*Warning: spoilers ahead*
The film A Quiet Place was released in early April of this year and it made a splash. It follows a family who must survive after an invasion by some kind of creature. The only way they can survive is by keeping quiet, though.
The tagline for the film is “If they hear you, they hunt you,” which pretty much sums up what happens in the movie. Besides the plot of the film, there is so much more to be excited about. The film stars husband and wife team, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and they cast some great up-and-coming child actors that have already started to make a splash in Hollywood.
This film may look like our basic horror film from the outside, but behind the scenes, this film is proving to be a powerhouse. They have added personal touches that are pretty rare in a film; a hearing impaired child actor, the on-screen death of a small child, and of course the rare move from comedic actor to horror film actor in Krasinski’s case. And while everyone is excited about this movie, there are some epic Easter eggs and reference — some that didn't even make the final cut. Here are a few gems that many fans of the groundbreaking horror film don't know.
20 Even The Crew Had To Be Quiet
John Krasinski said that the diegetic sound of the film was the most important part. He definitely isn't wrong either, seeing as the only sound the viewers hear are footsteps, nature, and breathing. However, he said that he had to essentially educate the crew on how important it was for EVERYONE to be silent.
"I think the crew thought it was a silent movie, so they said, 'oh, we can make as much noise as we want because they’ll just edit it out.'" Boy, were they ever wrong. Krasinski wanted the background sounds to heighten what would normally be lost through dialogue.
"So it was really fun to see these incredible crew members moving trucks and cables and all that stuff just stop dead, frozen. It was like the red light, green light game."
19 Who (Or What) Are The Monsters?
During an interview with Empire Magazine podcast, Krasinski finally gave fans a little bit of insight into who and what these “monsters” are.
He admitted that yes, they do come from outer space; "Crash-landing on Earth after traveling in meteorites after the destruction of their home planet." He describes them as an “evolutionary perfect machine,” they hunt by sound because they grew up on a planet that had no light or humans.
They just simply don’t need eyes.
They have built up a way to defend themselves (he isn’t very specific about how they did that). However, he shows this defense through the idea that the aliens are bulletproof. Krasinski has been very candid about who the monsters are, because in the grand scheme of things, there are more pressing things about this film.
18 Krasinski Took His Cue From Alien Movies
"Where I developed the idea of them and what I wanted them to look like was most alien movies are about takeovers, agendas, they’re a thinking alien creature, and for me this idea of a predator, this idea of a parasite, this idea of something that is introduced into an ecosystem," Krasinski told the Empire podcast.
He likens the scene of when the monsters make their way into the soundproof baby room to the scene in Alien, when Ripley realizes that one of the xenomorphs has stowed itself away with them on the pod.
He truly looked at a number of invasion type films and took cues from them, including the scene of the Velociraptors in the kitchen in Jurassic Park. He admits that this scene also had a direct influence on the making of this film.
17 He Even Remade A 'Jurassic Park' Scene
One thing that many people didn’t notice about the film was that one scene was basically a shot-for-shot remake of an infamous Jurassic Park scene. It was the scene in Jurassic Park when Tim and Lex are saved by the glass roof of their jeep while a T-Rex tries to eat them.
A version of this scene is in A Quiet Place.
During the silo scene when two of the kids are scrambling to get away from one of the aliens, they use a metal door as a shield against the monster. This monster is obviously attempting to hurt them, so they must defend themselves with whatever they can. When you take a close look at it, it’s almost shot-for-shot like the scene in Jurassic Park, minus a few changes here and there. Oh yeah, and a lot less noise.
16 Flashbacks Not Included
The gut-wrenching scene where the youngest son Beau is murdered was initially supposed to be a flashback. In fact, the original script included a lot of flashbacks.
When Krasinski acquired the rights to the film and began to make edits, he felt that some scenes were too good to be flashbacks.
He instead cut out all flashbacks and brought the haunting scene of Beau and the toy airplane into the present. He felt that it set a concrete precedent of what viewers were in for. In addition, a film like this one is already so intense, I don’t know about you guys, but I would crumble watching it as a flashback scene. Flashbacks just always make things seem way more intense, and connect the viewer on more of an emotional level. And quite frankly, I am sick of crying in movie theatres.
15 It Was Krasinski’s Idea To Use ASL
Throughout the film, American Sign Language is used to communicate. In the original script it was only hand gestures and facial expressions, but when Krasinski came on board, he really wanted to make the film his own.
He brought in the idea of using ASL and the idea of having a child who is hearing impaired. It was also his idea to have her cochlear implant be the key to defeating the creatures.
I will spare you the exact details of how the cochlear implant helped defeat the creatures (this article has enough spoilers), though. Krasinski really put his magic touch on this film. He sensed that it would be more powerful to use a language that is really only reserved for people who cannot hear
14 The Original Creatures Look Much Different
While the film was in production, Krasinski and the crew went through a few different designs for the creatures that haunted the family. The film's visual effects supervisor, Scott Farrar, really pushed Krasinski to make the monsters grotesque.
“I kept saying to John, we gotta make this gross...” He went on to say that he wanted the monster to look “raw.”
“I want it to look really medical and raw like you open up and it’s almost guts or brains —you don’t know what you’re looking at.” They certainly achieved that. However, before they came to the final design, Farrar would describe the creature as sillier. It had “rhinoceros-esque horns that protruded from their faces.” With a $17 million budget, they sure made a mountain out of a molehill.
13 Recommendation: See It In Theatres
Krasinski, the producers, and even the sound engineers Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn recommend that seeing this film in theatres is best. They aren’t doing this to make more money. In fact, the film is doing quite well already.
The way the film is designed, if someone was to watch it at home, they would miss out on a lot of the sounds that act as cues for what’s to come.
Aadahl and Van der Ryn said that the acoustics in a theatre is obviously better than ones at home. “Unless you have a really great home theater, you might want to try headphones for this movie to get everything out of it.” Also, I would assume that watching a film like this one at home wouldn't work out well, because there are too many distractions. Being in the theatre forces you to be quiet and just watch what is taking place.
12 New York Post Approved
In the trailer, there is a scene that shows Emily Blunt’s character (the wife) looking at all these news clippings. The clippings are in some way explaining what is happening in the world.
One of the clippings is from The New York Post, the prestigious and infamous newspaper. The headline reads "IT’S SOUND!" Well, guess what? Production had to get permission to add that little tidbit to the film.
Krasinski said, “The New York Post wasn’t going to OK any of the [covers], understandably they didn't know what the movie was going to turn out to be...” At the end of the day, it was kind of a waste of time because that scene didn’t even make it into the movie. It got cut at the last minute and now only appears in the trailer. Maybe fans will see it in the DVD edition of the film?
11 Sequels Upon Sequels Upon Sequels
Paramount is already looking at a way to cash in on a sequel or two for The Quiet Place.
The studio is interested in building a world for this film, according to Krasinski. He talks about the idea to Empire Magazine, about the man in the woods and his wife.
“If these people are living through it poorly, are there other people living through it well? Is there some other way to survive? It's interesting." It would be kind of cool to see the stories of other people trying to survive whatever these things are. This film definitely comes off as one that would warrant a sequel — no matter how many main characters fall off.
Will it be better or on par with the original? Only time will tell, but that has never stopped them before.
10 The Baby In The Box Is Real
Initially, that scene with the baby floating in the box threw a lot of people for a loop. Who would let their newborn baby film a scene like that, right? The baby must be fake. Nope, the baby was real, alive, and well.
Krasinski even admitted that out of all the scenes, that was the hardest one to film.
He has a vulnerable child who is filming a dangerous scene, so anything can go wrong. He told Empire Magazine, “That was the most intense thing I've ever done in my career, I didn't expect how viscerally I would respond. And yes, probably because I was a father of a young baby at the time, but just as a human being.” He is absolutely correct everyone on set that day must have been on edge. He clarified that the baby’s parents obviously gave permission and that the scene was done in two quick takes.
9 Why Get Pregnant?
Krasinski explained that the mother's pregnancy could be seen as intentional. But who would intentionally get pregnant under the circumstances that this family is facing?
Online, many people are speculating that they were trying to do their part to populate a world that is dwindling quickly. However, Krasinski sees it as a way for the family to somewhat replace their son Beau. He said, “based on the statistics of what happens to parents who lose children. Some people split up." He went on to say, “And then the other version is you force yourself to move forward and it almost becomes this recalibration of your entire life by trying to have another child. I think it's somewhere in the middle."
It seems like he has really done a lot of research to make the film as realistic as possible. Not many people would go out of their way to understand and explain something like that to an audience.
8 All Shot On Film
Krasinski and his DP really pushed to have the movie shot on film. He said that the decision was an uphill battle.
“We shot on film, which was an easy decision and a hard fight. There’s all sorts of reasons and benefits for shooting on digital; I shot my last movie on digital and loved it. But there was something about this movie that I wanted to harken back to a more classic look, a feeling of nostalgia one could immediately connect to. We both decided the only way to capture that was to shoot on film."
He also stated that shooting on film made coming up with visuals more fun.
Coming up with ways to shoot the family and the ways they avoided making any kind of noise was something that he had a lot of fun doing. The way it shows up on film was worth it.
7 No Names Are Used
This may sound obvious but a lot of people have admitted to not even realizing that no names were used. We know the family members have names, of course, because everyone has a name (duh!). The only reason why we know their names is because of the end credits. But, in the film, no one uses names — not even when the minimal dialogue was used. It’s not hard to miss something like that especially when the film is as intense as this one. The viewers quickly get wrapped up in the survival of the family members and the situations they find themselves in. They are more concerned with who will fall off next than trying to figure out the names of these people who are in extreme danger.
6 The Film Takes Place In The Near Future
When I say "near future," I mean starting in 2020 and going into 2021.
We know this because in the film, the youngest son Beau dies from an attack and his grave marker reads 2020.
For the family that was day number 89. Then the wife gives birth to a baby on day 400-and-something, a little over a year later, which means they are now in 2021.
We also know that she gives birth in October because the calendar on the wall displays the month of October and the wife has been actively using that calendar to mark days. While 2021 is not that far into the future, the film really does a good job of making it seem like this film is set way farther than 2021. So much destruction has happened to this family in a short amount of time, it’s hard to believe it's only a span of a few years.
5 Millicent Simmonds Taught The Cast How To Sign
We can only hope that Millicent Simmonds was given a decent pay for this film. Even though it was a smaller budget and everyone has to pull their weight, Simmonds had an extra job.
During her free time, she taught some of the cast and crew sign language. This was both a great benefit to her and her co-workers.
Krasinski pushed to have Simmonds cast in the film because he immediately saw the benefits of having a reason for the family to know sign language. She took this opportunity to advise the cast on how to sign correctly and the importance of body language while signing.
She was also able to advice Krasinski, in particular, during the scenes they shared. They are supposed to have a fractured father/daughter relationship. Ultimately, it played out well and was even more powerful with signing involved.
4 The Monster
John Krasinski isn’t only the director, producer, and lead actor. He also stepped into the suit of the monster for a few scenes. Besides a little bit of digital enhancements, Krasinski doubled as the monster in more complicated scenes. This guy is really doing it all, he even has a screenwriting credit in the film.
The monster, for the most part, isn’t seen that much, and we aren’t sure exactly which scenes are Krasinski and which are enhancements.
At this point, that doesn’t matter. All that matters is fans can wholeheartedly say that John Krasinski has left his definite stamp on this film. He literally has his hands in everything. This is what happens when you make a film with a slightly smaller budget. Everyone does a little bit more and then some to make the magic of film happen.
3 Could Have Been A 'Cloverfield' Film
The writers, Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, were initially asked by the studio to allow the film to be apart of the wildly popular Cloverfield franchise. Well, they didn't so much as ask as they intended to make it happen. However, Beck stated, that it didn’t feel so right.
“It was weird timing, though, because when we were writing the script, 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) was at Paramount. We were actually talking to an executive there about this film, and it felt from pitch form that there might be a crossover, but when we finally took the final script into Paramount, they saw it as a totally different movie.”
Paramount ultimately decided to allow them to make the film as an original, stand-alone feature. Thank god they decided against it; this film is just too good to get lost in a franchise that has had a few ups and downs.
2 Original Screenplay Is Much Different
The original screenplay was written by two friends Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. The writers originally handed in a script that contained only one line of dialogue. The rest was very expositional and for lack of a better word, quiet.
Once Krasinski got his hands on the script, he added ways to make the film more dramatic and exciting all while still being a “silent” film.
The original script was also supposed to feature flashbacks that would have dialogue and show the family before this crisis hit them. This was most likely added as a way for the audience to connect emotionally with the characters. However, Krasinski felt there would be more of a connection by using the inner fear of the audience and focusing on facial expressions and signing.
1 Millicent Simmonds Is Hearing Impaired
The actress is actually hearing impaired in real life. When she was an infant she was given an overdose of medication which caused her to lose her hearing.
However, it hasn’t stopped her from pursuing a career in acting. If anything, it has brought more passion to the roles she plays.
I mentioned that she taught the cast American Sign Language while on set but that isn’t all. She also interjected real-life experiences into the film through her character Regan, not only as a person who is hearing impaired, but as a teenager as well.
She advised Krasinski on times that her teenage character would rebel against her parent’s wishes and even how a person who is hearing impaired would express their anger through both signing and facial expressions. Many of her ideas made the final cut and we can only assume it help make the film better.
Sources: Reg Movies, TV Tropes, IGN, SyFy, Collider, Flicks And The City, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Zig, Vanity Fair, The Verge, Empire Online, Empire Online, YouTube, Pure Wow, IMDB, Script Mag, Wikipedia