“A Quiet Place” impresses without saying a word


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“A Quiet Place” is a new horror movie and the entire film is completely silent. It raises awareness about ableism, and challenges stereotypes.

By Rebecca Jackson, Senior Writer

A new horror movie directed by John Krasinski came out Apr. 6 and made quite a statement at theaters and in the box office without making a sound, literally.

“A Quiet Place” focuses on a rural family tormented by supernatural forces. They must stay completely silent in order to survive, and communicate solely by sign language. Although not all of the characters are deaf, the hour and 35 minute long dystopian film is completely silent, providing deaf moviegoers with the unique ability of experiencing everything.

The film portrayed meaningful social commentary on ableism, which is discrimination against the disabled, when trying to make hearing aids comes off as the father trying ‘to fix’ the deaf daughter. It is important for those of hearing to understand how deaf people live their lives, in order to reduce stigmas and stereotypes.

Krasinski plays Lee Abbott and his wife in real life, Emily Blunt, plays Evelynn Abbott. The pair portrays the parents of three children who they are trying to keep safe from monsters who will attack if they hear a sound. Ragan is the hearing-impaired daughter of the Abbott’s, and Ragan is arguably the most important character in the film, but Evelynn’s character proves sensational as well. She is pregnant and even gives birth without a sound to protect her other kids. Evelynn is an obviously feminine character and displays intense feelings and care that is echoed by the audience.

Some people who grow up with the ability to hear associate silence with creepiness or the foreshadowing of something bad. In addition, a common fear among those who can see, is of the dark. “A Quiet Place” intelligently plays into this fear, while allowing viewers to relate to characters they normally wouldn’t and essentially saying that being deaf is nothing to be afraid of.

The movie does not portray deaf people as helpless, and what the audience is engineered to feel is not pity but concern. “A Quiet Place” works to defeat ableist stereotypes that blind people are fragile and need others to care for them, because the audience is caring for them as they would any other human in danger.

Like artists across the world, Krasinski took a standard and interpreted it to show a different perspective. Those with perfect hearing and those who are hearing-impaired came out to the theatre Apr. 6 and since reacted to the movie exactly the same.

There is disagreement on whether the movie is actually scary, as a typical horror movie has an intense soundtrack to keep the audience on their toes. There is soundtrack in “A Quiet Place”, including natural sounds, but not typical music or words.

Recently, there have been arguments about subtitles in movie theatres ruining a movie experience, but they do not detract from the film and indefinitely benefit deaf moviegoers. Closed captioning ensures equal access to culture.

Krasinski managed to evoke emotions and not overplay the storyline without any dialogue. “A Quiet Place” encourages deaf people to be integrated with society, rather than hidden away.
Who knew that sitting in silence could give people a voice?