This gripping, clever monster movie is one of those rare genre treats that seizes on a simple, unique idea and executes it so perfectly and concisely that it elicits satisfying squeals of delight. It's directed and co-written by Krasinski, who's best known for his work in comedy but translates his experience in that genre to the expert building and releasing of tension here. A Quiet Place is, in many ways, like an extended classic horror movie sequence, such as famous ones in The Birds or Aliens, wherein the heroes must try not to disturb packs of resting monsters.
At the same time, Krasinski uses his quiet moments like music, ranging from moments of restful beauty -- including a father-son trip to a waterfall, where it's noisy enough that they can talk and even shout -- to moments of pause. A loud noise can cause a jump, but it's immediately followed by tension and dread: Will the creatures come this time? The real beauty is the movie's primal quality, based on the most basic elements of life, such as survival and protection of the species. No explanation is given for the monsters' existence; they, like us, are just here. Images of water, sand, bare feet, crops, and plant life serve to underline the theme of life itself. A few overly familiar horror movie clichés keep it from being perfect, but otherwise A Quiet Place is so good that it will leave viewers speechless.