How John Krasinski’s Last-Minute Change Transformed ‘A Quiet Place’ Monsters

John Krasinski could have easily remained beloved solely as Jim Halpert from ‘The Office’, but he aspired for more, both as an actor and director. While he directed smaller films like ‘Brief Interviews with Hideous Men’ and ‘The Hollars’ early in his career, everything changed with 2018’s ‘A Quiet Place’. Co-written with Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, and starring alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt, ‘A Quiet Place’ cemented Krasinski’s status as a talented filmmaker.

‘A Quiet Place’ offers a unique take on the alien invasion genre, where monsters hunt by sound, creating a tense atmosphere with audiences sitting in silence, afraid even to eat their popcorn. The film’s success hinged on the terrifying design of its aliens, which nearly went in a very different direction. Originally, the aliens had a more humanoid appearance, with broad shoulders, a hardened exoskeleton, and devilish horns, resembling a cross between a rhinoceros and a ‘Transformers’ character.

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A Quiet Place Monsters
Image Courtesy: Reddit

After making a last-minute decision during post-production, Krasinski recognised that this design could have been more effective. He realised the importance of horrifying the monsters, leading to a complete redesign. This change was crucial for the film’s impact, as the original design was more silly than scary, as even visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar admitted.

The final design of the aliens in ‘A Quiet Place’ took inspiration from prehistoric fish and bog people, resulting in a grotesque, part-humanoid, part-animal creature. This new design struck the right balance of familiarity and alien horror, enhancing the film’s tension. The choice to limit the aliens’ screen time, showing them in quick flashes or background movements, added to their mystique and terror.

A Quiet Place Monsters
Image Courtesy: The Verge

Krasinski’s decision to redesign the aliens transformed ‘A Quiet Place’ from potentially mediocre to a horror masterpiece. The film’s monsters are now iconic, embodying both horror and fascination, much like the xenomorphs from ‘Alien’ or the Demogorgon from ‘Stranger Things’. 

– Farheen Ali