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Horror on a high

A Quiet Place shows again how Hollywood can turn the mundane into the terrifying

Emily Blunt and  Millicent Simmonds in a scene from A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place screenwriters Bryan Woods and Scott Beck say director John Krasinski had pushed to cast Millicent Simmonds, hearing impaired in real-life, to star in the film.

The scribe duo says Krasinski wanted Simmonds to play the character of Regan Abbott, his onscreen daughter in the film about a family trying to survive in silence.

“We always had a deaf character in the script, but John really pushed for them to hire Millicent. She came to set and taught everyone sign language. It was amazing and brought an extra depth to the film,” Beck told The Hollywood Reporter. The writers, who are long-time friends, share the credit with Krasinski. Woods says the seed of the idea germinated when they were in college.

A Quiet Place chronicles the story of a family that struggles to survive amid the invasion of blind, sound-hunting monsters. Krasinski stars opposite real-life wife, actress Emily Blunt, in the film, which also features Noah Jupe. 

Here are a few recent bone-chilling thrillers that have escorted us down the darkened path and left us screaming for more:

GET OUT (2017)

In his debut film, director Jordan Peele sculpts an allegory on racism in America and what a way to show the horrific effects of racial discrimination. Setting it in the horror genre Peele tries to create an atmosphere of fear in a satire whose subject has been haunting America for decades. Based on an interracial couple at a moment when Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is meeting his white girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) family for the first time. The horror starts for the lovebirds when Chris notices strange things about her family’s black servants and their neighbourhood friends after being hypnotised against his will by her therapist mother (Catherine Keener). It’s funny, it’s tense, it features two great performances from Kaluuya and Williams and Peele skilfully creates a web of tension throughout the run time. 

Bill Skarsgård as the clown in It

IT (2017)

This adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a child-eating clown remains one of the bone-chilling horror films in Hollywood. Director Andrés Muschietti does great justice to the novel by not only creating a clown that thrives on our fears but has been able to drive home the point that clowns could be fearful too. It is a perfect example of what happens when a first-class story material meets first-class execution. Not only is It a highly entertaining horror movie, it’s also a rare movie that makes you crave for a sequel. 

Annabelle Wallis who starred in the first Annabelle film in 2014

ANNABELLE: CREATION (2017)

This supernatural film directed by David F. Sandberg is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and the fourth instalment in The Conjuring series. The film depicts the possessed Annabelle doll’s origin. The last instalment of the franchise has resonance of the original film and works more with the mood and less with shoddy scares than either Annabelle or The Conjuring 2, resulting in an effective genre flick. Annabelle: Creation also features a batch of extremely likable and engaging new characters. Stephanie Sigman steps in as Sister Charlotte, a nun looking out for a group of orphan girls in need of a place to stay. Lucky for them, a dollmaker and his wife offer to take them in after losing their own daughter in a car accident years prior. But soon after moving into the house, strange things start to happen and a malicious force targets one of the young girls, Janice, played by Talitha Bateman.

Lights Out star Teresa Palmer

LIGHTS OUT (2016)

It was refreshing to see something chillingly different in this genre. Paul is working after hours and is murdered by a supernatural entity in the shadow. When his son Martin is frightened by the same creature, he sees his mother Sophie talking to an imaginary friend called Diana in the shadow of her room. Martin does not sleep anymore during the night. His older step sister Rebecca who lives alone is summoned by the social assistant. She brings Martin home and recalls her own experience with Diana years ago when she was young. Rebecca and her boyfriend Bret investigate the connection of Sophie with Diana and come up to a scary revelation about their past. The short-low-budget film is a fantastic example of a well-executed idea.

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