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Film / A Quiet Place

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"Who are we if we can't protect them? We have to protect them."

A Quiet Place is a 2018 post-apocalyptic horror film directed by John Krasinski and written by him alongside Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, who conceived the story. The film stars Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt, along with child actors Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds.

Set in the spring of 2020, an Alien Invasion of creatures, apparently sightless but also possessing an acute sense of hearing and impenetrable armored skin, has laid waste to most of human civilization. The film follows the Abbott family — wife Evelyn (Blunt), husband Lee (Krasinski), their sons Marcus (Jupe) and Beau, and their deaf daughter Regan (Simmonds) — who has survived the catastrophe but now has to live on their farm in near-total silence and communicate mostly in sign language in order to avoid attracting the attention of the monsters.

Reported influences on the film include No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Alien and True Grit.

A sequel, A Quiet Place Part II, was released on May 28, 2021. In November 2020, it was reported that a Spin-Off of the original was also in development. Titled A Quiet Place: Day One and starring Lupita Nyong'o and Joseph Quinn, the film is slated for release on June 28, 2024. A proper third installment, A Quiet Place Part III, is scheduled for release in 2025.

A Quiet Place contains examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Exaggerated and enforced by the premise. Every scene is either dead silent or frantic white-knuckle terror. The only thing in between is when Lee takes Marcus to a waterfall where they can talk in normal voices since the monsters won't hear them over the sound of the rushing water.
  • After the End: Implied Trope on account of the family walking through a deserted and dilapidated town. Timestamps also place the opening at Day 89 of the invasion, with most of the action taking place on Day 473.
  • Agony of the Feet: Evelyn ends up unwittingly stepping straight through an exposed nail on the basement stairs with her bare foot as she rushes down them. She can't stop a brief gasp of pain but tries to contain any more noises because the creatures are nearby, up to and including having to slowly pull her foot off the nail.
  • Alien Invasion: In invoked a scene that was created for the film's ad campaign, news broadcasts say that the monsters are the result of a "massive invasion", complete with an armed military response. Judging by the state of the world afterwards, it can be assumed that their efforts were all in vain.
  • All There in the Manual: The fact that the monsters are aliens is explicitly said in the promo materials, but the movie itself doesn't spend any time telling you their origins. In the context of the movie, it doesn't matter where they came from. It just matters that they are there.
  • All There in the Script: The family members' names are revealed in the credits. Otherwise, the family goes unnamed in the film itself (although their last name, Abbott, is briefly seen on a mailbox).
  • Ambiguous Ending: Crosses over with Bittersweet Ending. While the family does have a significant advantage in that they now know how to both incapacitate and kill the monsters with a high-frequency noise, Lee is now dead, and it's unknown if they survive the ending attack as monsters come to their house — or even if the other humans around in their respective camps are still alive. In some respects, it could be considered a rare hopeful version of a Bolivian Army Ending. The sequel picks up immediately where this film leaves off; they do survive, but have to leave since the barn is on fire and the basement of the house is flooded.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Lee and Regan's relationship is strained because Regan gave Beau the space shuttle toy which led to his death, and Lee's own guilt in not being able to save him led to him becoming more reclusive around her, creating unspoken resentment between them. Marcus encourages him to be more upfront with Regan that he loves her. In the climax, with Lee injured and a monster attacking the kids in the car, Lee directs its attention to him and sacrifices himself — but not before signing to Regan, "I love you. I have ALWAYS loved you."
  • Anyone Can Die: Established early on in the film with Beau's death. Lee and his son later encounter an old man next to the corpse of his recently deceased wife, who was killed by one of the beasts, when he suicidally yells out. Lee also pulls a Heroic Sacrifice in the film's climax, and the rest of the family's fate is left ambiguous.
  • Bloody Handprint:
    • Evelyn's bloody footprint from the nail on the stairs alerts Lee.
    • After Evelyn gives birth in the bathtub, and Lee returns to the bathroom to find the bathtub empty, Evelyn reveals herself by suddenly placing her bloody hand on the glass door of the shower, which she is inside.
  • Bonding Through Shared Earbuds: One of the only pieces of diegetic music plays when Lee and Evelyn share earbuds during a slow dance in their house, which helps establish them as a loving couple.
  • Boom, Headshot!: One of the monsters is eventually dispatched through a shotgun blast to the face.
  • Born After the End: Played for Drama. Evelyn is heavily pregnant (which is implied to be unplanned) and goes into labor while she's alone in the house. She is forced to stay quiet despite her labor pains when one of the aliens that hunts by sound and nearly killed humanity enters the house.
  • Bring It: The last shot of the movie has Evelyn reloading a shotgun confidently, as she now knows how to exploit the weaknesses of the monsters.
  • Cacophony Cover Up:
    • Lee brings Marcus to the waterfall where the falling and crashing sounds of the water drown out their voices so they can talk without the creatures hearing them. Later, Evelyn, holding a crying baby, hides behind an overflow of water gushing down from the floor above.
    • When the fireworks are set off to draw the creatures away from the house, Evelyn takes the opportunity to scream her head off.
  • Cat Scare: After the kids accidentally knock over a lamp, the family prepares for a potential monster attack as something lands on the roof... only for it to turn out to be some raccoons that jump off the roof and can be seen from the window. Then one of the monsters pounces on one of the raccoons after it moves away from the house.
  • Chekhov's Armoury:
    • The nail that snags on the laundry bag and gets pulled facing up. Considering everyone is walking around barefoot, the existence of the nail just hangs over your head for about half the movie. Evelyn eventually steps on it, and the pain of this causes her to drop a picture frame. The frame shattering as it hits the ground is what attracts the monsters and kickstarts the final part of the movie.
    • Regan's broken cochlear implant turns out to hurt the aliens.
    • Lee carries a shotgun while searching for the aliens in the fields, but never fires it. Evelyn kills an alien with it at the end.
    • Early in the film, Marcus is seen playing in the pickup truck at the top of the hill leading to their farm, pretending to drive it. Near the end, he actually gets to drive it to escape one of the monsters.
    • Lee explaining to his son that the waterfall is masking their screams comes back later when Evelyn hides with her screaming newborn in the basement behind a stream of water running down from above.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: After Evelyn steps on the nail, there are several closeups showing that the nail is still there and uncovered. Subverted — nobody steps on it again, and when going down the stairs at the end, Evelyn even points it out to her kids so they don't step on it.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: Averted; the act is shown to be as bloody and messy as would be realistically expected. It's also justified, as the wife can't travel to a hospital, and there are no medical personnel to help out. In fact, the childbirth is so messy, Lee assumes his wife was killed by one of the monsters when he reaches the bathtub in which Evelyn gave birth.
  • Convenient Cranny: The kids manage to hide in the truck where the monster cannot reach them.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Played with. On one hand, the family has a pretty comfy looking living space, they don't seem to want for food, clothing, or general supplies, and they have electricity. On the other hand, they have to be careful with everything they do lest they cause noise and attract the monsters.
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: When the old man starts screaming, Lee snatches his son and runs off with him in his arms.
  • Death of a Child: The youngest member of the family dies in the opening sequence of the movie. And that's not even getting into the Fridge Horror of how many children have died in attacks all over the world. Even the raccoon that is smashed to pulp by one of the monsters is a juvenile, foraging alongside its mother.
  • Declaration of Protection: Evelyn wants Lee to promise to her that he would always protect his children. Later he honours the vow by committing a Heroic Sacrifice to get his children out of danger.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The old man in the forest crosses this when he finds his wife dead and screams to draw the monsters to him, not even caring that he's placing an innocent man and his child in danger by doing so.
  • Downer Beginning: The prologue segment that sets up the premise ends with the family's youngest son getting killed by a monster.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: The very last image of the movie is Evelyn doing this with a shotgun, having just found the creatures' weakness and worked together with Regan to kill one, and seeing more creatures headed their way.
  • Driven to Suicide: The old man, who is so despondent by the death of his wife at the hands of the monsters that he deliberately screams in grief — letting them track him down and kill him.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Happens to Regan as she stands in the maize unwittingly and one of the aliens sneaks up from behind.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Regan has one at the end when reading her father's written question on the board about the monsters' weakness and realizing that she has to turn on her hearing device.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Prior to Beau's death, Regan wears her hair in Girlish Pigtails. After the Time Skip, it is much shorter.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The prologue takes place cryptically on "Day 89" and then we jump to "Day 472" for a couple of scenes. About 2/3rds of the movie takes place on "Day 473" from midday to sunrise the next morning.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Lee screams out loud to alert the monster that is going after his children. He doesn't flinch, run or scream after, calmly watching his children escape as the monster lunges for him.
  • Flies Equals Evil: The sight of the old woman's mauled body is heralded by the sound of flies.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Played with.
    • This trope is played straight in Beau, Lee, and the Old Man's deaths as those mostly happen offscreen, while we see the monster kill a raccoon, said kill being silhouetted (though we see blood).
    • Averted with the Old Woman, who is shown to have been disemboweled, although the film does cut away before we can see too much of her corpse.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The monsters' roaring and their disturbing clicking.
    • As far as the ad campaign goes, the only music in the first trailer is a single tightly plucked string.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Lee, after being wounded by one of the monsters, sacrifices himself near the end of the film to save his children by screaming to distract it.
  • Hope Spot: Lee grabs an ax but is slashed by a monster and knocked to the side. As the monster attacks the kids, we see Lee struggle to his feet and retrieve the ax, presumably to attack it in heroic fashion. Instead, he drops the ax, the noise catches the monster's attention, and he signs to his kids that he loves them before letting out a scream.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Zig-zagged. The first scene kills off Beau, the family's then-youngest, but the two older children, as well as the newborn baby, survive the movie.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!: Evelyn gives birth to her baby apparently within an hour of her water breaking. Justified in that this is her fourth child, and after the first pregnancy subsequent births often tend to take less time.
  • Irony: While stepping on the nail in the cellar steps causes the aliens to attack the farm, it ironically ends up saving Evelyn in the long run - as the bloody footprints give Lee a good indicator of where she's gone, and help him find her quickly.
  • It's All My Fault: Marcus is pretty much the only one that doesn't have a reason to blame himself for Beau's death. Regan blames herself the most for giving Beau the toy that he obliviously turned on, and her deafness preventing her from noticing in time; this unresolved grief then drove a wedge between her and Lee. However, Lee still blames himself for not noticing and reacting faster, and Evelyn blames herself for not carrying Beau since her hands were free.
  • Jump Scare: Plenty, and more than the trailers implied. The majority of them consist of otherwise innocuous elements that simply appear suddenly in the frame, accompanied by a deafening Scare Chord.
  • Just in Time: The fireworks start cracking just as Evelyn, about to give birth, can't hold back her screaming any longer.
  • Leitmotif: It's a simple one, but the monsters get one of these in the movie, two long notes of a distinct low bass growl play whenever the monsters are present.
  • Lost in the Maize: During the attack night, Marcus runs into the cornfield scared of encountering a creature before hitting what is most likely a tractor and possibly turning unconscious for a bit. Fortunately, he's later found by Regan. Little light along with a torch add to horror fuel.
  • Maternity Crisis: The mother's water breaks when the dad is off running errands. Also she steps on a nail and has to give birth while one of the monsters is stalking her.
  • Minimalist Cast: The cast only consists of the family and an old man and his dead wife who are onscreen for less than a minute, in addition to the monsters themselves.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The teaser seemed to indicate that the family was attacked by a monster after knocking a lantern over. In the film proper, the noise is revealed to be nothing more than a pair of raccoons (which then get attacked by one of the monsters).
  • Never Split the Party: Lee has to get Marcus to go and set off the firework rockets while he grabs the shotgun and goes to save Evelyn. He succeeds, only for them to realise their children are outside with the monsters. When Lee goes to find them, Evelyn finds herself in jeopardy again when a monster returns.
  • Newspaper Backstory: Lee has his basement converted into something of a command center dissecting what the monsters are and how to beat them, including newspapers on the subject and whiteboards organizing the information. One headline proclaiming that "[A] meteor hits Mexico with the force of a nuke", potentially alluding to how the creatures got to Earth. In any other movie this would be Room Full of Crazy, but it serves to explain a lot about the premise in a movie with only a dozen lines of dialogue.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: A newspaper detailing the alien invasion places the events of the movie at least after late November 2018. The movie begins in "Day 89," which is later dated to some time in 2020. Everything after the Day 89 Cold Open takes place around Day 473, setting the majority of the movie in 2021.
  • No Healthcare in the Apocalypse: In the opening scene, the family is at an abandoned drugstore looking for medicine for Marcus, who is so sick he needs to be carried. The drugstore has been picked clean of everything except the chips (crisps for UK readers) in the snack section.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • We don't actually get a good look at the monsters for most of the movie. What we do see is a blur of flesh and limbs, but the specifics of what they look like is hidden for a large portion of the movie. As a result, the audience only has a few vague ideas of what they look like but nothing concrete and simply have to trust in the characters' very real fear of the monsters. Eventually, we do get to see them completely: however, the grotesque design of the creature's face makes it hard to discern just what we are looking at.
    • The very sound design of the film is minimalistic. Regan is deaf and her cochlear implant has long stopped working, and as such several scenes are done from her perspective with a dull hum. In one such scene, the monster is directly behind her making noises, but she has no idea it is near.
  • Not Quite Dead: In the final scene, the alien collapses after the sound overdose. Evelyn and Regan think they are done with it, but then the monster is back up attacking them again.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The horror in the parents' eyes when the son's toy shuttle suddenly sounds. It's an interesting situation as the audience doesn't know yet why this event would cause them to react this way. Even before this, there's their horrified reaction when their son first walks up holding the toy, and the father gingerly removes the batteries like he's defusing a bomb.
    • The family panics when the lantern is knocked over during a game of Monopoly, leading the father to put it out with a blanket.
    • Lee has a small one when he hears Marcus & Regan falling through the silo roof, only to become terrified when he sees an alien barreling straight towards them.
    • Evelyn when she realises not only is the basement flooded, but there's a creature in there with her.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The creatures were apparently this to the world's militaries, whom they seem to have made relatively short work of.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The movie begins with Lee and Evelyn's youngest son, Beau, being killed by a monster.
  • Parental Neglect: Due to the parents being focused on Marcus who is gravely ill, they largely ignore their four-year-old son Beau who doesn't get the danger and gravity of their situation, even when he nearly sets off a loud toy and they merely remove the batteries and leave them still in his reach. This negligence ends in Beau's death when he reinserts the batteries and lures the alien that kills him before his parents can react.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The daughter feels guilty for the death of her younger brother and also thinks that her father blames her as well. Given the fact that he never really talked with her about it and stopped her from going down into their basement (where he keeps all the news clippings about the monsters' invasion of the world along with other things), she assumes he hates her because of this, and it is not until he sacrifices his life to save her and her brother, and that she sees a bunch of broken sound processors he had attempted to repair that she realizes that he really did care.
  • Quicksand Sucks: During the climax, first Marcus and then Regan is buried in grain stored within the silo, with each of them pulling out the other Just in Time.note 
  • Red Alert: All the lights on the family's farm can be switched from white to red at the flick of a switch in the basement, a sign that the monsters have infiltrated the area.
  • R-Rated Opening: A little boy is killed onscreen within the first ten minutes.
  • Screaming Birth: In a movie with sound-sensitive monsters, the presence of a pregnant character immediately presents the problem of how she'll be able to give birth without attracting them with her screaming. After holding it in as she hides from the monsters, her son's fireworks make enough noise to cover her screams.
  • Shout-Out: One of the newspaper clippings in the father's basement refers to the creatures as Darth Invincible.
  • Shown Their Work: The depiction of sign language—specifically, ASL—was heavily researched. They cast a deaf actress to play Regan for the express reason that she could help tutor the cast so they feel fluent. Individual characters also have their own "accent": Lee signs in a stern manner, Evelyn is elegant, Marcus is laconic, and Regan is sassy.
  • Silence Is Golden: There are only a handful of actual dialogue scenes, a scene of diegetic music (via earbuds), and very little actual movie scoring. This makes you intimately aware of every bit of sound that is in the film. Midway through, the father teaches his son about how it is safe to quietly talk next to a running river and feel free to scream next to a waterfall since the existing background noise will overpower it.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: The aliens are shown to have Absurdly Sharp Claws that can claw through a metal silo like tissue paper, but when the kids hide in the truck, the monster is not able to get in, even though the truck would have thinner metal than the silo. You could possibly handwave it with the silo carving happening after being driven mad by the hearing aid's frequency - meaning it was a Desperation Attack.
  • Survival Horror: A masterful Live-Action Film of this usually Video Game exclusive genre of horror.
  • Television Geography: Many of the locations used for the film aren't well-known even to people who live in upstate New York, but if they are ... the Abbotts cover quite a bit of distance barefoot on their sand path at the beginning of the film. Their house is in southeastern Dutchess County, the bridge is about 50 miles to the west (and across the Hudson River) near New Paltz, and Little Falls, almost a hundred miles to the northwest, is downtown.note 
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The Super Bowl Spot shows a fifth member of the family, a young boy, who was absent in the first trailer, and depicts him playing with a toy space shuttle and accidentally setting off its sound. This, compounded by his absence from the trailer (which also had one family member approaching a memorial cross set up in that spot on the bridge) all but directly spoils his death at the monster's hands.
  • Trapped-with-Monster Plot: Happens to the mother a couple of times; she is trapped with a monster in their house first when giving birth and next when the father leaves her to search for their children.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • The fireworks that draw the monsters away from the homestead.
    • Evelyn sets an egg timer to draw the monster away from the basement stairs.


Video Example(s):


Evelyn steps on a nail

As Evelyn is about to give birth, she rushes down the basement stairs and ends up unwittingly stepping barefoot straight through an exposed nail.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AgonyOfTheFeet

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