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There are few movies in recent memory, and perhaps ever, where sound or the lack of it, has been so critical to the experience as A Quiet Place. John Krasinski's horror film is practically a silent movie, making what little sound there is jarring and meaningful. Thus, a huge part of the enjoyment of the film is contingent upon the etiquette of your fellow theatergoers keeping noise to a minimum. This has led to a cinematic experience where audiences are as terrified to make too much noise as the characters in the film, with every bite of popcorn or bodily noise threatening to shatter the silence. The following tweet sums it up pretty nicely:
The extent to which this is true really can't be grasped until you see the film. You don't think the slightest rustling on the other side of the theater will disturb you but it does. Ripping plastic or opening a soda might as well be a bullhorn. There is also the fact that there are plenty of audiences who aren't as aware of what this movie will be ahead of time and walk in completely unprepared for the silence of the theater, a silence that becomes immediately apparent and makes you extremely self-conscious of noise you make. Given the proliferation of cell phones and decline in theater etiquette, people are already on edge at the theater with little patience for others making noise, but that is taken to the nth degree with A Quiet Place, as one fan hilariously noted:
Accurate. There are strategies you can employ, though, to reduce your decibel level. One audience member who thought A Quiet Place was just another scary movie, had to improvise when eating her popcorn, as she told The Washington Post,
It got to the point where I could only put a piece of popcorn in my mouth every 10 minutes whenever the sound would get high enough. Even then, I would have to hold the popcorn in my mouth until it was soft enough to chew without making any noise.
It's not just concessions either; another theatergoer said that she scolded her friend for merely sniffling. Honestly, theaters should really have a warning when you buy your tickets or before the movie plays, telling you to open your concessions now and opt for something like Junior Mints or a pretzel versus popcorn and Sour Patch Kids. This hyper-aware theater experience isn't lost on the makers of A Quiet Place either, with Producer Brad Fuller telling The Wall Street Journal,
People feel they need to be quiet. It's like mob rule -- if someone starts crunching loudly, the rest of the theater is going to go after them.
Now if only we could get this sort of self-awareness and common courtesy for the other 99% of movies then maybe attendance wouldn't be in a constant decline. What's fascinating about this whole experience is that it isn't just about the theater etiquette of those around you, the movie itself makes you want to be quiet. This immersive experience finds your breathing more shallow, every fidget in your seat more calculated, not only wanting to avoid disturbing those around you, but to adopt the quiet and safe behavior of the Abbott family, hoping that silence will keep you, and them, safe. One fan approached it exactly that way, saying:
A Quiet Place is back at #1 at the box office and it is really the kind of film you have to see in theaters for the experience. Just go in prepared and you'll have a great time. For all the latest in movie news and how to chew quietly, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.