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A Quiet Place made for one the most unique theatrical experiences of the year, as audiences watched a nearly silent film starring a family carefully trying to survive the blind creatures who have already hunted most of civilization by sound. In an earlier version of the film, the terrifying creature was just John Krasinski dressed in a motion capture suit and Vans sneakers. A small test audience witnessed it, and hilarity ensued. A Quiet Place's producer Brad Fuller revealed what happened, saying:
Whenever the alien would come onscreen [in the test screenings], people would laugh, because it's John playing him. You can't say, 'Pretend that's an alien' to a test audience.
While the early screening seems like it was a bit of a disaster for the filmmakers trying to gauge reactions on a horror flick, it also sounds like comedy cold. Imagine going into a theater ready to be terrified, and then John Krasinski in sneakers shows up as the scary monster. A Quiet Place doesn't have a lot of dialogue in it either, so there's plenty of awkward silences to entice some giggles-- presumably setting off the room in thunderous laughter. And since Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt are also the film's protagonists as well, it adds an extra level of hilarity to the scene.
To a test audience unaware that A Quiet Place would be one of the best horror films of the year, they might have thought back to John Krasinski's earlier work as Jim in The Office when watching the first cut. After the unintended reaction to the film, A Quiet Place was never tested again. It's somewhat surprising the producers didn't predict how the audience would react to the unfinished product, but the team was dealing with the challenge of creating the monsters' look in post-production.
John Krasinski had a big stake in A Quiet Place, since he not only starred but directed and co-wrote the thriller. He found himself playing another important role in the film, when the people at special-effects house ILM asked him about how the creature should move, and he started acting it out for them. Krasinski ended up putting on the motion-capture costume and performed as the monster for the film. His passion project had a small budget of $17 million, so his decision to wear so many hats on the project might have been a necessity.
While A Quiet Place wasn't the unintended comedy a handful of test audiences witnessed, the final horror version did extremely well with audiences, making a stunning $338 million worldwide. John Krasinski is already hard at work on writing A Quiet Place 2, but where is the original footage of him as the creature? According to a tweet by Krasinski, it still exists but it's locked away in a vault... without a key.