Thoughts on “A Quiet Place”

A Quiet Place is perhaps one of the greatest films of the year. Surprisingly since it is a thriller/horror, you probably wouldn’t expect that too much, but something about the film transcends the mediocre creature horror flick genre.

The film is about a family that must live in silence against creatures that thrive on noise. This family goes through hurdles and hoops to maintain their livelihood. They’ve lost one child, so the family with their remaining two children have to navigate through unforeseen challenges that arise in a post-apocalyptic world of noise-loving creatures.

As with another horror film of 18′, Hereditary, the female leads, Toni Collete and Emily Blunt, deliver powerful performances that make you feel closely connected to the struggle of their characters. Moreover, the male lead in the film, John Krasinski, offers a passionate role as a protective father in a world of potential chaos and family issues. It’s really a great film for many points that Bishop Robert Barron eloquently started in his take on the film. I saw the film when it was initially released, so my thoughts are what came up as I gave 90min. of my attention to this mesmerizing flick.

Something that caught my attention was the pro-life message of the film. After 400 plus days since the incident of their son being killed by a creature or since the post-apocalyptic world began, the husband and wife resort to having another child. I personally think the 400 days is after the kid is killed, it would make more sense. Many families today wrestle with unforeseen events during pregnancy or disaster and decide to have another child as a replacement to fill the void of a lost child.

Keep in mind the world the family lives in requires them daily to stay on high alert DEFCON 1 panic. No sign of help in the known world, they have to resort to using sign language (their daughter is deaf) as the predominant language and have to cover their steps with sand to ensure that no sound is released to offset the mysterious creatures. In all this madness, who would’ve thought to have a child? This family did.

Why?

Regardless of the family filling a potential void, the natural law our bodies are geared toward doesn’t cease when civil society is obliterated or underdeveloped. In fact, before our modern-day industrialized information-based society was born, many still embraced children in agrarian cultures and far less developed cultures prior to that. Many across the globe still embrace large families despite abject living conditions and a real modern colonization effort by the West to sterilize other continents.

I’m amazed by how many post-apocalyptic shows where civil society is in disarray and the citizens embrace children as part of their “humanity” which is really pointing toward the natural law that governs us. For example, in the Walking Dead, a show about a zombie apocalypse, two regular characters have children or about to give birth. Despite the awkward faces, many give them about deciding to continue with the pregnancy, they still decide to have a baby.

This amazing phenomenon in the film showcases the power of why a man can’t escape the power of moral conscience where “man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil (CCC, 1776).” This transcendent law requires us to do good. And childbearing is good! Despite overwhelming circumstances in this world, childbearing is naturally a good act because parents bring forth a new life from unitive love. While parents do procreate in love, they won’t always shelter children from evil or bad in the world, but to guide and protect them from harm through love. Children are the recipients of the expression of love, so it would make sense to have them.

God created us too in a similar predicament. He created us in love, not to be guarded against The Fall, but to join Him through the Incarnation of his Son. So although we have a terrible situation, Original Sin, God didn’t abandon us to death but gave His Son in love by the first mention of a Savior in the Protoevangelium (CCC, 410; Gen. 3:15).

Something else that’s really powerful in the film is how the father lays down his life for his children against the creatures that are trying to kill them.

(Rewind just a little bit)

As I said, one of the children is deaf. She is partly responsible for the murder of her brother by a creature. While doing a store run for medicine, the youngest brother presents a toy to his parents, but they won’t allow it because of the noise-free world they have to live in. So they take out the batteries, out the toy away, and prepare to depart home. The daughter gives the toy back to her brother and he places the batteries back in. As the family is walking home, the little brother plays with a loud toy and is devoured.

As time goes on, the daughter sort of feels guilty about the incident and notices different treatment from her father. The surviving brother even mentions obvious partiality the father has toward the sister. So much to the point that he even asks the father does he still love her. However, it’s clear the daughter doesn’t feel love or support from her father in the film because she decides to run away and puts the family in tremendous fear and protection in a way.

(Picking up where I left off)

The mysterious creatures finally trapped the brother and sister in a truck.

They’re terrified!!

They don’t know what to do at all!!

The father sees them suffering and willingly sacrifices his life to save theirs. He passionately tells the children, specifically the daughter using sign language, “I love you. I have always loved you. ” Next thing you know, he is dead. Immediately when I saw this part, I thought about Jesus Christ’s atonement on the cross.

The dad, full of bold righteousness and integrity, offered himself as the one to free his children from death. Really the kids should’ve died. But the father in his abundant love laid down his life so that they might live. As a result, his children were spared the punishment of death and were able to be safe by their newfound method to defeat the creatures, the daughter’s hearing aid device. Apparently, the monsters’ weakness is the frequency of the transmission of the device.

Similarly, Jesus, the spotless lamb of God & Beloved Son of God, in keeping with the tradition of the OT sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb and Suffering Servant, perfectly offered himself as a sin offering ( 2 Cor 5:21). His death and resurrection defeated the stronghold of sin. As a result, Christ ransomed us from the penalty of death and saves us from sin, hence the name Jesus (Matt. 1:21). Thankfully, God, ” did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son. (CCC, 603). ”

A very powerful scene!

A Quiet Place, so far, is the best film of 2018. A real gem of the film is that the parents are an actual married couple. Also, the film has a very good portrayal of family-prayer, family time, and welcoming of children. But then again, when you’re in a noise-free society, what else can you resort to? Bishop Robert Barron says that the male lead and director, John Krasinski, is a Catholic, so it’s great to see important values of family incorporated into the film. Overall, you’d be doing yourself a great favor to watch the film if it peaks your interests.

Image: Paramount

Follow me on Twitter @Menny_thoughts

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