John Krasinski's gripping horror film A Quiet Place looks set to get a sequel. The movie tells the unsettling story of one family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic Earth in which monsters that hunt by sound have taken over. In a genre that really benefits from tight, small-scale storytelling, this is about as tight as it gets, taking place within one main location and featuring a cast of only four actors (two bit-parts aside).
As of right now, the minimalist setup looks set to pay off massively, and questions about a potential sequel are already being raised. In most cases when discussing a well-reviewed, original horror, the knee-jerk response is to smack down any talk of franchising and leave a good story as a good story. We don't often see something that's a one-off, specially not from the studio machine, and as an audience it's nice to keep some things as their own self-contained narratives without any extra lore or baggage. But A Quiet Place sets up an entire world to be explored and the original writers themselves have some thoughts on how a follow-up could look.
The Writers Already Have Sequel Ideas
A Quiet Place screenwriters Bryan Woods and Scott Beck have been very candid about its origins as a concept. Essentially, the idea was to make a silent film but as a conventional, modern genre flick, so there are specific rules as to why everyone is quiet. From there, they created the monsters, the farm the main characters live on, the mother's pregnancy, the daughter's deafness, and developed the core sequences and narrative hooks. As such, there's a lot that didn't make it into the final movie that the pair have been holding onto and quietly working on in case A Quiet Place 2 becomes a reality.
Speaking to MovieWeb, Woods stated: “We even have some of the set-pieces already written for it. In a sense, that's what you have to base it around. You have to figure out, what is the worst possible situation to put your characters in and go from there.”
So much of what makes A Quiet Place work is how well it piles on the danger and ratchets up the tension. One of the central sequences - a horrific game of hide-and-seek between Emily Blunt's Evelyn and one of the creatures - is a prime example: a legitimate worst-case-scenario ordeal in which we're forced to watch some strong but very vulnerable prey just about stay an inch ahead of an apex predator. It's great horror storytelling that understands the masochism of the genre, and puts a lot of weight on the core premise and character work to keep the audience invested.
Beck also spoke on whether we can expect to see the same characters again or if they'll create a new cast and setting.
“I think you could continue down one path that's very obvious, or you could spin off into a completely unexpected direction. Which is certainly always interesting for us. The uncharted territory of filmmaking is always where you find the best inspiration.”
The obvious comparison for Beck's suggestion of moving away from the cast of the first here is Cloverfield, wherein each instalment would be completely new but drawing from the same broad mythology, which is ironic considering the writers once considered making A Quiet Place a stealth Cloverfield sequel. But the Cloverfield approach is where things get exciting, because the fusion of post-apocalypse and horror is prime for anthology-esque storytelling. Slowly exploring the mystery of the monsters through a series of tight-knit dramas, each taking place in a different tribe or community, is the makings of a great franchise, especially if there's a tight-grip kept on the grander narrative. The Purge has seen great success gradually getting bigger and introducing more varied themes each instalment while adamantly sticking to its core premise.
- A Quiet Place (2018) release date: Apr 06, 2018