Directed by John Krasinski
Story by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Screenplay by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
This movie was directed by John Krasinski (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi), who also stars in the film and helped write the script. Scott Beck (Nightlight) and Bryan Woods (The Bride Wore Blood) developed the story and worked with Krasinski on the screenplay. The cast also includes Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train), Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck), and Noah Jupe (Wonder).
The writers did a great job putting this one together. The premise is straightforward, but also has a number of built-in opportunities that create some fun twists throughout. The writing gets the action going quickly, then slows up a bit to allow for a lot of tension to build. This slowdown really allows some of the realities of the characters to sink in. These moments are essential in building up the drama and the suspense that the film needs. The writing also turns the lack of dialogue into one of the major strengths of the story. There are some parts of the plot that seem a bit unnecessary, but the payoffs are strong enough to overcome those moments. This one is a solid suspenseful psychological horror film with just a tiny bit of a science fiction feel to it.
The actors did a great job with this script. John Krasinski does a great job bringing out the conflict and emotion of his character. (This is not Jim from The Office.) He also has a really good connection with the two younger stars of the film. Emily Blunt also does great work, playing one of the more emotionally intense roles in the movie. The young actors Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe do solid work in this one. Without a lot of dialogue, the movie relies on physical reactions, and neither of them oversell their moments. The chemistry between the four of these actors is also evident. There is a genuine feel to the relationships between each of them. Overall, the cast does all the right things to make this one work wonderfully.
This movie has a lot going for it. The camera work, sets, and locations all seem right for the story. Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen (Fences) did a great job capturing the tension in the story with her visuals. The CGI aspects of the movie are also handled right. Unlike some horror movies where the visuals can get distracting, this one avoids trying too hard. There might have been some better choices when it came to editing, but it doesn’t take much away from this one. It should also be pointed out that Marco Beltrami’s (Snowpiercer) score is wonderful.
This is the kind of horror movie that people who don’t like horror movies should consider seeing. The movie relies on the unseen, building tension and drama slowly. That being said, fans of horror should make sure to check this one out. I would also recommend this to fans of the stars. It’s particularly nice to see the range that John Krasinski has developed as an actor. This is a fun movie that might be one of the better horror films in recent memory. I give this one 4.4 out of 5 stars.