Good evening! Monsters are running amok in movie theaters! Earlier this year, we had Pacific Rim: Uprising. Power Rangers and Kong: Skull Island were last year’s kaiju films. Now we have A Quiet Place and Rampage. Monsters are basically the only common element between these two movies. A Quiet Place is a unique post-apocalyptic horror film while Rampage is an adventurous video game adaptation. These films seem to have different target audiences too. I’ll break down everything in my double feature review, starting with A Quiet Place.
The story begins eighty-nine days after monsters invaded our world. It focuses on a family who lives on a farm, surviving one day at a time. Raising children in regular society is difficult enough. The parents in this film have the extra challenge of keeping their children alive in a world where sound can be deadly. These mysterious creatures are totally blind and have a heightened sense of hearing. Therefore, it’s essential to use sigh language and other means to stay silent.
A Quiet Place is an excellent movie. It’s completely different than anything I’ve seen in both the horror and post-apocalyptic genres. We’ve seen zombies, plagues, nuclear wars, and other redundancies in post-apocalyptic films. However, the concept of using sound as a means between life and death is very unusual. I’ve never seen this type of creature in other films. The creators of this movie deserve some credit for originality.
I think John Krasinski has a very bright future in directing. His directing is one of the film’s greatest strengths. Krasinkski makes the movie suspenseful, interesting, and surprisingly realistic. He makes sure the audience will care about the characters and feel terrified of the creatures. It’s a very small film without a huge budget, but the story seems much grander. Krasinski also left me hungering for a sequel. That’s pretty impressive for a small scale horror film.
A Quiet Place has a ton of suspense and dread. It’s not a B level horror movie. The movie uses both silence and sound to build up a ton of feelings inside the viewer. It’s very unpredictable with a slow burn and some effective jump scares. This film relies on suspense and actual horror instead of bloody splatter. I’m surprised A Quiet Place is PG-13 because it seems scary enough to warrant an R rating. This movie will also leave a lot of sorrow in the audience. It’s tough to watch because the film has some very tragic and unusual scenes. The tone is bleak with a deep need for survival. It’s definitely a lot creepier than most contemporary horror films.
What about the monsters? You’ll actually get a good look at them. I’m not going to give away specific details, but you shouldn’t feel disappointed. They’re very odd, menacing, and cool. I’m pretty sure people are going remember these creatures for a long time. They’re definitely CGI, but not cheesy.
I don’t feel like singling out specific actors, but they used sign language through most of the film and it must be a challenging method to bring out the drama, suspense, compassion, etc. The characters are a cohesive unit who paint a vivid picture of a post-apocalyptic world. They make the bizarre situation seem halfway believable and that’s a difficult task. The family seems very clever at times, figuring out ways to maintain their silence while finding important resources.
This is a very good movie, but it’s not perfect. Pacing is the film’s biggest issue. The first half of the film drags to a certain extent. It’s not boring, but I wanted the pace to pick up. The movie only runs for an hour and a half, but it seems much longer. I would say it seems more like a two hour film. The first half of the story lacks enough action to push everything along. It becomes far more exciting later.
I felt annoyed with the characters and some of their decisions. At times, they seem very intelligent and resourceful with good survival instincts. Then the characters suddenly make incredibly stupid decisions. I guess haywire decisions are important; otherwise we wouldn’t have a movie. However, their behavior shows inconsistency. We could say these problems make the characters appear human and believable, but I still think it’s a little weird.
A Quiet Place is definitely worth a viewing, especially to certain audiences. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys horror or post-apocalyptic films. Lovers of the art house genre might like it as well. The movie could be too frightening for some people, even though it’s only PG-13. I’m not sure if the experience seems special enough in theaters. You could wait and watch it at home, especially if time and money is tight.
Rampage is quite a bit different than A Quiet Place. The premise for Rampage is very simple. A company called Energyne is working on a serum that contains genetic material from many animals. It’s a dangerous substance that’s being worked on by a crew in a space station. The corporate executives at Energyne want to sell the product as a biological weapon. Obviously, they’re willing to sacrifice the lives of many people to gain a profit. Something goes horribly wrong on the space station, causing three samples of the substance to crash land on earth. Three animals consume the mutagen, including an albino gorilla, a wolf, and an alligator. They quickly become huge, ferocious monsters who ultimately rampage through Chicago. Somebody needs to stop them before Chicago becomes a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Naturally, I didn’t expect this movie to be a masterpiece. But it’s a whole lot of fun! It’s a wacky guilty pleasure with tons of action and monster mayhem. Rampage has a nice combination of humor, adventure, and intensity. I thought it was going to be stupid, but the film isn’t bad at all. The monsters totally steal the show. It includes the original three monsters from the video game series: George, Ralph, and Lizzie. They’re larger than life with some interesting oddities. The trailers show some really bizarre qualities in the creatures. For example, Ralph the wolf can glide like a flying squirrel. They’re a little bit different than most kaiju or giant monsters. Rampage will definitely give you a strong entertainment value. Just don’t take the film too seriously or it will ruin the fun.
A couple performances stood out from the crowd. Dwayne Johnson portrays Davis Okoye, a primate specialist who takes care of George the gorilla. He’s the right casting choice for this type of movie. Dwayne Johnson is a great action hero with good comedic timing. His character has a really big heart too. Okoye wants to save his wildlife buddy and will do what it takes to get the job done. I also got a kick out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a government agent named Harvey Russell. He’s tough, shady, snarky, and a rugged cowboy type. Russell is actually a complex character and I was surprised with his various dimensions.
I loved the visual effects. It might not be the best CGI in the world, but the visual effects were great for a monster film. The creatures didn’t seem overly fake or like video game characters. They seemed more like sentient creatures with legitimate movement, even though you can tell it’s CGI. Naturally, you’re going to see a lot of explosions, violence, and major damage to the city. It’s effective and very exciting. Overall, the quality was pretty good.
You know what? The story isn’t bad. Can you believe it? I thought it was going to be a bunch of nonsense with tons of plot holes. It’s not a perfect plot by any means, but the story is quite decent for a kaiju movie. The plot heads in a sensible direction and it doesn’t become convoluted with messy details. It’s direct and simple, which is a brilliant choice for a film about monsters destroying a city. The junk science actually makes sense, even though it’s not realistic. Rampage has genuine moments of suspense and dread. Then it releases the tension with some humor and wackier elements. I was impressed. The film’s length is good too. It runs for under two hours and that was a smart idea.
I don’t have a lot of criticism for this movie. As expected, it’s not brilliant filmmaking. Most of the human characters are underdeveloped, the premise is silly, and the entire story revolves around giant monsters. However, I still think it’s a really good effort. It could have been much worse.
Actually, I want to criticize the trailers. They look awesome, but many details were spoiled. If you haven’t watched the trailers yet, stay away from them. The trailers show many key scenes and action sequences. They’re virtually a Cliff’s Notes version of the movie. I also noticed a plot hole from the trailers. George mutates less than the other monsters. Ralph and Lizzie develop physical attributes from other animals, but George simply remains an enormous gorilla. I guess the film makers just wanted him to remain cute and cuddly.
Despite it's silly nature, Rampage is worth seeing in theaters. You need to be a fan of monster flicks or wacky adventure films. In fact, I would recommend seeing it on a large screen like IMAX. However, that might be an impossible task because The Avengers: Infinity War will book up the largest screens for several weeks. Rampage will also scare small children. Please heed the PG-13 rating.
Overall, see one or both of these movies if you're tired of superheroes. I'm actually looking forward to the Infinity War, but some people are feeling superhero fatigue. Did any of you guys see A Quiet Place or Rampage yet? Tell me about it in the comment section. I'm going to review the new Avengers film at a later time. Stay tuned for more posts in the near future. Take care and enjoy your night at the movies.
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