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A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place centers on a family living in a not-too-distant future in which vicious aliens with hypersensitive hearing have wiped out much of the world’s population. A little over a year into the invasion, after losing their youngest child (of three) to the creatures, they have another child on the way. In a world where silence is absolutely crucial for survival, a newborn baby is the ultimate liability, and while we’re privy to the family’s many ingenious strategies for living silently, A Quiet Place doesn’t let us in on their family-planning process. Is this pregnancy merely an affirmation of humanity’s reproductive resilience? Or does it suggest that even in the most extreme circumstances, terminating a pregnancy is unacceptable? Is this film merely pro-life in the non-politicized sense, or is it also anti-abortion?

As a mass-market movie, it could be expected to sidestep that question and offer more general themes of parental protection and self-sacrifice, which is precisely what the director, John Krasinski, has focused on in interviews. But I found myself preoccupied with the issue throughout the film, scanning for any indication that having this baby could be a net positive. I found none. Pretty much everything points to it being a decision that will almost certainly get the entire family killed.

Does their sense of reproductive duty and/or unfounded faith in successful procreation in this harshest of environments make it an overtly political film? Not necessarily. But for pro-choice viewers, its naive optimism may require an outsize suspension of disbelief.