Let’s be real here: I don’t get unnerved very easily. Sure, I might get anxious when there is a crowd of people, but that’s only because I hate people. So when a movie comes along that makes me nervous and tense, I take notice. It probably stems from the fact that John Krasinski put his real life spouse Emily Blunt beside him along with two stellar younger actors that made it seem like a real family. Being a husband and father of two myself, my balls were in my heart basically the entire movie.
We know Krasinski and Blunt are fantastic on screen even though they’ve never been on it together, but Krasinski also taking the helm as director is a bit of a gamble (especially with a movie like this). However, I can’t say enough how impressed I was with both his on and off screen performance. This was one of the most nail-biting experiences I’ve watched in a long time, and I have to thank him and the assholes that wrote it for making me prep for the end of the world and creatures that hunt by sound. My family will likely not be a fan of all the new rules put in place like placing sand everywhere you walk and having not a single solid object that makes a noise in the house. It’ll be a rough adjustment, but I think they’ll only put up with for a week or so.
One of the most jarring things about this movie is the lack of dialogue. There’s a reason for it, of course, but an entire intro scene of only sign language will let you know right off the bat what you’re getting into. That scene will leave you going, “Oh…so we’re just screwed from here on out, huh? Just sadness and terror for me.” Yes. Yes it is. There’s really no time to feel anything except panic except for maybe 10 minutes total at the beginning and the middle. Even laundry day becomes something I’m terrified of with the addition of one little nail. Even the god damn raccoons aren’t safe!
Having a real life married couple on screen together during all these moments of tension made each scene feel so much more real. Some people are really good at faking it and still making a great movie. When the actors don’t have to fake it, you feel the weight of it more vividly. When she makes him promise to protect the kids, it cuts to the core. Blunt even said she made him fire a friend of hers so she could take the role. She must have really wanted to do this movie.
I also need to say how good of a job Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe do as the kids Regan and Marcus. Regan happens to be deaf, which is why the family is so familiar with sign language. Marcus is utterly terrified of most everything until he sacks up toward the end. Their scene together was one of my favorites. I always knew vegetables would kill me if I wasn’t careful.
One thing I wish I could have gotten is a bit of explanation on the world they were in. The movie works perfectly without it, but I was too intrigues to leave it at that. How are other areas faring? What happened in more remote places like the Sahara desert or the Amazon? Where did the creatures some from? And so many more. Maybe it’ll do well enough that they can expound upon it and tell a story from a broader perspective…as long as John Krasinski directs it.
And thank god it was only about an hour and a half, because I don’t know if my heart could have taken much more. Don’t take a date to see it if they struggle with tense movies, because you will have to have their fingernails surgically removed from your skin. Although, maybe they’ll need to release some stress afterward if you know what I mean (sex).