John Krasinski Never Thought He'd Make A Horror Movie Before A Quiet Place

Lee and his children

The horror genre has been in a serious renaissance for the past few years. No longer full of stale sequels and predictable torture porn, new and exciting properties are being brought to theaters, and being met with critical and financial success. Just look at last year's Academy Awards, which saw Jordan Peele win the Oscar for his work in Get Out. Plenty of other surprising filmmakers are getting involved in the genre, including rising director John Krasinski.

John Krasinski has spent most of his career in front of the camera, but has been slowly dipping his toes into directing. His horror flick A Quiet Place made a ton of money when it arrived in April, as well as quickly becoming a critical darling and establishing Krasinski as a serious talent behind the camera. But the Office alumnus never expected to get involved in the horror genre, recently saying:

If you told me years ago that I would one day make a horror movie, I'd tell you you were crazy. I couldn't even watch one, let alone make one. But then a spec script came my way and the one-liner was perfect. It was about a family that couldn't speak and you had to figure out why.

While a horror movie with a sound-focused extraterrestrial sounds like a high concept for a new director, John Krasinski eventually found the humanity in A Quiet Place. The settings may be extreme, but the acclaimed flick is really about the love and adversity shared with the Abbott family. The interconnected elements of the story are what piqued Krasinski's interest, and he's no doubt happy it did.

A Quiet Place provided a visceral and sensory theatrical experience, mostly due to the movie's villains. The mysterious aliens are blind, and use their sense of hearing to hunt and massacre the final survivors of the apocalyptic event. The Abbotts must live in complete silence, as the smallest noise could herald the creatures and their possible murder. The stakes are at an all-time high, and the tension provided with the lack of noise buoyed the project as a whole.

Family was at the heart of A Quiet Place, and is also why John Krasinski was so interested in the project. In his same conversation with The New York Times, Krasinski discussed how his personal life with wife Emily Blunt affected his approach to the horror flick, saying:

At the time, Emily and I had just had our second daughter. So I was actually holding a 3-week-old baby as I read it. And that's when it hit me, if I could rewrite this script, I could use this clever device to actually make a movie that wasn't straight horror. It would be a family drama, Trojan horsed as a horror movie. It would be my best metaphor for parenthood.

John Krasinski could identify with his character Lee in A Quiet Place because he has two daughters of his own. Add in the casting of real-life wife Emily Blunt as Evelyn, and Krasinski soon got especially invested in the acclaimed apocalyptic drama.

Lee and Evelyn

Considering his relationship with the horror genre, John Krasinski didn't expect his first acclaimed blockbuster to be rife with jump scares and extraterrestrial creatures. It's likely this perspective that helped make A Quiet Place such a unique experience, proving what both Krasinski as a director and the horror genre as a whole were capable of.

A Quiet Place may be a horror movie, but it wasn't necessarily overrun with gore and an abundance of scares. There were no tertiary characters to be killed by the creatures, instead allowing the interfamily drama and stakes of the setting to keep the tension going. And when the creatures do eventually show up, they're just as terrifying as moviegoers imagined-- especially when you're in the midst of labor like Emily Blunt's Evelyn.

As soon as it hit theaters, A Quiet Place really resonated with both audiences and critics. Despite not being able to eat your movie popcorn due to the film's lack of sound, John Krasinski's script, direction, and performance helped the film gain a ton of traction through word of mouth. So much so that cinephiles immediately called for a sequel to be produced, especially given the film's triumphant ending.

After watching The Abbott family attempt to live through the apocalypse, and with Lee Abbott giving his life to ensure his children's survival, things finally look up in A Quiet Place's final moments. Evelyn and Regan team up to kill one creature, with Emily Blunt's character cocking her shotgun to show the family's newfound power. Fans are hoping that Evelyn and her two kids will pop back up in a sequel, although it's unclear if that'll be the case.

John Krasinski is indeed working on a Quiet Place sequel, although he's been keeping his plans close to the chest for the time being. This includes how heavily the story will focus on the remaining Abbott family members, or if A Quiet Place's sequel might pivot to different survivors of the apocalypse. But Krasinski has cooked up a plan, one that got his wife excited about the upcoming follow-up.

The power of the horror genre has become obvious in the past few years, as new and original concepts have arrived in theaters, many of which have become critical successes in the process. Blumhouse's Halloween broke records for the slasher genre in October, IT became a cultural phenomenon, and Get Out brought director/writer Jordan Peele his first Oscar. It's a very exciting time to be in the genre, and it looks like John Krasinski is sticking around with his upcoming follow-up to A Quiet Place.

Aside from his new career as a director, John Krasinski has remained active as an actor. He is currently playing the title character in Amazon's Jack Ryan TV series. Based off the character by John Clancy, Krasinski is also an executive producer on the streaming show. Amazon has renewed it for a second season, so it looks like there will be plenty more of both A Quiet Place and Jack Ryan for the actor/director/writer in the coming years.

CinemaBlend will keep you updated on all things A Quiet Place 2 as more details become public. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.