Movie Art and HeArt: An Example

SHHHH… a caption across a black screen reads Day 89.

A shot of an abandoned town and a fallen stoplight among wild grasses.

A pair of bare feet tiptoe through a ransacked market and pharmacy. They belong to a teenage girl with an implanted hearing device.

A sick-looking boy lies against emptied shelves as a woman scans orange plastic medicine bottles, fishes for a pill, and administers it to the boy.

The teenage girl finds her youngest brother, a doe-eyed four-year-old with big dreams of taking a rocket ship and making an escape.

The mystery continues when the girl narrowly misses a toy rocket the four-year-old clumsily pulls off the shelf just as the father arrives with supplies.

The family prepares to leave when they freeze.

The four-year-old has the rocket ship again. Like a ticking time bomb, his father takes the toy away. He removes two batteries from the rocket and then, in sign language, tells the child, “Listen to me. It’s too loud.” He leads the family outside.

The family is barefoot and moving in a single file (the four-year-old is the caboose), following a thin trail of sand through the abandoned streets and into the woods.

Suddenly, a loud whir and alarms blare as the four-year-old lifts a roaring toy rocket into the air.

The father sprints towards the child, past his wife, whose eyes are wide and has her hands clapped over a silent scream… it’s too late.

From the trees, something moves in a blur, and it snatches up the child, leaving nothing but the toy rocket in its wake.

This is the opening of “A Quiet Place” (2018), starring John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe, and it’s a scary movie—a horror that sticks to the soul and etches the mind.

“A Quiet Place” has every element of a great Horror: A post-apocalyptic world, a lone family steeped in survival mode, and an alien species with an insatiable appetite for flesh that move at breakneck speed at the sound of a pin drop!

The tension rises further once the audience realizes the evasive species is recent and unstoppable, that humanity is close to extinction, and then later when it becomes apparent that the mother is pregnant—super pregnant—ready to pop!

Within ten minutes of the story’s beginning, I am entirely invested.

The abandoned streets and ransacked marketplace pique my interest. The family using sign language to communicate elicits my curiosity—do they have to be silent, or do they do it because one of their own is deaf? Add to all this the element of constant-silence-or-die throws me into total surrender! I am hooked until the very end.

Besides the superb acting and the unique delivery of a familiar plot, this movie also has depth and is a beautiful example of Movie Art with Heart!

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