Wow! I went to see this movie because I follow John Krasinski on Twitter (lol) and he retweeted some kind tweet about the movie from Stephen King and if Stephen King compliments your horror movie, I’m gonna go see it.
The premise is one sentence which is that there are monsters that attack anything near a loud noise. The first scene, which is the family at a very ransacked drug store in town getting some medicine for their sick boy, establishes all this SO beautifully without any dialogue. Everyone’s being really quiet and scared and when they’re leaving there’s a newspaper blowing in the wind by the door that has a two word headline that’s just: “IT’S SOUND” and I could kiss whoever wrote that/put it in. So simple and it says so much.
Leaving the store one of the little boys (the non-sick one) tries to get a toy rocket from a high up shelf. It almost falls to the ground but his sister (who’s deaf, this is incredibly important later) dives and catches it before it hits. He brings it with him to the door as they’re leaving and the dad is utterly terrified when he sees him holding it. He takes it from him, takes the batteries out and puts it on the counter and signs to him, “Too loud.”
After he walks outside the sister takes it off the counter and gives it back to him, then he takes the batteries when no one is looking. As their lil nuclear family is walking back to the house (all barefoot), we hear the toy making toy noises. The dad sprints for him but right before he gets there this MONSTER THING whips by and eats/kills him. It’s brutal.
Then we jump to like a year later (the first scene is Day 89 then the second one is Day four hundred something). Everyone seems to take the death in different ways, the remaining boy is really frightened of the outside and leaving their farm (who can blame him though), the sister and mom have internalized guilt, and the dad gets somehow more protective.
We see some exposition shots of them living their silent little lives: eating steamed fish off a leaf, playing Monopoly, walking, pretending to drive a truck, the mom still teaching division still for some reason??, etc. Also Emily Blunt is pregnant now! John Krasinski keeps trying to build a hearing aid for his daughter that works and she gets frustrated because all she wants to do is go with him on these little expositions he insists on taking their son on who very much doesn’t want to go. It was annoying to see that gender binary stuff being enforced even during an alien apocalypse. Like Jesus Christ, if most humans are dead I think we can relax on gender roles and let the older girl who wants to go with her dad and let the younger scared little boy stay home with his mom.
But he doesn’t let her go and she thinks he hates her/blames her for the death of her brother so she runs (walks) away from home. (I know I just keep saying pronouns for people but I don’t think we ever learn their names because no one talks. The imdb is saying the parents are Evelyn and Lee and the remaining alive children are Regan and Marcus but I’m not gonna use that because they weren’t introduced to me that way). I like this girl mostly because of the way she carries herself. Let it be known I love a girl with a sturdy gait.
Meanwhile, out on this voyage to collect fish/teach his son the ways of surviving off the land, they take a nice little detour to a waterfall and John teaches his son how you can yell if you’re by a waterfall because it’s so loud it covers it up. They have some of the only dialogue in the movie here, and we learn that Regan blames herself for their brother’s death and she doesn’t think her dad loves her.
After leaving the waterfall family therapy session, they come across an old man and a dead woman in the forest. It seems like she just died, how is unclear. But the old man, consumed by grief, scrunches up his face to let us all know he’s about to commit suicide by yelling. John grabs his kid and they hide behind a tree. This poor kid, it’s a lotta trauma to absorb before puberty.
They don’t get back to the farm until after dark. MEANWHILE Emily, who isn’t due for 2 weeks, goes into labor early. When going downstairs to SILENTLY GIVE BIRTH BY HERSELF she steps on a fucking huge nail in the stairs and drops a picture frame and one of the demons comes into the house. So she is IN LABOR, bleeding profusely from her foot and vagina, trying not to make any noise so this thing doesn’t eat her.
Emily Blunt acted the shit out of this movie. She is such a good actress, so subtle and controlled and expressive and intuitive and I really like her. I don’t think she has hype because she kind of looks like every white woman actress ever? Like very generically beautiful in an unmemorable kind of way (I think she’s very beautiful!! But I think it’s true what I’m saying) and I think people forget about her or downplay her hits when they happen. They don’t stick to her for some reason like they do with Jessica Chastain, and I think it’s because Jessica Chastain is a little more weird looking/memorable. Cause Emily Blunt has delivered a lotta hits for little to no fanfare. She’s SO funny in The Devil Wears Prada, Sicario was amazing, The Girl on the Train was meh but she did incredible, which goes the same for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Into the Woods was great, The Five-Year Engagement is under-appreciated & great, Looper I think I liked but I kind of don’t remember, but she even does good in The Adjustment Bureau and that movie was terrible! After going through her imdb it seems like she just picks mediocre projects but that streak seems to be over, although she’s also in Sherlock Gnomes so I could def be wrong. Let’s all cross our fingers. Also on the record I do think she’s very beautiful!!!!
She manages to change all the outside lights to red so when John & the boy are walking back they know something’s up. John sends his son to set off some fireworks over the cornfield to distract the demon monsters. There’s a lot of cliffhanger horror-y type things and for a while we can’t tell if Emily and their new baby got eaten but then they’re there.
I don’t have to go scene by scene, they have the baby, but the whole last like 40 minutes is a non-stop barrage of these demons coming for them, and them narrowly escaping, only to have to deal with another one in a different way. There’s a scene in a grain silo which, first of all, I don’t think I understand how grain silos work—–they did this in the most recent Saw as well, had someone drowning in uncooked corn in a silo like it’s quicksand-is that how it works? Why can’t you just rest on top of it? Can someone explain grain silos to me? In this scene we as an audience figure out the girl’s hearing aid is the monster’s weakness, something to do with the frequency, but in a very frustrating turn of events, she doesn’t figure it out til after her dad dies trying to protect them. Nothing like a little of the ole “dramatic irony” to get the blood cookin’.
Anyway, finally she realizes it and in the last scene she weakens one and her mom murders it with a shotgun, then we see on the video monitors like 10 more of them coming and Emily cocks the shotgun and grins and it blacks out. It reminded me of Signs a little bit, where the thing that defeats the aliens was resultant of a personality trait of the white daughter & there the whole time they just had to realize it.
This movie was executive produced by Michael Bay which was a shock to me because there’s only like 1 explosion and no slow pans of Megan Fox’s body but suspense horror and action are closer than most other genres of film. Also maybe he’s maturing as he gets older. Excited for Michael Bay’s arthaus phase.
I said it before and I’ll say it again- Emily Blunt acted the SHIT out of this. She is definitely the stand out. John did a good job but was still Jim a little to me the whole time and great performances shake that and in this one he didn’t. (Unrelated I saw a tweet that said “Jim and pam are for sure divorced by now and really who gives a shit” and number one, how dare you, but number two they’re definitely not. Until John & Emily get divorced in real life I will assume his fake character is also still married). Related-John and Emily didn’t kiss once in this movie, which I think was a strategic choice on their part to preserve privacy which I totally respect. There’s a dance scene where they’re close and she leans in but he doesn’t and when he finds her alive in the tub with their new baby they kiss but the camera angle is behind him and you don’t actually see it because his shoulder blocks it. John also directs the movie. Like I said I think that was a very conscious choice that I respect and agree with.
I love the way sound was used/explored as an element in this movie, just today actually I met someone who does music/scores movies and they were saying how one of their film professors told them to just put a movie on and listen to it, but not watch. To let the sound be the whole experience and that’s such an interesting way to look at movies and such an interesting one for this one, where it’s mostly silent. I don’t even think there’s music? I don’t remember. Also I feel like this goes without saying but the film was gorgeous. There was one shot in particular, an aerial view when Emily’s silently giving birth in a bathtub, that’s a split screen (not through a device there’s just a shelf that cuts the picture in half) between her and this flickering light above her that made my mouth open.
Overall really liked it, cried one time. Me and the guy across from me bonded at the end because we were both alone and it was such a ride and I think he heard me crying. Also the guy behind me dropped his cell phone TWICE which, if you’ve seen the movie, the whole theatre is very silent because the movie almost requires it so it was extra jarring. Also the theatre I went to see it at (Williamsburg cinema) CHECKED MY BAG for snacks!!!!! Is that illegal?? They were very chill about it bc I had snacks and they didn’t seem to care, but I was so happy the theatre I went to last night (Moviepass y’all) didn’t because I had two axes in there!!!! (My job gave them to me and I went straight from work!).
But anyway, I really liked it. Actually all except this one speech Emily Blunt gives to John where she’s like, “What are we if we can’t protect them?” about their kids & it’s like, “Idk, normal people in a difficult situation??” You can’t always protect your kids from the horrors of the world, that seems a weird thing to put your self-worth/identity in. Maybe because by this point there’s truly nothing else in the world? It’s not like she can take a pottery classes somewhere or anything. But it felt imploring of John & putting all the burden on him to protect the kids, in another weird gender-y kind of way that was like, “I give birth to them, you protect them, those are our roles, I fulfilled my end now you do yours” kinda shit which I’m not really into.
AS A FEMINIST if I was in a post-apocalyptic world where there were sonar aliens who were eating people, I wouldn’t rely on a MAN-you get it.
Anywhoo, 4.5/5 apocalypse dye jobs (Emily Blunt had blonde highlights in this movie and for 489 days without civilization she had NO roots is all I’m saying) would masturbate again.