A Quiet Place pretty much has it all. It features excellent characters fueled by equally great acting, introduces a cool new monster into the horror canon, and tells a compelling story using silence in a really creative way. So, it’s not hard to see why the movie was such a big hit when it came out in 2018. On top of all that, it also conveys an important message we don’t often get in horror films. In my opinion, it’s one of the best messages in recent memory.
At its core, A Quiet Place is about fatherhood. The story is centered around a man named Lee Abbott. Lee does everything he can to keep his children safe in a post-apocalyptic world. While he’s not perfect, he’s a great role model that every man can look up to. Sure, on a broader level, the film is actually about parenthood in general, but it focuses on fatherhood in a special way.
For example, the movie is bookended by Lee’s attempts to rescue his kids from the ferocious monsters that roam the land. Additionally, one of the story’s major themes is his daughter’s doubt about his love for her. Simply put, A Quiet Place is all about what it means for a man to truly love his kids. So, let’s dive into this modern classic and see how exactly it conveys its important message.
Loving His Wife
Let’s start with something a bit counterintuitive. A Quiet Place doesn’t just present Lee as a great father. He loves his wife Evelyn with all his heart, so he’s a great husband as well. To take just one example, there’s a scene where he and his son Marcus are away from the family’s house, and as they’re walking back, they realize that a monster has found its way inside their home. Immediately, Lee jumps into action and does everything he can to protect his pregnant wife from the threat.
After telling Marcus to shoot off some fireworks to lure the creature away, he runs into the house with a shotgun, ready to do whatever it takes to keep Evelyn safe, even if it means sacrificing his life. Luckily, the monster is gone by the time he arrives, at which point he finds that Evelyn has gone into labor and given birth to their new baby. She’s obviously pretty weak, so he carries them both into a soundproof basement they’ve set up for this very situation.
Like I said before, starting here is a bit counterintuitive. At first glance, Lee’s love for his wife may not seem like it has much to do with fatherhood. However, if we dig beneath the surface, we’ll find that it’s actually very relevant. See, being a good father isn’t just about providing for your children’s physical needs. It’s also about giving them an example of how to behave and teaching them to become the best people they can be. That’s exactly what Lee does by loving his wife.
Sure, he does that by loving them too, but children don’t always recognize the sacrifices their parents make for them. They can easily take for granted all the things their parents do to keep them happy and healthy. However, it’s much easier for kids to see the sacrifices their parents make for each other. So, by loving each other, parents also teach their children what love really is. Lee does an amazing job of this in A Quiet Place. He loves his wife Evelyn to the best of his ability, which gives his children a great example of love, one that will help form them into the best people they can be.
On top of that, Lee’s love for Evelyn also provides a particularly important example for his son Marcus. One of the biggest problems in our world today is the objectification of women. Far too many men view women as objects they can use for their own pleasure and entertainment, and that needs to stop. Women are just as important and valuable as men, so they deserve to be loved and respected. By loving his wife, Lee teaches his son precisely this lesson. He shows that women deserve to be loved rather than objectified and used. In our world today, that’s one of the most important lessons a young boy can learn.
Loving His Children
A Quiet Place is also full of moments that show Lee directly caring for and loving his children. This guy lives for his kids, and the movie shows it in about a thousand different ways. In the opening scene, he runs full speed toward his youngest son to try to save him. Early in the film, he grabs his son and runs like hell after a random man in the woods essentially commits suicide by screaming. Throughout the film, he studies the human ear and constantly makes new hearing aids to try to help his deaf daughter hear.
But if you’ve seen A Quiet Place (and I hope you have, because I’m going to spoil the ending!), you know there’s really only one scene we need to talk about. At the end of the film, when Lee’s kids are being attacked by one of the monsters, he does the only thing he can to save them. He looks at his daughter Regan, signs “I love you. I have always loved you,” and then yells to get the creature’s attention. His plan works, and when the thing attacks him and kills him, it gives his kids a chance to get away.
This is one of the most beautiful, most touching moments in horror history, and it tells us everything we need to know about Lee Abbott’s love for his children. For starters, his final message to his daughter basically encapsulates the movie’s entire message. As noted, Regan doubts her father’s love for her throughout the film. While that may sound silly on paper, it’s actually a very understandable sentiment.
In the opening scene of A Quiet Place, the Abbott family loses their youngest child, with Regan playing a key role in the chain of events that lead to his death. While it’s not her fault, she thinks her father blames her for it and doesn’t love her. However, Lee’s last words to her put those doubts to rest. He lets her know that he’s always loved her unconditionally, which is exactly how fathers should love their children.
I think there’s a bit of a perception in our world today that, while mothers tend to love their children no matter what, a father’s love is sometimes dependent on whether or not his kids deserve it. Now, I can’t say how true that is, but I can say that it shouldn’t be true. A father’s love should never come with any strings attached. Instead, men should love their children with absolutely zero conditions. Lee’s love for his daughter Regan is an excellent example of just that.
And, in case his words aren’t enough to prove that love, his sacrifice makes it impossible to deny. Lee Abbott doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk as well. He knows that love isn’t just about saying the right things. It’s primarily about doing the right things. It’s about putting others first and making sacrifices for them. Lee makes the ultimate sacrifice for his children without giving it a second thought. Once again, that’s exactly how fathers should love their children. They should love their kids completely and unconditionally, without holding anything back. While that doesn’t normally involve dying for them, it very well might.
What Real Fatherhood Looks Like
In a world where characters like Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson are basically our culture’s archetypical dads, this vision of fatherhood is sorely needed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Family Guy and The Simpsons, but if those are the only role models we as men have to look up to, we’re in big trouble. Thankfully though, they’re not. We also have movies like A Quiet Place to fill that gap and show us what true fatherhood is, and we need to take its message to heart.
We need to learn that being a father means taking an active role in our children’s lives and genuinely caring about their wellbeing. It means loving them unconditionally, no matter the cost, and giving them a positive role model they can look up to. Sure, nobody’s perfect, so nobody is going to live up to that standard all the time, but it’s the goal we as men should always strive for. An excellent way to start is by paying attention to the great example A Quiet Place sets for us.