John Krasinski has left his Jim Halpert days far, far behind. His horror film A Quiet Place dominated at the box office this weekend, and it's an enormous win for himself and Emily Blunt, his on and offscreen partner and crime. He's and Blunt, whom he directed in A Quiet Place, are married and have two children. In 2018, everything's coming up Krasinski.
He literally wrote A Quiet Place, directed it, stars in it, directs his actor wife in it, and is getting heaps of praise for the terrifying film. (Not to mention he stars in this summer's Jack Ryan series, which premieres on Amazon Prime on August 31.) Interestingly enough, Krasinski doesn't consider himself much of a horror fan. That might be part of why A Quiet Place is proving to be so successful.
When the film was first announced, audiences were unsure of what to expect. A spooky horror flick written, starring, and directed by actors best known for their work in literally any other genre? Folks were skeptical. By the time the film premiered at SXSW, though, it was obvious that they were wrong. Critics raved about A Quiet Place online, and the film opened to upwards of $50 million at the box office. Variety reports that it currently sits at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ryan Reynolds loved it so much that he tweeted that Blunt and Krasinski were officially his parents. In fact, the only film that had a better domestic opening at the box office so far this year was Marvel's Black Panther in February. So, what is going on here?
The consensus online is that A Quiet Place is just a quality film. It's an old-fashioned horror movie with a gorgeous, creepy farmhouse, a touch of world-building, and a dash of legitimate monster action, all with a family-centered kick. It's enjoyable, while also providing a few scares. While the movie isn't exactly reinventing the genre, it's a perfect bridge to horror films for those who may have been hesitant to explore the world of scary movies. A Quiet Place is just unsettling enough, just lingering enough, and just atmospheric enough to hook you, even if it means sleeping with the lights on if you're a horror film novice.
Apart from the actual quality of the movie, there are a few other factors contributing to the film's success. The fact that it got buzz at SXSW makes it interesting in general, especially considering people weren't sure how to feel about the idea when the film was first announced. Audiences generally like Blunt, and Krasinski has had a fan following for years thanks to The Office, but neither of them are known for the genre, which left more than a few movie buffs unsure of how the nearly silent film would play.
However, it's hard to resist a new horror film that preys on some of your deepest fears and includes actors as talented as Krasinski and Blunt. The movie also deserves props for hiring the incredible Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actor, to play the role of a hearing-impaired character. As the daughter of the film's central couple, Simmonds' role is not only a major one, it's a key part of the movie. Inclusivity in film is such an important topic, especially in regards to people with disabilities, and In A Quiet Place is helping to start conversations about why non-disabled people shouldn't be cast in the roles of disabled characters onscreen.
If it turned out to be bad, curious audiences would buy tickets to see just how meh A Quiet Place turned out. But it wasn't just buzz; A Quiet Place is legit. Word of mouth, celebrity endorsements, and a recent wave of viewer interest in Stranger Things-type nostalgia scares pretty much sealed the deal for this little film. So, if you were wondering whether to see A Quiet Place or wait a few months until it arrives on streaming, it may well be worth it to head out to a theater now — just be sure to bring a backup popcorn in case you jump and spill the first one.