As the year winds to a close, A Quiet Place has appeared on a number of end of the year lists, a testament to how effective the horror film remains. Shortly after the film's release, Stephen King praised the film's accomplishments, recently elaborating in detail how effective the script was and how that led to such a successful film.
"The movie is economical, running only 91 minutes. The screenplay is INCREDIBLY economical, just 83 pages long. But it’s DENSE," King shared with Variety. "What I noticed first when I flipped through it is that it looks more like a short novel than a screenplay."
He added, "It’s not surprising that most modern theaters boast about their sound systems — Dolby, DTS, THX — because most movies are now all about talk and sound (my wife refuses to go see films in what she calls the 'stuff blowing up' genre). The images are still there, of course, but I’d argue that most movies fail to utilize the full power of the human eye. A Quiet Place does exactly that. Like the short French film An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, it’s a visual poem. When sound DOES occur in A Quiet Place, it feels like a dash of cold water in the face."
The film takes place in a world which has been ravaged by monstrous creatures that attack and kill any being that makes a sound, forcing one family to adopt a life of silence in hopes of survival. Not only is every sound that is made by the characters deliberate, but each utterance could potentially lead to their demise.
"Three things from the screenplay can stand for everything this movie does well: sand paths for the characters to walk on, sliding barn doors wrapped in foam to keep them from rumbling and a snack display in the grocery store where the family goes for supplies. That’s the one I liked best," King noted. "It filled me with the delight only well-executed movies can deliver. All the candy bars are gone, you see, but the bags of potato chips remain. Because they crunch. They make noise."
Following the film's release, King took to Twitter to share, "A Quiet Place is an extraordinary piece of work. Terrific acting, but the main thing is the SILENCE, and how it makes the camera's eye open wide in a way few movies manage."
King clearly wasn't the only fan of the film, as it sits at 95 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and took in $340 million worldwide, scoring itself a sequel that will hit theaters on May 15, 2020.