Catch it if you can
If you like, you can call me out of it. In fact, way out of it.
But it wasn’t until just a few months ago that I became aware of the 2018 film, A Quiet Place. But I must have been about the last one to get on board. It made a ton of money. And raked in award nominations and wins like fall leaves after a good blow.
It was probably unconscious. A Quiet Place is a scary movie. And scary movies and me go together like oil and water. Or actually, more like water dripping into boiling oil; it’s not pretty and someone’s gonna get hurt.
In a nutshell, the movie’s a sci-fi horror flick about an earth that’s been conquered by ravenously hungry aliens. Who, although they’re blind as bats, can hear a pin drop. And, when they do, it’s game permanently over for the unfortunate man, woman, child or infant who dropped it. And if that’s not a recipe for suspense, I don’t know what is.
Silence is golden
Ever tried to keep three young kids quiet for even a few minutes? When they’re not sleeping? Then imagine doing that for day after day. Then week after week. And month after month. And then imagine that your failure to do so doesn’t just wake the baby napping in the next room. But almost instantly brings down on your head a monster that makes Jaws look warm and cuddly. And then imagine that a monster devours your youngest son for playing with a space shuttle toy.
Welcome to the world of Lee and Evelyn Abbot. And their three-then two-young kids. Sure, they’re smart. Lee’s an engineer/tinkerer. Evelyn’s a physician. But it hardly matters; their backs are up against the wall. And it shows. In the quiet of the basement of their country farm house, they silently join hands around the dinner table. And silently give thanks for their daily bread. And silently pray for deliverance.
The family under siege
The great thing about science fiction, I suppose, is that you can let your imagination run wild with it and make it mean almost anything you want. And Quiet is no exception.
For example, there’s this article, from a Catholic perspective, that lauds the film for the couples’ willingness to risk bringing a noisy infant into this terrifying world. Rather than aborting it.
But in a larger sense, perhaps a better analogy would be to the family itself. And the world at large. About how, simply because they exist, families find themselves under assault from all sides by unseen and scarcely understood-but terrifying forces. Drugs. Mindless violence. Sex. Hollywood. Politicians. A global economy that chews people up. And then spits them out.
But there is a silver lining to A Quiet Place. The sequel is scheduled to come out in 2020. If, that is, I’m not too much of a scaredy-cat to watch it.