“A Quiet Place” was the breakout horror movie hit of 2018. The film is set in the near future, after hordes of monsters that hunt via sound wipe out most life on Earth. The movie follows two parents (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) as they struggle to raise their family in the post-apocalypse. The movie is a pulse-pounding thriller, and that fact that huge chunks of the movie are filmed in almost total silence only serves to heighten the tension. Here are 10 little known facts about the making of this horror masterpiece.
10 things you didn’t know about A Quiet Place
1. The writers drew on childhood memories
Writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods were childhood friends who grew up in the farmlands of rural Iowa. As a result, many of their childhood experiences are woven into the screenplay. The harrowing scenes set in the farm’s grain silo are a result of childhood lessons that grain silos were extremely unsafe. These experiences (and also the pair’s love of silent films) were woven into their 15-page first draft of the script.
2. It was almost a Cloverfield sequel
During the writing process, the production team toyed with the idea of the film being part of the “Cloverfield” franchise. The stories bear many similarities: namely, regular people trying to survive against mysterious extraterrestrial or otherworldly monsters. After Woods and Beck pitched their script to the studio, they mutually agreed that the movie should be standalone.
3. Emily Blunt didn’t want to be in the movie
Emily Blunt, John Krasinski’s partner, was an integral part of encouraging him to take on the project as a co-writer, director, and actor. Though supportive, she was initially hesitant about being in the movie. She originally didn’t want to be cast at all, but changed her mind after reading the script during a long flight. After landing, she called Krasinski and told him, “I need to do it.”
4. The cornfields were grown specifically for the film
Much of the movie is filmed in the farmlands of upstate New York. To help create the family farm, the movie crew purchased 20 tons of actual corn and hired local farmers to cultivate the crop into the cornfields seen in the film. As a result, roughly $9 million of the film’s $17 million budget was spent on location in New York.
5. The crew had to stay extra quiet on set
The filming of “A Quiet Place” brought a new meaning to the old filmmaking expression, “Quiet on the set.” The sound team wanted to capture as much diegetic sound as possible; diegetic sounds are the actual sounds generated by the actors in real time, as opposed to dubbed-over sound effects. As a result, the crew went to extreme lengths to remain nearly silent while filming, so as not to capture any unwanted background noise.
6. The cast members all learned sign language
Because the monsters in the film hunt by tracking sounds, the characters in the movie all communicate using American Sign Language. The crew hired a professional ASL mentor to teach the cast sign language. In addition, actress Millicent Simmonds, who is deaf in real life, also aided in teaching her castmates how to sign.
7. Each character signs in a different “voice”
According to Simmonds, each of the film’s characters has a unique voice that comes through in the way they sign. Krasinski’s character uses short, almost curt signs to convey his too-the-point survivalist mentality. Blunt’s character uses fuller, more expressive signs with her children as part of her desire to create a world beyond mere survival. Simmonds’ character signs in a defiant manner typical of a rebellious teenager.
8. There weren’t going to be subtitles
As part of the original concept of the film, subtitles weren’t going to be included when the family was using sign language. Audience members would be left to interpret the signs and the meaning of the scenes based on the actor’s performances and other context clues. However, it soon became apparent that subtitles would be necessary for audiences to understand the intricacies of the plot, and the idea was scrapped.
9. The monsters are inspired by real-life sources
To create the distinctive look of the film’s monsters, the crew drew on inspiration from real-life animals that hunt using echolocation. Bats served as a major source of inspiration, as did prehistoric fish. To create the look of the creature’s leathery black skin, the crew studied images of “bog people.” Bog people are corpses that become mummified after being submerged in peat bogs, giving their skin a very specific stretched, taut appearance.
10. A sequel is in the works
Paramount has confirmed that a sequel to the film is in the works. The sequel will reportedly focus on a different group of survivors living in the same post-apocalyptic world. Krasinski will be returning to write the script, and Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe are also in talks to reprise their roles. Actor Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders fame is also reportedly in talks to star.
If you want to check out this pulse-pounding horror experience for yourself, head to Softonic’s Where to Watch site to find out where you can stream “A Quiet Place” right now.