It’s scary because it’s not

I’ve now watched A Quiet Place four times. Four. And before you ask, it’s not just because of my affinity for Emily Blunt – although, I have to admit, she is the main reason I wanted to watch it for the first time.

I think one reason I like it so much is that the film is not a blood-and-guts horror movie. It’s more … is intellectual the right word? I don’t have to cover my eyes for anything. The only thing it occasionally triggers is my startle reflex, which comes into play with loud noises and sudden movement.

Another thing that makes the movie watchable for someone like me – who usually steers clear of the horror genre at all costs – is the family dynamic. After the apocalypse, there’s not much to do but try to survive. All the normal day-to-day activities are gone – no cell phones, no TV, etc. So it basically forces the Abbott family to spend time together, perhaps more than they normally would.

And going along with the family dynamic is the protection factor. It’s clear that Lee and Evelyn (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, respectively) would do anything to protect their children. When their son Marcus (Noah Jupe) is understandably nervous about going outside to learn survival skills, Evelyn is basically like “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, your father will protect you.” Most of this in sign language, of course. There are only approximately three minutes of spoken dialogue in the entire hour and a half run time of the movie. Because if anybody makes any noise at all, they’re pretty much dead on the spot.

Looked at individually, these reasons for liking the movie make a lot of sense. Taken together, however, I can’t seem to put my finger on what the movie represents for me as a whole. All I can say is it gives me a bunch of feelings that have nothing to do with horror.

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