An excerpt from my script review for A Quiet Place which will be available 04/10/18:
2.) Plot Stability
Is your horror “practical”?
And we’re not talking about monsters, ghosts, aliens, etc.
Audiences suspend their disbelief for movies because they come to be entertained.
But there has to be a certain level of practicality.
This script did not have it. (Something I hope they fixed for the final film.)
John and his family live in a post apocalyptic world where most citizens have lost out to an unstoppable monster that hunts with a keen sense of sound.
So sensitive is this monster’s echolocation, that even the slightest giggle alerts it to your presence.
The issue here is you cannot train your body to be absolutely silent.
As my wife so eloquently put it when I told her the premise, “What happens when you fart?”
Fart, burp, yawn, cough, sneeze, whatever!
How do you “train” your body not to do these things?
You can’t, and unless this story takes place a single week after the monster crash lands there certainly won’t be an entire family unit intact.
And then, the cream of the crop of plot points given the setting…Emily Blunt’s character is fucking pregnant!
No amount of sound proofing is going to stop an infant from making noise.
Not padded, sound proofing curtains. Not Papier-mâché. And certainly not a fucking oxygen mask over the baby’s face…
But I’ll let Reals handle this one via his email to me after seeing the film:
It seemed like a plot contrivance to have Emily Blunt’s Wife character be pregnant – I mean, they were in a drug store in the first scene, pick up some condoms! It just bugged me and deciding to have a baby in a noise-monster apocalypse seemed like a really poor and dangerous decision: kind of like letting your kid sleepover at his weird friend’s house on Purge Night – maybe it would be okay, but it’s probably a bad idea all around.
In post apocalyptic stories, there needs to be some sort of “hope” to keep your character going, and to keep us watching.
Devoid of it and you again enter the impractical because why would anyone choose to live like this?
Better question…what is there to live for?
“No Mia, it’s a great idea to raise a family. We’ll just go on living in silence and fear for the rest of our lives. Our kids will be fine!”
And let’s say your kids make it past their teenage years successfully, then what? With no other families around do they go all Blue Lagoon?
It’s silly, and instead of the “day in the life” storyline, they should be working towards some sort of safe haven, because if there’s no hope in sight, your script just entered the unbelievable.
(Now part of me was hoping they couldn’t escape! I kept waiting for some Twilight Zone style twist at the end, where this was a sort of purgatory that John was stuck in after he died in the car crash and was punishing himself for not telling Iris he loved her before they died. What a way to tie in the theme!)
Having said all that, the script did punish these characters, and moved the plot along. It wasn’t a horrible idea, I just wish it was something like no LOUD NOISES instead of any noises. That simple change fixes a lot!
In fact, I really dug the theme, although felt the flashbacks were a tad cheesy, of:
Talk to those you love, before you can’t!
Oh, and one final gripe…
How THE FUCK did a little girl figure out how to beat the monster and the government or military never tried that idea? We know that things like sonar and such mess with dolphin’s echolocation, and no one’s going to suggest that when bullets and fire don’t work?
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