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The horror genre is unique for many reasons. One of those is that it usually doesn't require much money to craft a highly-effective film, and that cost-effectiveness has allowed scary flicks to remain competitive against major blockbusters. On the other side of that coin, horror films also tend not to be able to attract A-list talent, which is why A Quiet Place's ability to lock down major names like John Krasinski and Emily Blunt gave the creature feature such a leg up over other horror films. In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, A Quiet Place producer Andrew Form explained:
I think a lot of times when you use an unknown actor or actress it's because you can't get movie stars to do horror movies, traditionally. I mean the movie stars that we've worked with weren't movie stars at the time. When we made the movie with Ryan Reynolds, Amityville Horror, what had he done? Van Wilder? I mean that was kind of it. So, the fact that we had such fantastically talented actors in this movie is only an enhancement and it was just the best of all worlds to have them there.
So it's not necessarily a matter of horror movies trying to avoid getting big names. Quite the opposite, in fact. Per Andrew Form's remarks in our conversation about A Quiet Place, Hollywood heavy-hitters tend to steer clear of the horror genre, which is why roles in these films are typically reserved for unknowns or up-and-comers, like Ryan Reynolds circa 2005 when he parlayed his starring role in Van Wilder into the lead role in The Amityville Horror. On the other hand, A Quiet Place was able to defy traditional genre conventions by locking down such notable names as John Krasinski and Emily Blunt (not to mention up-and-comer Noah Jupe, who previously starred in Wonder), and that helped add an extra layer of prestige to the film.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for A Quiet Place! You have been warned!
The fact that A-listers often don't appear in horror movies also tends to help the genre as a whole because it makes it more difficult to determine which characters will live and die. Though there are exceptions to the rule, bigger names tend to survive for longer periods of time in films -- which is one reason why Drew Barrymore's early and iconic death in Scream stands out as such a legendary moment. However, like Scream, A Quiet Place similarly sidesteps that convention by showing no mercy in how it approaches deaths. The film ends with John Krasinski's Lee sacrificing himself for his children and letting the monsters kill him in a particularly brutal fashion. Even with big names on the cast, A Quiet Place arguably still manages to succeed by putting them on the chopping block.
A Quiet Place is currently in theaters and is continuing to do great business, even in the face of blockbuster releases like Avengers: Infinity War. Make sure to take a look at CinemaBlend's comprehensive review of the nearly-silent horror film and check it out to see all of the terror for yourself!