It is 89 days after the apocalypse. A family of five is scavenging what they can from an abandoned supermarket. They are all in bare feet. Why? Because the creatures that have overrun the world detect their prey by sound. It’s a neat idea, and director John Krasinski exploits it with a series of standard but well-executed horror movie set-ups. The prologue closes with the terrible loss of one of the kids and the story then cuts to a year later. Mom (Emily Blunt) is now pregnant, Dad (Krasinsky) is still working on perfecting a hearing aid for his deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and son (Noah Jupe) is making up the numbers. These early stages cause a problem within the audience that may not have been envisaged by the filmmakers. The Billy Bunter who sat next to me turned up with a bucket of popcorn and vat of Coca-Cola. To his credit, he tried to eat quietly, saving his gluttonous surges for when there were brief musical interludes, but it was like being in the middle of the Serengeti as punters all around were stuffing their faces (are chip bags meant to be that loud?). Inevitably, somebody’s phone started vibrating, resulting in stifled, inappropriate giggling. But back to the movie… and Mom, having just trodden on a hideous nail sticking out of the floor without screaming, is about to have that baby. It will be a big ask for her to get through the birth in silence… and wouldn’t you know it! There is one of the monsters in the house! It’s a pity that Krasinsky decided to go with the weird sci-fi monsters that he did for, despite their row of T-Rex teeth, there is something cartoonish about them. In a screenplay with such a strong Stephen King feel, I couldn’t help thinking that human-looking antagonists might have been more seriously scary. Zombies for instance. Whatever, this is better than your average schlock, and the resolution is cleverly connected to Regan’s deafness.
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