In "A Quiet Place," a family must navigate their lives in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death, Evelyn (Blunt) and Lee (Krasinski) are determined to find a way to protect their children at all costs while they desperately search for a way to fight back. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes: "Creating The Quiet—Behind The Scenes Of A Quiet Place" (HD 14:45), "The Sound Of Darkness—Editing Sound For A Quiet Place" (HD 11:44), and "A Reason For Silence: The Visual Effects Of A Quiet Place" (HD 07:33); and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Panavisioon® on Kodak Vision3 film stock using the Arriflex 235, Arriflex 35 IIC, and the Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2 camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been unconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture has a filmic, softly focused composition with grain apparent throughout. HDR contrast is well balanced with decent blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and bright but natural highlights. Color fidelity is excellent with fine gradations in hue apparent. Hues are rich and warm. Resolution is superb with fine detail exhibited in close-ups, especially revealing of facial features, skin pores, hair, beard, and interior room close-ups. But foregrounds and backgrounds appear to be softly focused. There are no especially great WOW! segments, as the storytelling takes place on a farmland setting with a farmhouse, and briefly a very small deserted town shop. Still, the picture is hauntingly beautiful and exhibits a colorfully warm palette. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is quite intriguing. The sound design is impressive, as the sound or lack of must convey silence, though, the natural world seems to not apply as wind is frequent, such as scattering leafs, trees blowing, a running stream, waterfalls, etc. seem to not make a disturbance. The sound designer provides viewers with an eye-witness overview no matter what the setting. From this perspective, one can appreciate the challenges involved. Atmospherics play a predominant role in creating realism—this is also true for Foley sound effects. To fully appreciate the nuanced subtleties in these two sound elements requires a home theatre capable of very low-level reproduction. The orchestral music element is strong and exciting and occupies a wide and deep soundstage that seems to move and extend aggressively to the four surrounds. The music provides the intense terror with bolts of energy and quite dynamic orchestrations. Deep bass also is conveyed by the music and fortified with .1 LFE energy. Dialogue is heard once and briefly, as is whispering, but sounds are spatially integrated. Sound effects really define the sound of the creatures with aggressive surround directionality. The creatures' sound effects extend to the height channels at times with intensity.
The Immersive Sound element is nicely active with eerie sounds, nuanced air movement ambiance, natural countryside outdoor sounds, waterfalls, echoish pounding/stomping sounds, creature growls, overhead creature disturbance, dripping water, high-frequency electronic ping sounds, and the music score, which at times is quite active and intense. The music under the credits is definitely worth a listen in Dolby Atmos. Still, there are wide gaps where there is no height channel enhancement, whether the music score or sound effects. This is unfortunate because soundscape opportunities are abundant within the context of the setting.
Overall, this is an effective soundtrack that works on many levels. (Gary Reber)