A Quiet Place Deaf Character

As audiences become more adept at understanding misrepresentations of women, race, and sexuality, the landscape is slowly turning towards acknowledging the lack of proper representation of disabled people. More than any genre, interestingly, it is horror that has covered disability in new and unique ways.

Last year, Jordan Peele’s Get Out subtly interrogated the nuances between race and disability between its main character Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Stephen Root’s blind Jim Hudson. Other works, like Cult of Chucky, Hush, and the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, have led numerous advocates with disabilities to question whether we’re moving in a positive or negative direction. As a disabled writer who’s often focused on disabled representation in cinema, I’m seeing a small crack of the glass ceiling happening, rather than a full-tilt shattering.

John Krasinski’s latest feature, A Quiet Place, is another film that makes tenuous steps toward disabled representation through the deaf character of Regan (Millicent Simmonds). Guilt-riddled over a death in the family, Regan is left isolated from her family, trapped in a world of literal quiet as well as existential alienation. Is Regan a character whose disability is just another “spidey sense?” Or is Simmonds’ portrayal, and the script that creates it, another small step towards a more inclusive look at disability?

Spoilers for A Quiet Place follow.

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