09 Jul Analysis: A Quiet Place (2018)
I haven’t written much lately. Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we’re all spending more time at home, but that’s really the reason I haven’t written much. This is a whole new level of busy that many of us, especially for those with families, haven’t experienced.
Well, and I’ve been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately…
I’m also back in school, and this week, my assignment was to try and identify what the worldview is in a film or television show. I decided to choose A Quiet Place from 2018. Now, this movie is well known, especially for us genre fans, but this was not a standard pick at my school: I am finishing a degree via a Christian university. If you’ve listened to our show at all, I’m open about my faith, and it is also another thing that makes me unique in the horror community.
So, I decided to share my paper here. And, here you go.
For my media analysis, I have decided (and with prior approval) to analyze a film that I’m guessing no one at ___________ ________ University has done before, and many probably have not seen: 2018s A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski (best known for the television show, The Office). The reason why I selected this film was not just due to my love of horror and thriller cinema, which this film calls home, but because of the choices presented to not only the on-screen characters but the audience; A Quiet Place continually pushes the user to examine what their worldview is because of the situations they are in and decisions that are made by the characters in the film. I hope to provide not only a thorough analysis of their worldview but inspire others to look past the genre and look for the message behind all types of media.
At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the Abbot family, who are scavenging for goods. The family consists of the father (Lee), mother (Evelyn), daughter (Regan), and sons (Marcus and Cade). Shortly after, and as we are introduced to the apocalyptic world they are living in, they suffer a tragic loss to their family. Fast-forward, we see that the family now lives in a farmhouse trying to survive creatures that prey on something that none of us can avoid: sound. And I will now give a spoiler warning in that the rest of this paper will spoil key points of the plot.
From the events that occur throughout the film, I have no doubt that the main character (Lee) has a Christian worldview, whether he would identify it that way or not. The tragedy I referred to in the previous paragraph is the loss of their youngest child, which can destroy most families. There are varying studies and data, but there is an estimate that roughly 12-16% of couples who lose a child end their relationship in divorce. In Making Sense of Your World, the authors state: “Marriage is in serious trouble. Demographers project that half of all first marriages made today will end in divorce. Most divorced people remarry, but six out of ten second marriages will fail. The concept of commitment to a spouse simply because one is married to him/ her is rare.” (Phillips, et al, 2008, p.222) From the trend of marriage and divorce in our world today, the last defenders of marriage seem to be those with a Christian worldview.
Throughout this film, we continually see the father’s devotion to protecting his family, along with the mother’s role as not only a protector but a developer of her children (teaching them math in this post-apocalyptic environment). Whether it is in the media, news, or other sources, we see the effects of postmodernism on traditional gender roles in a family. Two Bible verses which relate to the importance of the father and mother are:
- Genesis 18:19: “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
- Psalm 128:3-4: “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”
Additionally, and while not confirmed by the filmmakers (the lead character was also the writer and director), there is a strong pro-life message in this film. The mother, Evelyn, is pregnant and chooses to have the child. Most Reverend Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, wrote the following on his website regarding this film:
“The central drama of A Quiet Place is that Mrs. Abbott is expecting a child. The entire family realizes, of course, that a wailing infant would, given the circumstances, mean almost certain death for all of them. And yet, they decide not to kill the child at his birth but to hide him and mute his cries in various ways. When so many in our culture are willing to murder their children for the flimsiest of reasons, when the law gives full protection even to partial-birth abortion, when people blithely say that they would never bring a baby into such a terrible world, the monastic family in this film welcomes life, even into the worst of worlds, and even when such an act is of supreme danger to them.” (Barron, 2018)
Finally, we get to the end of the story where the father sacrifices his own life to protect those of the ones that he loves. I have always felt a strong connection to martyrs, or those who sacrifice themselves for a greater belief. Throughout Church history, there have been thousands who have died because they believed in something greater than themselves, so this correlation of the father in the movie not only looks towards those martyrs but to our greatest example of sacrifice: Christ on the Cross. Why would someone sacrifice themselves if there is no greater good, as postmodernism tells us? If “there is no purpose.”? (Colorado Christian University, 2014)
With all of the evidence I have presented, I have no doubt that the characters in A Quiet Place have a Christian worldview, whether it was intentional or not. This movie, which I have seen multiple times, has always had a strong impact on me. Being a parent has completely changed the way I see things like this, and I encourage those who wouldn’t normally be drawn to something like this to go outside of their comfort zone and look a little deeper.
ESV Study Bible (2008). Crossway.
To The Newly Bereaved. (2016, November 16). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.compassionatefriends.org/find-support/to-the-newly-bereaved/
Phillips, W. G., Brown, W. E., & Stonestreet, J. (2008). Making sense of your world: A biblical world view. Salem, WI: Sheffield Pub.
Barron, R. (2018, April 10). The Most Unexpectedly Religious Film of the Year. Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/the-most-unexpectedly-religious-film-of-the-year/20557/
Colorado Christian University. (2011). Postmodernism: A Mood [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://blackboard.ccu.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1941534-dt-content-rid-38955565_1/xid-38955565_1
Bay, M. (Producer), & Krasinski, J. (Director). (2018). A Quiet Place [Motion Picture]. United States; Paramount Pictures