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John Krasinski's A Quiet Place made for a complicated viewing experience when it was released in theaters around the world earlier this year. On the one hand, it makes for perfect big screen viewing, particularly in a theater with a high-quality sound system. On the other, however, there is the issue of disrespectful movie-goers who can instantly zap you out of the fictional world. It ultimately made for a bit of controversy -- but in follow-up, producer Andrew Form is making the argument that the film may actually be scarier when viewed at home:
You're in a theater [versus] you're at home, and... did you hear a noise in your house? You look over. When I was a kid, I hated watching scary movies by yourself - then you have to go to bed! In the theater it's a movie, and you get to go home, you drive your car home, and you get to talk about it. But when you're home alone watching a movie, it's different.
With A Quiet Place arriving on home video this month, I recently had the opportunity to hop on the phone with Andrew Form to talk about all of the movie's success and its new life out of theaters. During the conversation I made a point of how fun the film was to see with a constantly-gasping audience, but queried as to how he felt the work would be viewed by audiences in their respective living rooms. He explained that part of the reason he was personally excited for the experience is because watching horror is totally different when you're all alone versus sitting in a public auditorium with a crowd of 300-plus.
The sad reality is that there are going to be many people who try to catch up with A Quiet Place on their phones with a pair of ear buds, but hopefully that won't be the majority. There is a fine craftsmanship in the filmmaking, and as mentioned above, it deserves to be experienced in the best way possible. Not everyone has the same means to accomplish that, but a start would be a bit of isolation, the lights turned off, and the speakers turned up real, real loud.
This is not just my message, but really Andrew Form's as well. He admitted that at the time of the interview he hadn't had the opportunity to experience A Quiet Place at home, but offered up hope that audiences will set aside special time and attention for it. Said Form,
The amazing thing about sound design in the film was when you were in a theater, and we want quiet, you could hear a pin drop in the movie theater. I actually wonder what that's going to be like in the house, and hopefully people can actually sit in a room where it can be quiet and they can enjoy the design.