As you probably already know, I always get massively scared in anticipation for horror movies. However, I had heard this film was supposed to be excellent so I thought I would give it a go. Despite being in the cinema, as the trailers progressed, which are almost always horror trailers; my fear began to grow, until I almost decided I wasn’t going to watch the film. I said incredulously to my friend, “Why am I even here, I don’t even like horror movies?”, which isn’t technically true as almost all of the horror movies I have seen I have loved, it is just the thinking about them before the film that worries me. Anyway, I stayed for the film, but was that a good idea?
What is it about?
In the year 2020, over a year after the fatal entrance of monsters that kill anything that makes a sound, we meet one of the “sole-surviving” families in this dystopian future. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) lead their: terrified son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and their deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) through the frightening ordeals of daily life. The system where they live is: in the night-time if everything is fine the lights surrounding their house maintain a standard yellow glow, but if something is wrong, they get switched to red so everybody knows and can act accordingly. With all the monsters in the area around their land- will they survive the night?
What did I think?
This film was very tense. The ambiguity that was left by not explaining much about the monsters; along with a lack of context to do with the initial circumstances leading up to the night only added to the tension as everything we got was new. I think it is quite emotional, and other than maybe ‘Get Out’, I don’t think a horror I have watched has maintained a full emotional engagement, completely throughout. I thought the acting was superb, lead strongly by Emily Blunt but well supported by John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe (who is really starting to become quite great young actor.) I thought the plot was strong and didn’t rely on jump scares to involve the reader in the film. I didn’t think the film was very scary but instead I just thought it engaging.
For me the climax of my engagement consistently peaked anytime someone went into the basement as I was constantly paranoid by an earlier scene with a nail sticking through the floorboards.
*End to mini spoiler*
Although there are key plot points throughout the film I don’t feel this is a film that can really be spoiled. The point of this film is that it is an experience mixed with moral messages about love from parents and in that respect I loved it.
I came into this film expecting something terrifying and this film really just wasn’t. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it was very tense but when you go into a film expecting one thing and then get another it is always a bit of a disappointment. Also, although the film ended on a cliffhanger it could have finished just five minutes later and I would have been happy.
Conclusion: I thought this film was very good and has really stayed with me since my first viewing. If I get a chance I would love to watch it again as it was a real experience.
My Rating: 8.5/10