Here’s a review of A Quiet Place directed by and starring John Krasinski along with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe. What we want to do is compare the Ultra HD Blu-ray to the standard Blu-ray edition of the film to see if the 4k version is worth the extra few extra bucks. Let’s get right into it.
Not having seen A Quiet Place in theaters it won’t be possible to judge the movie from a communal viewing point of view which must have been quite powerful in its silence (although the crunching of popcorn and nachos could have taken on a new level annoyance). Not even silent films were this silent but as the plot moves on the soundtrack becomes one of the characters with a propensity for moving in and out of scenes – sometimes with ease but other times in unrest.
A Quiet Place opens at a convenience store where we quickly learn silence is golden in this post-apocalyptic setting where the characters walk around barefoot, communicate with visual language, and give a new meaning to the term “walking on eggshells.”
There is tension created in the very first scene in which a young girl named Regan Abbott (played by Millicent Simmonds) blames herself for a family loss, and throughout the film her guilt creates conflict as well as an ongoing question as to “what could have happened?”
The way A Quiet Place is presented there are questions the viewer must inevitably be thinking about from the opening scene through much of the film. This aspect builds up layers of anxiety that are mostly resolved, often through the scarier parts of the film, but still there are so many questions left.
It seems hard to believe that no-one in the family has to belch, sneeze, fart or exude any other loud bodily functions as a matter of health, but that is part of the suspension of belief that a viewer must take on.
Without providing any spoilers, we’ll talk about the film’s presentation on disc and which edition (Blu-ray or 4k Blu-ray) is worth purchasing over the other. See below for some spoiler questions we wanted to throw out there.
A Quiet Place is presented in 1080p (Blu-ray) and 2160p (Ultra HD Blu-ray) with HDR via the Dolby Vision specification.
With the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc there is a significant amount of difference in sharpness, although you have to be fairly close to see it. In 4k there are clear details such as the whiskers of Abbott’s (Krasinski’s) beard, his video and control room where you can actually read the printed labels on the equipment, and in the fleshy face/ears of the creature that’s an amazing work of special effects.
The color depth of the 4k Blu-ray is also strikingly better than Blu-ray, especially in the scenes at dusk in which the sky and landscape are just flat and muddy. The 4k image with HDR has more depth and details in the shadows.
Shots of the Abbott’s home are absolutely gorgeous, and it’s as if each scene was a carefully composed photograph rich with color, detail, and contrast – a clear nod to cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen.
The black levels, however, look a little bit crunched in certain shots especially in the first scene at the convenience store. You’ll pick up what shot we’re talking about if you watch the 4k Blu-ray with any scrutiny.
The Blu-ray editions of A Quiet Place both provide the soundtrack in Dolby Atmos, compatible with multichannel Dolby TrueHD on systems that don’t support Atmos.
A question one might have is why even consider the audio formats when there is barely anything spoken anyway? Well, here’s why. There is a calm soundtrack that carries below the imagery and acts as a bridge to different scenes. And when the music fades, it is those quiet moments in which you’ll pick up the various ambient sounds you may not have been aware of.
This is a great headphone movie by the way if you want to freak yourself out in the middle of the night.
You can redeem a digital copy from either UltraViolet at paramountmovies.com or iTunes through paramountdigitalcopy.com. As with other titles the disclaimer says “code is valid for your choice of either one UltraViolet or one digital Copy redemption only.” But we’ve found the single code can be double-redeemed. The code should provide a Digital 4k version with Dolby Vision from supporting services. Since this is an early review, we haven’t been able to test the digital copy redemption but will update upon release date.
On the included Blu-ray Disc there are three bonus features: “Creating the Quiet – Behind the Scenes”; “The Sound of Darkness – Editing Sound”; and, “A Reason for Silence – The Visual Effects of A Quiet Place.” The most interesting feature was the first one in which John Krasinski takes you behind the scenes the making of the film. And, “The Sound of Darkness” will make you appreciate the work that went into the soundtrack for the film, which can be heard in immersive Dolby Atmos on systems that support it.
A Quiet Place is what you might call a “light thriller” with some unexpected scenes but with a pace that’s mostly anxiety and anticipation-driven. There is a bit of horror and sci-fi woven in but not enough to lean to either genre, although the film’s post-apocalyptic setting mysterious and invaders by default put it in the science fiction category.
Nevertheless, A Quiet Place is a definite must-see at least once and maybe even a second time if you’ve already seen the movie at the theater and want to experience it at home.
We strongly suggest the 4k Blu-ray edition of the film given its apparent improvements in color depth and sharpness. Even if you don’t have a 4k TV and 4k Blu-ray player yet the extra $5 for the Ultra HD Blu-ray edition is well worth the long term investment. You’ll also get the Digital 4k copy.
We Have Questions
Warning: This section contains spoilers.
There are so many questions about this film left answered. Here are some that maybe you thought of too.
- Why don’t the Abbotts make any noises when they step in the woods (well, there are those sand paths)?
- Why would daddy Abbott go away when mommy Abbott is so close to her water breaking?
- How did that random nail end up on the basement stairs? (Lee, you dumb ass, how could you have left that there?)
- Did they ever think about building a sound-proof room in which they could speak normally?
- Why didn’t the creature sink down into the corn silo – doesn’t it weigh significantly more than the kids?
- Why didn’t the creatures go after Regan and Marcus in the pickup truck as it barreled towards the house?
Add your own question below.
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