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We Rewatched The A Quiet Place Series And It's Totally Different Now

"A Quiet Place" has made a name for itself as a well-made, entertaining modern horror franchise. The post-apocalyptic series has very little dialogue due to the fact that any noise the survivors make will attract aliens that can kill them, but what the franchise does with sound, especially when audiences see the world from the family's deaf daughter Regan's (Millicent Simmonds) point of view, is revolutionizing horror and creating a new legacy.

In the first film, the Abbott family comprises Lee (John Krasinski), Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Marcus (Noah Jupe), and Regan trying to survive a changed world on their farm. They've made necessary adjustments to make as little noise as possible, but things don't always work out in their favor. In the second film, Evelyn, Marcus, and Regan leave the farm and run into their friend Emmett, played by the now-Oscar-winner Cillian Murphy.

The "A Quiet Place" movies are great to see the first time, but there's even more to discover during a rewatch. Moreover, with the release of sequels, prequels, and even more interviews, more details have come to light that change how we view the franchise. Here's everything to be on the lookout for as you revisit the "A Quiet Place" universe.

The aliens have a surprisingly juicy backstory

While we know very little about the history of the aliens in the "A Quiet Place" films, director and writer John Krasinski secretly fleshed out their entire backstory. Writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods wrote the original screenplay for "A Quiet Place," but since Krasinski provided some additional rewrites, acts in the film, and directed the first two installments, it makes sense that he's devised a deep lore for what the creatures are and where they come from. From why they're called "death angels" by the fanbase to what their strengths and weaknesses are, there's actually a lot to know about the monsters in "A Quiet Place."

"The idea behind all that is they're definitely aliens and they're an evolutionarily perfect machine," Krasinski said in a podcast interview with Empire, as archived by Collider. "They also develop a way to protect themselves from everything else so that's why they're bulletproof and all these things." These ideas are rooted in the thought that the aliens are from a planet that has no light, making the evolutionary need for eyes nonexistent, causing them to instead rely entirely on their hearing.

Krasinski explained that the armor-like plating that covers the monsters' bodies enabled them to survive the destruction of their home planet, after which they were jettisoned off into space on meteorites. Able to survive due to their extreme endurance, they stayed on those meteorites until they just so happened to crash-land on Earth. The unintentional nature of the alien invasion in "A Quiet Place" gives more insight into the actions of the creatures once they land.

John Krasinski donned a motion capture suit

In "A Quiet Place," motion capture was used while filming to give the cast something to react to while fighting against the death angels. It has since been revealed that one of those aliens was actually the director himself — that's right, Krasinski secretly plays one of the aliens in "A Quiet Place." In a 2019 Vulture article, John Krasinski discussed the special effects behind the film, including a discussion how of difficult the ending alien sequence, when the family is in the basement, was to plan and shoot. Because the action was taking place in a small space, and the alien was moving around and opening up its head, the director says it was "really, really difficult to nail."

"I ended up playing the creature," he continued. "So I'm the one standing there in a way-too-tight suit, making little roaring sounds for the actors." Krasinski credited Scott Farrar, a visual effects supervisor with Industrial Light & Magic, for the idea. Krasinski said that wearing the motion-capture suit allowed the VFX team to put the creature over top of his performance. The reveal gives us a better idea of what "A Quiet Place" looks like without special effects. While promoting "A Quiet Place Part II" with The Hollywood Reporter, the director shared that while he played an alien "once or twice" the second time around, it was, he said, "not nearly as dramatically and/or as visually stunning as I did the first time."

Emily Blunt filmed the bathtub scene in a single take

One of the most intense scenes of the movie is when Evelyn goes into labor as aliens approach the farm. The sequence ends as she gives birth in a bathtub, the aliens running toward the fireworks Marcus has set off as a distraction. While speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Emily Blunt shared that the scenes took five days to film. The actress says that her husband was "very considerate because he knew it was going to be physically demanding." The shoot was arduous, Blunt said. "We were both toasted by it," she explained. "Everyone on set was feeling rather fragile. The crew was really upset by it."

Krasinski said that the crew didn't talk to or make eye contact with his wife after. "It's not acting, it's like you are witnessing a moment you shouldn't be witnessing," he said. "Only one guy would talk to her and he said, 'I don't think we were supposed to watch that. None of us should have been there.'"

In an interview with Jake's Takes, the director shared that Blunt filmed the bathtub portion in one take, which makes the scene more powerful and really changes how you see Blunt's skills as a performer. Krasinski, for his part, said he was floored by her. "It completely changed how I looked at her, truthfully," Krasinski said. "I know it sounds corny, but I'll never have a collaboration as good as I did with my wife."

A callback to a classic creature feature

Like any director, John Krasinski gets much of his inspiration from other movies. One of the classic films that influenced "A Quiet Place Part II," and a dream project of the director, has a special Easter egg in the film. The director told Vanity Fair that when he was first getting to know Emily Blunt, she asked, "What would you want out of your career? What's your dream?" His response: "I'd love to direct 'Jaws.'" "A Quiet Place Part II," he said, is his "Jaws."

This influence in the film runs deep. "I think there's even visuals I wanted to feel from the sense of 'Jaws,'" he shared with Den of Geek, calling the classic shark film "a huge touchstone" and "a perfect film." "Storytelling-wise, what I learned from it was simplicity," he said. "The idea that just getting your characters you love from Point A to Point B is sometimes journey enough." In addition to similar beats and shots, there's a deliberate and overt nod to "Jaws" in the film's opening: The pizza place Lee walks by is named Brody's Pizza, after the protagonist of "Jaws." Krasinski shared with Vanity Fair that this is an intentional nod, though many will miss its significance and how deep the series' connection to "Jaws" goes on their first watch. Producer Andrew From told Cinema Blend that from their first conversation working on the first "A Quiet Place" film, Krasinski was regularly referencing the Steven Spielberg thriller.

A great closeup was actually a mistake

During the opening sequence of the second movie, Evelyn tries to drive through the chaos of a small town under attack by aliens. Emily Blunt wasn't actually driving the car — a stunt driver was controlling the vehicle from on top — but her reactions to a bus nearly crashing into her are authentic.

As Evelyn is pushing her car in reverse to get away from the bus, John Krasinski said, the camera broke and moved forward during filming, ultimately zooming in on her face. So that great closeup of Evelyn with her head turned around as she reverses? "This is a mistake," Krasinski told Vanity Fair. "It's the best mistake I've ever made in my career." Though it was unintentional, the shot made it into the final cut of the film and looks like it belongs. Krasinski describes it as the standout shot of the sequence, which otherwise involved heavy rehearsal and technical precision.

"We had to rehearse this shot for about three weeks," the director said. The camera they used for Evelyn's car scene had to be programmed for the shot, which meant plenty of practice so everything would go smoothly the day of filming. Even with all the practice and programming, the broken camera spontaneously added an amazing closeup during the opening action sequence.

The sequel didn't use many alien stand-ins

There are plenty of aliens in the franchise, from the trio that terrorizes the farm in "A Quiet Place" to the dozen or so that appear throughout "A Quiet Place Part II" and the untold dozens attacking New York City in "A Quiet Place: Day One." For the first movie, the visual effects team from Industrial Light & Magic used individuals in blue or green suits or grey "marker suits" to represent the monsters while filming, but that wasn't the case with the sequel.

"In this second film, everyone was kind of familiar with how to do it," Scott Farrar shared with the visual effects site befores & afters. "So we would use someone or something for composition for the camera operator but most of the time we shot it clean with nobody in there." Though Krasinski confirmed he did stand in for the aliens occasionally, stand-ins as a whole weren't used to the same extent in the sequel because the cast was already familiar with how the creatures move and look and how to act around them while filming. Every time you see barrels or people flung around in "Part II," those are practical effects with the creatures composited in later.

Special effects magic made the corn scene possible

One of the most visually impactful scenes of the first movie is when Marcus falls into the corn silo in the aftermath of the death angel attack of their farm. Regan quickly follows him, trying to save her brother. And all the while, an alien is closing in, drawn by the commotion. The sequence is a nightmare — both on-screen and on-set. John Krasinski shared with Vulture that the idea of executing the scene frightened him. "I remember I had spoken to a friend of mine, Drew Goddard," he said, "and his only note at the end of the script was: 'How the hell you gonna do that corn scene?'" While it may not seem like a dangerous situation, due to the size of the kernels and the lack of something stable to hold on to, individuals can very quickly become engulfed in grain or corn silos and suffocate to death, so the scene posed real-life dangers to the actors involved.

"How we did it was Jeff Beecroft, my amazing production designer, designed this ramp under a small kiddie pool of corn," Krasinski said. "So there were only 12 inches of corn the entire time for these kids to look like they were drowning in." The ramp allowed the actors to move either completely above or below the corn to catch their breath or take a break during the shoot. Krasinski said the shoot lasted a grueling eight hours, but the clever production design made everything as safe as possible.

Paperwork holds a hint to another Krasinski project

While Lee looks at the documents in his basement command center, there are a variety of news articles, notebook pages filled with scribbled text, and printouts. This has been a goldmine for Easter eggs, and one Reddit user was quick to spot a nod to one of John Krasinski's other films in the piles of paperwork.

As the father and husband tries to send out SOS signals on the radio, audiences can watch as he pulls up a list of international radio frequencies, seemingly checking them off over time. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot, the city name "Benghazi" and the number "13" appear right beside each other. Those familiar with Krasinski's resume likely remember his role as Jack Silva in the Michael Bay movie "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi." Bay has an easily missed connection to the "Quiet Place" universe, too, as he produced every film in the series thus far — so the Easter egg is as much a tip of the hat to Bay as it is to Krasinski's back catalog.

The train scene was difficult for Millicent Simmonds

With Lee death's at the end of the first film, his daughter Regan becomes the main character of the sequel. This meant Millicent Simmonds was in the spotlight, filming intense sequences as her character tries to find the source of the radio broadcast to help incapacitate the monsters with her hearing aid.

While speaking with We Live Entertainment, the young actress shared the most difficult scene for her to film in "A Quiet Place Part II." The scene in question features Regan in an abandoned train car near a station. She tries to take a first aid kit, causing an alien to appear and forcing her to fight it off alone. "The train was really difficult for me to film," Simmonds said. "There were a lot of little elements that I had to get just right for it to work." The actress described carrying around the gun and radio props, while also trying to act terrified, as an enormous challenge. The scene was demanding physically with the weight of the props, but also due to the summer heat during production.

The alien design changed late in the production process

The alien design for "A Quiet Place" is one of its major highlights. The aliens stand on their knuckles like gorillas; have bony, protruding joints like wings; and have heads that peel open from multiple pieces. While their design is particularly cool, it wasn't always the intended look for the monsters.

As part of the home video release for the first film, crew commentary shares that the original design looked a bit more humanoid. Images included in the featurette show a monster that has horns on the top of its head and large shoulder plates. The initial design inspiration was based on John Krasinski's ideas to incorporate aspects of prehistoric fish and his desire for the aliens to have hidden ears, in addition to the crew trying to incorporate aspects of bog bodies with leathery skin.

While the hidden ears remained, the team began to rethink the design, but only had two months to develop something new for the movie. The time crunch — as well as the desire to show the creatures as little as possible — is why there were only quick glimpses of the aliens until the end of the film. The team finished the new alien design just before "A Quiet Place" was set to debut at SXSW, creating a monster that has more of the "medical and raw" look, Scott Farrar shared with Vanity Fair.

A nod to Krasinski's most well-known project

In addition to the "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" reference in the first "A Quiet Place" film, "A Quiet Place Part II" has a subtle nod to John Krasinski's most well-known project: "The Office." After Evelyn, Marcus, Regan, and the new baby leave their destroyed farm, they head toward a fire signal in search of sanctuary. After making their home in a steel mill, they can hear a radio transmission playing the classic song "Beyond the Sea" on a loop. As Regan uses the maps to figure out where it's coming from, the town Stamford, Connecticut, is visible for a few seconds.

Fans of "The Office" will know that the city is where Jim (Krasinski) is transferred in Season 3. While the inclusion makes sense based on the geography of the series, it's a fun inclusion that viewers will easily miss on the first watch. "The Office" die-hards will also pick up on the scene in the first film when Lee and Evelyn dance in the basement while listening to music through shared headphones — which is exactly what Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim do in Season 2, Episode 7, sharing a song with one pair of headphones.

Who made it to the island?

The most significant connection between "A Quiet Place Part II" and "A Quiet Place: Day One" is the people who escaped New York to the island. The second movie features an island civilization led by Djimon Hounsou's character, and the small society is able to survive without the threat of aliens because the creatures can't swim. Regan and Emmett only find the group because of their radio broadcast.

The third installment, "A Quiet Place: Day One," takes us to the start of the "A Quiet Place" timeline and briefly shows the leader of the island colony, Henri (Hounsou). The ending of the movie follows Sam (Lupita Nyong'o) and Eric (Joseph Quinn) as they try to get to the boats that are leaving New York City, though only Eric (and Frodo the cat) makes it onboard with Henri.

We don't know what happens to Eric, Frodo, and the other people on the boat after "Day One" and before "Part II," but if Henri made it to the island sanctuary, then the possibility remains that everyone we saw on the boats at the end of "Day One" made it, too. Rewatching "Part II" after seeing "Day One" gives audiences a better idea of the island's population, as well as how they all got there to begin with. It also leaves the door open for Eric and Frodo to return in another "A Quiet Place" film. And although Henri is killed by a creature in "Part II," his short arc in "Day One" gives franchise rewatchers a more fleshed-out idea of his character.