat. As the cinematography is very bland and uninspired, usually sticking to very standard shots and never really experimenting with anything incredibly interesting. The CG effects throughout the film’s runtime are also very inconsistent, as in some scenes the visual effects work perfectly fine. Whereas in others, they look truly awful, with many of the zombies bouncing around as if they were made out of rubber. I do appreciate the various aerial shots which are used during many of these scenes however, as I feel these shots really incapsulate the enormous scale of the film’s devastating pandemic.

The film’s original score by Marco Beltrami is decent overall, it works within the film to increase what tension and drama there is on-screen. But outside of the film, it isn’t memorable in the slightest. Coming-off as your standard blockbuster soundtrack with the occasional: ‘Inception’ noise thrown-in for good measure, it is very possible the score was rushed. As for those who may not know, ‘World War Z’ actually went through a very troubled production process, as multiple different directors, writers and producers were brought-on and then dropped-off constantly. This is mostly why the film sometimes feels very unconnected and messy (which also isn’t helped by its quick pacing). Taking this into account, the film definitely could’ve been far worse, but I still found it very noticeable.

Despite all of this however, the film does still have some elements I enjoy. As it is simply fun to watch the madness ensue at various points during the film, as the hordes of zombies bring chaos to the streets of whatever city the film finds itself in. My favourite scene within the film is definitely near it’s ending, as the film takes a very different direction in choosing to focus on a small tension-filled scene, which I thought was pretty well-executed for the most part.

In conclusion, ‘World War Z’ isn’t the worst big-budget film you could spend your time watching, it definitely has a variety of problems. From the predictable and generic plot, to the boring characters and the mix of poor visual effects and writing. Which all ensured that I wasn’t such a huge fan, but if you enjoy a mindless zombie blockbuster every so often, then there may be some enjoyment in this for you. But for me personally, ‘World War Z’ simply felt like a hollow experience, and is nothing more than a 3/10.

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Bird Box (2018) – Film Review

‘Bird Box’ is based-on the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, which mostly aims to be a dark horror/thriller with an original and twisted story as well as a few other interesting aspects in regards to its filmmaking. Unfortunately however, the film soon falls into a pit of disappointment which it really struggles to escape from, resulting in ‘Bird Box’ becoming nothing more than another generic Netflix fright-fest.

Plot Summary: Set both during the initial incident as well as five-years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a mother and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety as they head down a dangerous river aboard a boat.

As the film jumps back-and-forth between the two different time-periods, the film’s structure can become very frustrating at points. As I personally found the initial chaotic event far more entertaining than the other time-period the film provides, yet this was always cut short as the film continuously cuts between the two at unusual points. The film also chooses to wrap the majority of its story in mystery, never really exploring what the monsters actually are, or how their abilities work. The film even chooses to never actually show the creatures on-screen at all throughout the runtime, and although I agree that not everything has to be explained within a story, the way ‘Bird Box’ presents it makes it noting but frustrating, as the film introduces questions without answers.

Sandra Bullock portrays a struggling mother alongside Danielle Macdonald, Trevante Rhodes and John Malkovich who all portray people attempting to survive in a brutal world, and they do their best considering the weak characters they had to work with. The majority of the supporting cast are also decent, with Sarah Paulson even having a short appearance within the film. However, I actually found she was incredibly wasted in the small (and mostly pointless) role she had within the narrative.

The entire visual presentation of: ‘Bird Box’, is extremely dull, as the cinematography by Salvatore Totino and editing Ben Lester never really excel beyond ‘okay’. Usually having scenes consist of many boring shots which never really add much to the tension or atmosphere aside from the occasional moment, this of course also alongside the extremely bland grey colour palette. This is also the case when it comes to the original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, coming off as nothing more than your standard score for any modern-horror/thriller with a slight technological twist, which is very surprising, considering these composers did excellent work on the soundtrack for: ‘The Social Network’ back in 2010.

Although the novel obviously came out before last year’s ‘A Quiet Place’, I also couldn’t help but notice many similarities between the two films. Such as the lack of a certain sense, the apocalyptic setting, a theme of family and the eerie atmosphere/tone (despite the idea of the monsters making you kill yourself being very original). I also couldn’t help but feel the film never made enough use of its concept of simply witnessing the creatures drives characters to suicide, as this is a terrifying idea, and could’ve provided some very gory and truly shocking moments.

‘Bird Box’ is one of those few films that gets a large amount of attention for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, as personally, I thought the film was nothing but bland and forgettable in many aspects. Aside from perhaps the main performance by Sandra Bullock and the original idea of its story. There wasn’t much I enjoyed about this adaption, ‘Bird Box’ gets a 3/10 from me. Give it a watch if you’re really interested, but personally, I feel there are many similar films which explore this idea with a much better execution.

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The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) – Film Review

‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ is based on the novel of the same name by M. R. Carey, another zombie story, this time attempting to focus more on young children and how they would cope with an infection wiping out all of humanity. As well as leaning more towards the ‘fungus’ side of infections when it comes to some of the film’s visuals and ideas, and while I appreciate the attempt to turn this narrative into a film. I don’t think it was incredibly successful in the long-run.

Plot Summary: In a dystopian future where humanity has been ravaged by a mysterious fungal disease, humanity’s only hope is a small group of hybrid children who crave human flesh while still retaining the ability to think and feel. But when their base is later attacked, a teacher, a scientist and a group of soldiers must embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named: ‘Melanie’.

Directed by Colm McCarthy, the idea of a group of characters going on a dangerous journey is a pretty standard outline for an apocalyptic story, sadly however, ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ doesn’t manage to improve much on this structure. As many of the decisions throughout the film were pretty strange, to say the least, as the film flips back and forward between horror and drama rapidly within some scenes (sometimes even implementing comedy as well). As a result of this, the film’s tone is very inconsistent, and can really take the viewer out of the story at points. Even the name given to the zombie-like creatures within the film: ‘The Hungries’, I personally found a little too-ridiculous.

Sennia Nanua portrays the main character of the film: ‘Melanie’, a young girl with the abilities of: ‘The Hungries’ that still retains her human mind, and while I think her character is definitely interesting, I don’t feel her performance is up-to-par here. As she was only thirteen during filming, many of the emotional scenes with her feel very unbelievable. Alongside this, there are a variety of scenes with her character acting like a wild animal as her hunger continues to grow, most of which I found unintentionally hilarious. Perhaps if she was a little older when filming began this could’ve been avoided, although the weak writing also doesn’t help. The supporting cast do redeem this somewhat however, as Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close are all fairly excellent within their roles.

The cinematography by Simon Dennis is easily my favourite element of the film, as there are many stunning shots throughout the runtime. As every shot really lends itself to many of the film’s more impactful or beautiful scenes, with the brilliant make-up effects and great set design also adding toward this, which is especially surprising considering the film’s budget, which was actually a lot smaller than many other zombie flicks. This does unfortunately affect the CGI effects throughout the film however, as a variety of shots throughout the story have some very out-of-place looking CGI visuals.

The wonderful original score by Cristobal Tapia de Veer is another element of the film I also really enjoyed, as the soundtrack is very atmospheric and really adds to many of the tense scenes throughout the film, very similar to the composer’s other scores, with Channel 4’s ‘Utopia’ and Netflix’s ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ being some great examples, with the tracks: ‘Gifted’ and ‘Pandora’ being my personal favourites purely for how unique they sound. 

In conclusion, ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ isn’t the worst zombie film I’ve ever seen. As the story does have some interesting elements and the cinematography and original score are pretty on point throughout the film, but sadly, the poor writing and laughable main performance combined really drag the film down for me. So I’m gonna give this one a 5/10 overall, although I was initially tempted to go lower, I believe this a fair grade based on the filmmaking.

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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – Film Review

One of the most insane action blockbusters and best soft-reboots I’ve seen in a cinema for quite some-time, as ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ delivers on nearly every aspect of what you would want from both an action film, and a ‘Mad Max’ sequel. As the great cast of Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, alongside talented director George Miller, bring us an absolute visual feast which is sure to please any viewer in search of a unique and exciting thrill-ride.

Plot Summary: Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman (Furiosa) rebels against a tyrannical ruler in search of her original homeland with the aid of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a rogue drifter named: ‘Max‘.

From five minutes into the runtime, to five minutes after the film is over, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is truly a thrilling experience. Utilizing incredible stunts, plenty of action scenes and attractive locations/sets throughout the story, the film always manages to feel gritty and real (despite having an incredibly over-the-top tone). Surprisingly, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was even confirmed to be a sequel to the original: ‘Mad Max’ trilogy, meaning the film actually continues the story (in a way) from: ‘Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome’, and although I’m not a huge fan of the original films, this does make me excited for the future of this franchise if we can expect this kind of quality.

The whole cast of Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley and Hugh Keays-Byrne are all excellent within their roles, with Nicholas Hoult as: ‘Hux’ and Hugh Keays-Byrne as the intimidating antagonist: ‘Immortan Joe’ being my two personal favourites. As all of the characters are fairly likeable and somewhat interesting despite not being given much characterisation throughout the narrative.

The cinematography by Jon Seale really helps elevate many of the scenes throughout the film however, as the film makes brilliant use of a variety of wide-shots, all which look absolutely fantastic. Director George Miller also really pushes the film’s varied and overly-bright colour palette, giving each the desert a bright orange and blue look to make it more visually appealing, which later contrasts with the dark blue of the swamplands or the harsh red and orange when the characters are inside the vicious sandstorm.

‘Junkie XL’ (or Thomas Holkenborg) lends his hand to the original score for the film, utilising amazing guitar rifts to sound as if the soundtrack had been ripped straight from a classic rock album. Backing-up many of the fast-paced action scenes perfectly, which was surprising as this composer’s other scores are usually very forgettable. The original score is even given reference within the film, as we later see the character: ‘Coma-Doof Warrior’ who plays an electric guitar.

Of course the easiest criticism of: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is its lack of story and developed characters, and although the film definitely does have a fairly simplistic story and relativity weak characters. I’d argue this works to the film’s benefit, as the film does have plenty of great world-building, and fills the majority of it’s runtime with exactly what it’s audience desires to see, which is obviously the main goal of the film. As the film never pretends to be something that it isn’t. Another element of the film I don’t personally like is the editing, as although I understand the need to have quick editing to keep-up with the film’s fast-pacing and action. Most of the editing throughout the film feels very chaotic and even slightly messy at points, coming off as a distraction from what’s on-screen more than anything else.

I really adore ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, as although it may not be a masterpiece when it comes to filmmaking. It’s definitely up there with some of the best action flicks of this decade. As some unbelievable action scenes and stunts, a brilliant cast, and some outstanding cinematography, leave ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ a true breath of fresh air for the action genre, despite the film’s pretty basic story and bizarre editing choices. Overall, a solid 8/10. Very well-deserved, and I can’t wait until George Miller brings us another exciting instalment in this franchise.

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A Quiet Place (2018) – Film Review

John Krasinski’s directorial-debut quickly puts him as one of the most intriguing upcoming directors currently working, as he directs himself, his real-life wife Emily Blunt and two very talented child actors, in this incredibly tense and original horror flick. Taking-on a unique story that’s sure to spark an interest in any horror/thriller fan by its concept alone, and yet ‘A Quiet Place’ also manages to elevate itself over many other films within the horror genre through its attractive cinematography and great sound design.

Plot Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world where noises can kill, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after terrifying creatures that hunt by sound threaten their very survival. But with a pregnant wife soon to give birth, now more than ever, the family must remain unheard.

Continuously throughout the runtime, ‘A Quiet Place’ builds-on the concept of its story perfectly, focusing-on the various ways the family has adjusted to their new way of silent life. As everything from the family not using cutlery anymore, to the children using pieces of cotton pieces rather than wooden pieces for a board game, to even having the father place down paths of sand everywhere the family walks. All displaying the clear understanding director John Krasinski has for this fleshed-out world. Of course, with an idea such as this one, many of the film’s scenes can be nitpicked in small ways, but with a plot as unique and as engaging as this one is, I personally don’t feel these tiny issues take-much away from the overall experience.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski both give amazing performances as: ‘Evelyn’ and ‘Lee Abbott’, with Emily Blunt being the true stand-out of the cast, mostly due to her intense performance during one of the film’s most memorable scenes. In which, ‘Evelyn’ attempts to stay quiet whilst going through the agonising pain of child-birth, all the while one of the creatures stalks the nearby area. The two children within the film are also brilliant, being portrayed by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. Millicent Simmonds’ character: ‘Regan’ is deaf, similar to the actress herself in real-life, which actually benefitted the rest of the cast enormously with helping them learn sign language, as there is actually very little dialogue spoken throughout the film due to the family’s restriction-on making noise, so sign language is their main form of communication.

Charlotte Bruus Christensen handles the cinematography for: ‘A Quiet Place’, and does so extremely well, as the gorgeous shots really compliment the beautiful yet eerie and isolated locations of this new apocalyptic world, with a majority of shots containing large amounts of movement alongside the bleak yet still appealing colour palette of the film, which surprisingly allows more colour than many other modern horrors that rely mostly on dark greys and blacks.

Throughout the narrative, the film’s tense atmosphere never dies-off. As Krasinski uses the fantastic unsettling original score by Marco Beltrami and the effective sound design/sound editing to the best of its advantage, resulting in a compelling watch for any viewer. As the film almost feels as if it’s placing its audience in the position of the protagonists themselves, dreading even the slightest sound. However, as great as the tension building is, the film does have quite a heavy reliance on jump-scares, similar to most modern horrors today, which does sadly drag-down the film with how frequent they soon become.

Despite not having an enormous amount of screen-time, the creatures within ‘A Quiet Place’ are also quite memorable. As from even their first appearance, the film’s monsters are always both incredibly menacing and enthralling. This is not only due to the tense atmosphere they create whenever on-screen however, but also due to their other-worldly design, which actually shares many similarities to the inside of a human ear, which is obviously very suitable for creatures that hunt only by sound. Interestingly, the film’s director John Krasinski actually portrayed some of the creatures himself whilst on-set through motion-capture, if only for a few scenes.

Overall, ‘A Quiet Place’ is one of my favourite films of 2018, as the film manages to take its audience through a tense yet still emotional story of parents attempting to protect their children in a newly dangerous world, all whilst featuring some visually pleasing cinematography and scenes brimming with tension whenever it can. The film even manages to contain a decent character-arc for a few of the family members, propelling the film even further forward over you’re standard horror flick, and although there is a bit of an overreliance on jump-scares, as well as the odd narrative-nitpick that stops the film from being flawless, ‘A Quiet Place’ is still an excellent choice for anyone looking for a gateway into this genre, and is certainly worth an 8/10.

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