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Soundtrack review: A quiet place (Marco Beltrami – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: A quiet place (Marco Beltrami – 2018)



“A Quiet Place” is a 2018 American horror film directed by John Krasinski, who also stars alongside Emily Blunt, his real-life spouse. The screenplay was written by Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck, based on a story by Woods and Beck. The plot follows a family of four who must live life in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound. Marco Beltrami wrote the score and he is definitely no stranger to the horror genre.

A story like this relies a lot on sound and silence so the score plays a big part in context. As the opening cue “It hears you” develops I am getting flashbacks from one of the most impressive tense textures in recent years, the late Johan Johannsson’s “Sicario” score; it’s the same uncomfortable, industrial, suffocating sound that made cues like “The best” from the aforementioned score work so well. The tension dies down and is replaced by a piano mist from time to time, and it has a strange effect on me: usually I applaud Marco Beltrami for thinking outside the box and almost always coming up with some exciting experiment but this score feels a bit too normal, too regular from his part and even more so, not very original in enough moments. The combination of hot and cold, of melodic piano and “Sicario” like tension works to express duality and I find myself more attracted to pieces like “A quiet life” that asks questions among the piano musings.

The movie might be clever and scary but the score is harmless; it is enjoyable to some extent as a standalone listening experience because melodic reflective moments where piano and violin meet up are right up my alley but I was not scared at all. This is a horror movie and the score as a compliment, especially with so little dialogue was supposed to help with the tension and the fear; it tries to build up the first but it fails to take care of the second. It is ironic that I would deem as “too quiet” a score for a movie called “A quiet place” but this was what bothered me the most when listening to the music on its own.

What I am left with from this Marco Beltrami composition is a string of piano motifs that could have led to something better; a collection of reflective sprouts that floated somehow without a clear aim. “A quiet place” was sneaky and nothing more and it failed to evoke the terror I was expecting it to.

Cue rating: 70 / 100

The dinner table

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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  1. Tom de Ruiter 15th April 2018

    I think the score on it’s own is a little bit of a let down. But after I saw the movie. The score meant a lot more for me. Don’t know if you feel the same.

  2. FaresTdkr 19th April 2018

    I liked piano cues but every thing else just not Orginal!


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