The ending of A Quiet Place explained

A Quiet Place has tiptoed into theaters, supported by a clever ad campaign and met with critical praise and box office success. John Krasinski, continuing to develop his post-The Office career as a filmmaker, delivers a thriller that succeeds with a unique concept and a cleverly limited set of cinematic tools. Unlike most modern mainstream movies, it's a film that relies less on spoken dialogue than on sounds, visuals, and mystery.

A Quiet Place introduces the Abbott family, who try to survive on their secluded farm after a worldwide invasion of creatures that hunt by sound. Getting by with a variety of creative sound-dampening solutions and communicating with sign language, they face the challenges of adolescence, guilt, and even a pregnancy. Their story builds to a climax that wraps up the action while leaving a few questions still unanswered. If you want to know more about just what went down in the final minutes, keep quiet and check out our spoiler-filled rundown. This the ending of A Quiet Place explained.

Rockets' red glare

In A Quiet Place's opening scene, youngest child Beau (Cade Woodward) proposes that a rocket could help the family escape. His fascination with space travel proves to be his downfall, as a toy shuttle in his hands makes enough electronic noise to attract one of the creatures. His family watches helplessly as the boy is snatched away just before the main title.

Beau's death informs the character arcs for the rest of the story, as the film jumps ahead a year and finds everyone struggling with grief and guilt while attempting to maintain some sense of normalcy under the oppressive silence. His memory plays a key role in the finale, as the monsters move in on Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) when she goes into labor. Her husband, Lee (Krasinski) and their son, Marcus (Noah Jupe) draw them away by putting into action a one-word plan: "Rockets." While the farm glows red with the warning lights that signal an attack, a volley of fireworks distracts the beasts and allows Lee to take back the house and rejoin his wife and newborn son.

Sacrificial scream

One of A Quiet Place's central plot threads focuses on Lee and Evelyn's daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and her strained relationship with her father. As the one who gave Beau the toy that led to his death, Regan thinks that Lee blames her. Lee's overprotective tendencies toward his deaf daughter don't exactly help her feel that he believes in her, either. In one of the film's key scenes, Marcus reminds his father that he needs to tell Regan how much he loves her.

It is a huge emotional payoff, then, when Lee rescues Marcus and Regan from a creature and tells them that he has always loved them. While the kids take shelter inside a pickup truck with the beast clawing to get inside, Lee lets out one final, anguished scream, giving his life to save them as they throw the truck into neutral and it rolls back to the house. It's a cathartic moment not only for the three characters, but for the audience as well, to break the silence with a tragic but triumphant emotional release. 

All ears

The greatest mystery of A Quiet Place remains the creatures themselves. Aside from some vague newspaper headlines, there is barely any exposition given about where they come from or just how the invasion went down. For most of the film's runtime, the monsters are glimpsed only briefly, appearing as fleeting blurs or vague shapes. The climax, however, finally reveals them in all their gruesome glory as one of them stalks Evelyn and her newborn baby into the basement of the farmhouse. The things are not unlike one of Hellraiser's Cenobites, with an eyeless head that splits open in all directions to expose sensitive hearing membranes.

In addition to delivering a horrific visual, this design explains the physiology that allows the beasts to so accurately strike at even the subtlest sounds. Krasinski brought the horror to life with the help of Industrial Light and Magic and Transformers designer Scott Farrar. The director revealed in a Collider interview that a last-minute design change improved the final product when post-production was close to ending. 

Ferocious feedback

The most unique thing about A Quiet Place might be its use of American Sign Language to convey a vast majority of its dialogue. "For many reasons, I didn't want a non-deaf actress pretending to be deaf," Krasinski said in regards to the casting of Millicent Simmonds as Regan. "I wanted someone who lives it and could teach me about it on set." He went on to explain that he and Simmonds worked together to develop signing habits and styles that informed each family member's attitude and character arc.

The monsters' weakness is at last revealed to be feedback, as the noise emitted from Regan's cochlear implant when they are near confuses their heightened sense and racks them with pain. During the final confrontation, Regan discovers the pile of discarded custom boosted implants that Lee had been working on, showing how much he cared for her while also providing her with the ability to fight back for the first time.

Locked and loaded

Regan uses Lee's radio transmitter to amplify the feedback, causing the intruder to recoil, disoriented and exposing its inner membranes. Evelyn takes the opportunity of having a clear shot at this weak spot for the first time and blows the thing away with her shotgun. Naturally, this is the kind of loud sound the Abbots have been avoiding, as Lee's security monitors show the other two creatures known to inhabit the area racing toward the farmhouse.

But this is not a tragic ending. Finally armed with an effective weapon, Evelyn gives her daughter a reassuring smile as she cocks the shotgun and the movie cuts to credits, sending the audience out of the theater without releasing their adrenaline high. Much like another recent thriller with an alien invasion backdrop, 10 Cloverfield Lane, A Quiet Place stops at the moment the protagonists decide to fight back. These aren't stories about battles, they're stories about ordinary people finding their place within global conflicts. 

The next generation

Evelyn's pregnancy and labor are a driving source of tension for most of A Quiet Place, and it's not just to harvest the audience's anxieties. A major theme of the film is the struggle to survive and adapt to some kind of normalcy within horrific societal changes. That's why the invasion occurs before the story begins and the rebellion against the monsters is saved for after its ending. Citing the story's familial themes, Krasinski credits the recent birth of his second daughter with Blunt (the two are married in real life) with his attachment to the script. 

Evelyn and Lee's newborn baby serves as a symbol for this belief that life can carry on even when everything about the world seems to have changed. Regardless of whether these horrifying monsters are ever truly driven fully from our planet, humanity will continue. Children will be born who never knew life before the quiet. "Who are we, if we can't protect them?" Evelyn asks Lee after the birth of their new son, with two more children stranded and the death of another still fresh in their mind. Regan, Marcus, and the baby at their mother's side in the film's final moments represent what the story is all about: the future.