Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds

In an era in which mainstream releases are something like 97 percent superhero movies, remakes, reboots, reimaginings, or some other kind of serialized cinema, we have to make sure to stand up and clap harder for the unicorn—an original (gasp) idea that isn’t tethered (what!) to any type of franchise? Inevitably, though, people go to a festival, get a little bit too gassed, and, the next thing you know, Baby Driver is purported to be a modern-day Heat.

Thankfully, John Krasinski’s triple-threat labor of love—he directed, stars, and punched up the script—measures up, and it’s another slam dunk for the horror genre, which is enjoying a long-overdue GSW moment, so it’s a double win. Is it anything more than a taut, well-crafted Twilight Zone episode? No, and it doesn’t need to be. The kids are endearing, the premise holds up, Emily Blunt predictably washes her husband, and the final 25 minutes boasts one armchair-gripping set piece after another.

On the other hand, that box office haul quickly prompted sequel talk for a movie that works perfectly as a one-and-done (that ending, especially). Sorry in advance, A Quieter Place, but you’re already part of the problem. —Frazier Tharpe