A Quiet Place is a 2018 American science fiction horror film directed by John Krasinski, who wrote the screenplay with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck. The film stars Krasinski, alongside Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. The plot revolves around a family facing struggles in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by blind monsters with an acute sense of hearing and sound.
Over three months, most of Earth's human and animal populations have been wiped out by sightless creatures of unknown origin. The creatures, attacking anything that makes noise, have hypersensitive hearing and indestructible, armored skin.
The Abbott family – wife Evelyn, husband Lee, congenitally deaf daughter Regan, and sons Marcus and Beau – silently scavenge for supplies in a deserted town. While out in the open, the family communicates with American Sign Language (ASL). Four-year-old Beau is drawn to a battery-powered space shuttle toy, but Lee takes it away due to the noise it would make. Regan returns the toy to Beau, who also takes the batteries that his father removed from it. Beau activates the toy when the family is walking home and crossing a bridge, giving away his location to a nearby creature which kills him before Lee can save him.
Over a year later, Regan continues to struggle with guilt over her brother's death, Evelyn enters the final stages of pregnancy, and Lee fruitlessly tries to make radio contact with the outside world. Lee attempts to upgrade Regan's cochlear implant with scavenged miniature amplifiers to restore her hearing, but the devices are ineffective. Later, Lee takes Marcus to a nearby river with a large waterfall to teach him to fish while Regan visits Beau's memorial. Lee explains to Marcus that they are safe from the creatures in the presence of louder sounds, as the sounds mask out their voices. Marcus then reveals that Regan blames herself for Beau's death and needs her father to tell her he still loves her. Alone at the house, Evelyn goes into labor earlier than expected. While making her way to their basement, she steps on an exposed nail. In pain, she accidentally drops a glass picture frame and alerts a nearby creature. Evelyn flips a switch that changes the exterior house lights to red as a danger signal to the others and struggles to remain silent during her contractions.
Arriving at the farm and seeing the lights, Lee instructs Marcus to set off fireworks as a diversion. Arriving at the house, Lee finds Evelyn hiding in the bathroom with their newborn son and, along with Evelyn, makes his way to their improvised soundproofed basement. Lee leaves to find the other children, promising Evelyn he will protect them. Evelyn then falls asleep but soon wakes to discover that the barn basement is flooded with water from a broken pipe and that a creature is stalking her.
Regan, hurrying back to the farm, takes refuge atop a grain silo with Marcus, lighting a fire to alert their father of their whereabouts. However, they run out of lighter fluid and the fire dies before they can attract Lee's attention. A hatch door then suddenly gives way, and Marcus falls into the silo. The sound of the door falling distracts the creature that was stalking Evelyn and it targets Marcus and Regan. Marcus sinks into the corn and nearly suffocates, but Regan jumps in and saves him before he becomes entrapped. Regan's cochlear implant reacts to the proximity of the creature by emitting a high-frequency sound that drives it away. The children proceed to escape from the silo and reunite with their father.
The creature returns, attacking and wounding Lee, while Marcus and Regan hide in a pickup truck. After seeing his father wounded, Marcus shouts impulsively, attracting the creature to the truck. Due to its unpleasant sound, Regan turns her cochlear implant off for the first time, unaware of the fact that it could have potentially driven the creature away. Lee signs to Regan that he loves her and always has, before sacrificing himself by yelling to draw the creature away from his children. Regan and Marcus roll the truck down a hill to escape and reunite with Evelyn and the baby at the farmhouse.
The four then retreat to the house's basement. When the creature returns, Regan, who realizes that the sound made by the implant distresses the creature, switches the device back on and places it on a nearby microphone, amplifying the feedback. Painfully disoriented, the creature exposes the flesh beneath its armored head, which Evelyn shoots, killing it. The family views a CCTV monitor, showing two creatures attracted by the noise of the shotgun blast approaching the house. With their newly acquired knowledge of the creatures' weakness, the members of the family arm themselves and prepare to fight back.
- John Krasinski, as Lee Abbott, an engineer, husband of Evelyn, and the father of Regan, Marcus, and Beau.
- Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott, a doctor, wife of Lee, and the mother to their three children, Regan, Marcus, and Beau.
- Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott, Lee and Evelyn's deaf daughter, and Marcus' and Beau's older sister.
- Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott, the oldest son of Lee and Evelyn, and Regan's and Beau's brother.
- Cade Woodward as Beau Abbott, the younger son of Lee and Evelyn.
- Ezekiel and Evangelina Cavoli as newborn Baby Abbott.
A Quiet Place is a production of Sunday Night and Platinum Dunes; it was produced on a budget of $17 million. Krasinski wrote the screenplay with story co-writers Scott Beckand Bryan Woods. Beck and Woods grew up together in the US state of Iowa, and had watched numerous silent films in college. By 2013, they began working on the story that would lead to the film. They used their experience growing up close to farmland as the basis, including a grain silo setting as a place considered dangerous in their upbringing. They initiated their approach with a 15-page proof of concept. Initially, the writers had considered developing the film into a Cloverfield installment, but after pitching their ideas to the studio collectively, all of those involved decided to keep the film its own entity.
In January 2016, Beck and Woods began writing A Quiet Place in earnest. Krasinski read their spec script the following July. The concept of parents protecting their children appealed to him, especially as his second child with actress Emily Blunt had just been born. Blunt encouraged him to direct the film. By March 2017, Paramount had bought Beck and Woods's spec script. The studio hired Krasinski to rewrite the script and direct the film, which was his third directorial credit and his first for a major studio. Initially, Blunt did not want to be cast in the film but after reading it on a plane, she immediately told her husband, "I need to do it." He agreed, and they were both cast in the starring roles.
The Springtown Truss Bridge on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, used as a location in the film.
Production took place from May to November 2017 in Dutchess and Ulster counties in upstate New York. Filmmakers spent their budget locally, including a purchase of 20 tons of corn, which they hired local farmers to grow. Some filming took place on a soundstage in the town of Pawling in Dutchess County, as well as on-location in the county's city of Beacon. Filming also took place on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trailin New Paltz of Ulster County, using the Springtown Truss Bridge. Outside Dutchess and Ulster counties, filming took place on Main Street in Little Falls in Herkimer County, New York.
Sound and music Edit
During filming, the crew avoided making noise so diegetic synchronized sounds (e.g., the sound of rolling dice on a game board) could be recorded; the sounds were amplified in post-production. A traditional musical score was also added, which Krasinski justified in wanting audiences to remain familiar with watching a mainstream film, and not feel like part of a "silence experiment."
Supervising sound editors Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn worked on A Quiet Place. For scenes from the perspective of the deaf daughter, sound was removed to put greater focus on the visual. They also advised on organizing shots to reflect the creatures' perspective, like showing them noticing a sound, then showing what was causing the sound. Composer Marco Beltrami provided the sound editors music to work with in a way that would not interfere with the sound design throughout the film.
In the film, creatures are blind and communicate through clicking sounds. Aadahl and Van der Ryn said they were inspired by animal echolocation, such as that employed by bats. The sound of feedback, normally avoided by sound editors, was woven into the story at a loudness level that would not bother audiences too much.
Creature design Edit
Production designer Jeffrey Beecroft headed the creature design, and Industrial Light & Magic created the creatures, led by visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar. The director wanted the creatures to look like they had evolved to no longer need eyes, and to be "somewhat humanoid" in nature. Farrar said the initial creature design showed them with rhinoceros-like horns out of their faces, later redesigned. Vanity Fair reported, "The team immediately set about pulling references; prehistoric fish, black snakes, and bats, particularly their movement patterns. Inspiration was also drawn from bog people: cadavers that have been mummified in peat, turning the skin black and giving it a sagging, leathery look."