Ashley Tolman

**Warning, this blog post contains spoilers**  

Traditionally, the role of women in horror films has been to play the victim.  We have been the ones who crept into the basement only to get slaughtered.  So, when I went to see A Quiet Place, I fully expected to be disappointed with the portrayal of women in the movie.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Instead of being the damsels in distress, there were several moments throughout the movie where the women were stronger figures than the men.

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The story follows a loving family in a world where making any loud noise could easily mean death.  The world is infested with powerful blind monsters who hunt through sound. They have nearly indestructable armor, and nobody knows their weakness.  The family tries their best to act normally; they live in a house, have family dinners, and spend their time on a variety of chores and games.  Despite their unusual environment, the parents have a baby.

Throughout most of the movie, the dad, Lee, is the one protecting everyone.  But that doesn’t mean that the women are helpless in the movie.  In fact, it’s the opposite; they are strong individuals who show impressive bravery.  Here are a few examples.

1) The son, Marcus, is forced to go outside the family’s safe haven with his father.  He is terrified and begs not to go, while Regan, the daughter, begs for a chance to go and learn.  Here, the amount of bravery each child has does not correlate with traditional gender roles.  Instead, the young girl is the curious and adventurous one.

2) In another scene, Evelyn, the mother, steps on a nail and goes into labor.  She drops a picture and alerts the nearby monsters who subsequently come hunting for her, but she remains silent and composed enough to turn on the emergency lights to alert her husband.  Someone who can stay silent through labor and when stepping on a nail deserves to be recognized for their strength.

3) It's also the daughter, Regan, who finally discovers the monsters’ weaknesses, upon which her mom, Evelyn, courageously shoots the monsters, showing that women can not only survive in a horror world, they can also flourish.

Grey.Line.7Instead of being the damsels in distress, there were several moments throughout the movie where the women were stronger than the men.

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It is also worth noting that, for these characters, family values and protecting those they love come first.  Lee is primarily a father and Evelyn is primarily a mother.  Taking care of the children is their first priority.  This includes loving them and protecting them, as well as teaching them.  Regan, the female child, is a slightly rebellious young adult, while Marcus, the male child, is a scared child.  This connection to family ties makes everyone stronger.  It gives them something to protect and something to fight for.

This post is not to say that only the women in A Quiet Place were brave.  Living in the world depicted in the film would be horrifying, but the movie does a good job portraying love and kindness despite the difficult circumstances that the characters face.  Personally, this is one of my favorite movies because of the unique depiction of strong women, alongside strong men, within a horror film.  If you’re tired of women in horror films playing the victim, this is definitely a movie to watch.

 

Ashley Tolman is a Junior at Utah State University in the English creative writing program.  She has always loved to write and hopes that she will become a published author.

 

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