He’s said it himself in many, many interviews, but John Krasinski isn’t a name you’d immediately associate with anything to do with the horror genre. Better known for his work in The Office, the actor has written, directs and stars in this incredibly experiential story that keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout. He even casts his wife, Emily Blunt, in a great outing for the pair.
The opening scenes of the film take you to a post-apocalyptic setting with a family who seem to hate making any noise. They sign to each other, walk barefoot and don’t carry anything that will make noise. It seems alien; there’s no obvious reason as to why they’re doing this. That’s until their young son turns on their extremely loud toy, quickly becoming prey to the unknown predator sprinting through the woods. It’s a harrowing moment but also serves as a warning to the audience – you’ll want to keep quiet too.
And that’s how you’ll experience the rest of this film, on the edge of your seat. Krasinski has crafted such an intricate and expressive film by concentrating on one sense in particular, exploiting it at many turns throughout the narrative. One especially interesting take was showing the audience the perspective of Regan, their deaf child (Millicent Simmonds). The audio dulls but the action doesn’t stop, showing off an altered experience you wouldn’t have known otherwise. This more story-driven film is why it stands out against the sea of other horrors out in the last few months. Rather than hone in on jumpscares (which are most definitely present), Krasinski focuses on the family dynamic, and how far you’ll go for those that you love.
Blunt and Krasinski entwine beautifully on screen, and they’re both attempting unusual roles for them. It’s their first time working together, but it doesn’t show as the chemistry works perfectly, landing the solemn and downbeat mood that the story portrays. They’re stuck in a world where there’s no easy answers to the danger they’re in. They up the ante at every turn, and you’re along for the entire ride. Even for those that aren’t into horrors, this film shows that there’s definitely room for story in the genre. Here’s also hoping that this isn’t the last horror from Krasinski, as there’s definitely room for more ideas like this one.
Check out the trailer below and see if you’re ready for the horror.