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Everything You Need To Know About The Monsters In A Quiet Place

"A Quiet Place" — which stars John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe — is one of the most bone-chilling horror movies released in the last decade. Krasinski also co-wrote and directed the feature film. It centers around a family struggling to maintain absolute silence and survive in a world that has been ravished by strange, predatory creatures that are always listening — and always hunting. There's virtually no escape. One of the most horrifying things about it for the audience is the fact that we don't know where these creatures come from or why they're on Earth; all viewers know is that they are hell-bent on wanton death and destruction. Believe it or not, though, these creatures aren't just a horror movie Rorschach test upon which audiences can project their deepest fears. The antagonists of the movie (and its sequel, "A Quiet Place Part II") are fully developed characters in their own right.

In theater and acting classes, one common practice for any actor playing a relatively small part with few or no lines is to write a backstory for that character. It may not be in the script, and there may never be any exposition explaining the character's existence or motivations, but it's helpful for bringing life to the role. Krasinski did exactly that for the creatures in "A Quiet Place" before they even started filming. We've got the scoop on everything you need to know about Krasinski's monsters in "A Quiet Place" — and some of these revelations may surprise you.

The creatures are aliens from another world

Yup, they're aliens. But "A Quiet Place" isn't like most alien invasion movies where you have an intelligent race perform a surgical strike on humans and take over the planet. The creatures in the movie are more like parasites being introduced into an ecosystem that is not equipped to handle them. That's why most of the human race has gone extinct in the movie. Krasinski was inspired by an anecdote from the movie "RocknRolla" about crawfish invading the Thames River and drastically altering that ecosystem.

Krasinski went into these details and more on an episode of the Empire podcast which, sadly, no longer exists – but Collider did cover the juiciest parts of the interview and preserve them for posterity before the episode was wiped from the internet. Finding out that the creatures are extraterrestrial, however, was just the tip of the iceberg. There's a whole lot of mind-blowing information he and other creatives behind the scenes have revealed since the movie's release.

Their home world was destroyed

So what brought these monster parasites to Earth? Well, pretty much the same thing that transports any invasive species into an ecosystem where they don't belong: an extinction event on their home world, and a vessel — in the form of a meteorite, or several — to carry them across the universe. Krasinski confesses in the interview that in his mind, these lifeforms existed on a cold, dark planet where they didn't need eyesight to stay alive. But the other attributes which they did need for their own survival in such a harsh environment gave them an apex predator's advantage once they landed on planet Earth.

"I had to make it make sense. I needed the rules of the monster to adhere as tightly to the rules of the family. The family, we had set up all these incredible rules, and I needed the monster to not just be convenient," Krasinski went on to add in the Empire interview. Oddly enough, it feels more satisfying to get these answers after the fact, seeing as how the mystery was one of the most compelling parts of the movie. 

They're smarter than you think

Also, during his interview, Krasinski made a dark joke about how the alien invasion in "A Quiet Place" was like releasing "wolves in [a] daycare center." Despite their savagery, though, the aliens in the movie aren't just ravenous beasts gorging themselves on human flesh for the sake of survival. They actually have a very sophisticated way of communicating with one another. This isn't just a fan theory, either. Ethan Van Der Ryn and Erik Aadahl outright said so during an Inverse interview.

Much like whales or bats, the creatures use echolocation to "see" and, more frighteningly, hunt. They even have a specific, shrill cry which they screech when they move in to attack their prey. This particular sound signals any other nearby creatures to go into attack mode as well (ironically, this shriek eventually becomes their downfall when a feedback loop of the noise is recorded and weaponized against them).

Lastly — although it's only hinted at on a newspaper clipping which briefly flashes across the screen for a few seconds — is the fact that these creatures can and seemingly do manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum to help themselves hunt. Aadahl confirms that "when they come into a room, the lights will flicker or when they appear on the security monitor, [the monitor will] fritz."

The aliens have strengths and weaknesses

So far, we've hinted at them, but let's take a minute to state exactly what puts these creatures at the top of the food chain. For starters, they're bullet proof. Their skin is so hard and impenetrable that the military declares defeat (according to a newspaper clipping in the movie). Furthermore, their amazing hearing allows them to hunt humans down no matter where they try to hide — if the humans are foolish enough to make even a single decibel of noise, that is.

However, these creatures aren't completely invulnerable. After all, what would be the fun of watching a horror movie if there wasn't at least some shred of hope that the good guys could win in the end? As we pointed out earlier, the most significant and ironic weakness is that the creature's own hunting cry can be weaponized and used against them. When the aliens hear that sound, part of their armor opens up and leaves them vulnerable to guns and any weapon that can pierce the delicate flesh under their exterior scales. Audiences also find out in "A Quiet Place II" that these creatures cannot swim to save their lives. Their heavy, bulletproof armor makes them sink like a stone, easily and effectively neutralizing the formidable threat.

There's also an attribute that falls somewhere in the middle, which Jeffrey Beecroft alluded to during a press conference which Nightmarish Conjurings covered. One of the aliens' advantages — their super hearing — makes them so sensitive to sound that instead of killing humans for food, they kill because the noise we make is painful and drives them into a murderous rage. If you thought your misophonia was bad, imagine how the aliens feel.

The lack of exposition bumped up the horror factor

In many interviews, including the Empire podcast, Krasinski has gone into detail explaining why he didn't want to adhere to the alien invasion exposition trope at the beginning of the movie. He thought providing the audience with too much information would take away from the sheer terror of a sudden, unexplained alien invasion. He wanted the audience to feel like it was happening "so fast that you either survived or you didn't. So it puts these people in a really tense place."

When thinking about it, that makes sense. After all, when hiking through the woods with some friends, if a hungry bear came along, and it took a second to explain why it was about to rip everyone to shreds and eat their innards, it would probably take the edge off of getting mauled. It may also give them time to run away, or wonder exactly what type of drugs they had to take to hallucinate a talking bear. Convoluted metaphors aside, it makes sense from a horror movie perspective to keep audiences in the dark and withhold certain bits of information from them. When giving someone a blank slate upon which to project their own fears, no description is more horrifying than the terrors that are lurking in the darkest corners of their own psyche.

If you haven't had enough of the aliens from "A Quiet Place" yet, don't fret. Rumor has it there's a third movie in the works right now. We will keep you up to date as we discover more alien surprises in future movie sequels.