Ralph Potts reviews this compelling horror thriller set in a post-apocalyptic world, where a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

95
Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Horror/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: John Krasinski, Emilt Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds
Directed by: John Krasinski
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Written by: John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Region Code: A

Release Date: July 10, 2018

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"If They Hear You…"
My Take:

A Quiet Place follows a family who 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 (Emily Blunt) and Lee (John Krasinski) are determined to find a way to protect their children at all costs while they desperately search for a way to fight back.

I love a good horror thriller and after seeing the teaser trailer for A Quiet Place I was all in. I am a fan of both John Krasinski, who directed and co-wrote the film, and Emily Blunt, plus the premise looked very intriguing. I took the film in during its theatrical run after my son saw it and gave it high praises.

Narrow in scope, and teeming with atmosphere, and suspense, this is an engaging, genre bending thriller, that grabs hold early on and doesn’t let up. After brief introductions it sets the stage for the primary menace via a disturbing event. We are quickly connected to the family afterward and come to care about them as they expertly navigate the perilous environment by remaining as quiet as humanly possible. Unfortunately, a series of events both foreseen and unforeseen bring them directly into harm’s way on one fateful evening. The narrative’s unraveling tale is executed so well, so as to keep you seeing only what is intended, until the moment chosen to unhinge its direction.

The cinematography and soundtrack are top notch, playing a definitive role in the proceedings. The pacing is spot on, allowing the subtext and thematic underpinnings to maintain the plot’s focus. The final moments fall prey to horror movie clichés somewhat, but I had no problem with that. I thought that the four cast members did a fantastic job, enjoying superb chemistry that underscored the film’s multiple themes. I found A Quiet Place every bit as compelling and entertaining during this second viewing and have added it to my collection of dark thrillers.

Replay Value: 4 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for terror and some bloody images.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
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UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 
Dolby Atmos Rating: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Level of immersion: 
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A Quiet Place comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray, A Quiet Place was rendered from 35mm film sources and finished on a 2K Digital Intermediate.

From a cinematic perspective, this film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind, and that comes through in the presentation, which bests the 1080p version, which is no slouch. I wouldn’t describe this film as overtly colorful, however, there are elements, such as the wide-angle shots of the mountainous region, and forest lands, where the palate of autumn-based hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red/green benefited from UHD's wider color gamut, appearing vividly pleasing and lifelike. Resolution gets a noticeable boost as well. Close-ups and mid-level shots offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable texture on interior surfaces, metallic objects, and physical features.

There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant, such as Marcus’ flashlight cutting through the dark as he crawls through the cornfield or later as he and Regan struggle in the interior of the silo. A Quiet Place contains a host of sun splashed, daytime segments, which appeared more vibrant and tonally gradational compared to the Blu-ray. The film’s plethora of defining low level sequences had excellent depth of field and emboldened contrast.

Based upon the excellent quality of the original source the difference between viewing A Quiet Place in high definition and Ultra HD isn't night and day, but there is no question that its UHD presentation benefitted from the increase in resolution, and high dynamic range treatment. Mimicking what I saw during its theatrical presentation this is among the better releases I have seen from the format and I hope to see more like it going forward.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for A Quiet Place, I found the HDR rendering to essentially be identical. As I alluded to earlier, this film’s elements aren’t consistently lent to bright color and vibrant highlights. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings, any minute differences were negligible and not enough to warrant a rating difference. Both looked terrific, leaving me similarly satisfied with what I saw.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be an entertaining listening experience that made excellent use of the platform. The immersive mix compliments the already top-notch soundtrack and enhances the experience of watching the film. The use of audio objects placed above and at ear level is a mix of atmospherics, discrete effects and music. The film’s critical moments, swallow you up as the mix elevates tension, placing sounds throughout the soundstage.

The attention to detail here is noticeably on display, giving you a taste of what is to come early on (right around the 20-minute mark), when one of the kids knocks over a lamp. This is followed later by the engaging scene in the basement (46 minutes in) when Evelyn must think quickly or buy the farm. The film’s best sound moment takes place in the silo. None of these are overlong but, sound terrific.

There is also much to enjoy in scenes that aren’t actively intense as smaller elements in the background are articulated and dimensionally full. In general, this Dolby Atmos mix made for an involving surround sound experience. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and discrete object placement, which complimented the source material. Woo Hoo!

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:
Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
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A Quiet Place comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors range from warm and vivid to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. A Quiet Place looks great on Blu-ray.

The 7.1 Dolby True HD (Atmos core) soundtrack is excellent and truly enhances the film’s overall presentation. This is a dynamically gratifying surround mix that features high level detail, superlative clarity and room filling surround sound. This is sophisticated sound design that incorporates a vast number of sound effects that are intricately mixed to engage the listening position. Spot on imaging and channel separation draw out both large and small sounds and allow their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable within the room’s acoustic boundaries. This is not an ostentatious audio presentation but it offers engaging bass extension that produces smooth, palpably rich low frequencies that energize the room (bass fans are going to love it!). When applicable dialog is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity. End to end this is an attention-grabbing home theater presentation that plays perfectly to this film’s thematic content. Crank it up and enjoy!

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: A Quiet Place Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: A Quiet Place Blu-ray
  • Creating the Quiet – Behind the Scenes featurette
  • The Sound of Darkness – Editing Sound featurette
  • A Reason for Silence – Visual Effects featurette
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Co-written and directed by star John Krasinski, A Quiet Place is an engaging, well-executed, and head turning horror/thriller that delivers a terrific theatrical experience. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Combo Pack that delivers sparkling image quality, while invigorating the listening experience with a rousing Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and room shaking sound. Also included is a fair assortment of extras that are worth exploring. A Quiet Place is a must see for genre fans and comes highly recommended on Blu-ray.
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems