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The COVID-19 pandemic has done a lot to disrupt normal way of life all around the globe, and that very much includes normal movie-going behavior. With people self-quarantining and avoiding public gatherings, theaters have shut down, and studios have made massive changes to their release schedules. Case in point: while there were originally plans to have audiences enjoy the release of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place: Part II this Friday, that’s no longer happening because Paramount has delayed the movie indefinitely. Fortunately, we live in an age of streaming and digital rentals.
Given how people have been anticipating the horror sequel, the delayed release is definitely a bummer, but one of the plus sides of living in our modern world is that there is plenty of entertainment instantly available with just a few clicks – including a great number of titles with shared themes and similar tones to the would-be new release. You may not be able to watch A Quiet Place: Part II this weekend, there are a number of awesome alternatives currently available to both stream and rent online, and we’ve decided to highlight a number of them here!
28 Days Later (2003)
In the world of A Quiet Place, most of the world’s population is decimated by the vicious aliens equipped with highly-tuned aural senses, and part of what makes the movie so disturbing is the emptiness of the atmosphere. That’s something that it most definitely shares in common with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, which centers on a bike messenger who wakes up from a coma to discover that he is only of the few living people left walking the streets of London following a deadly viral outbreak. And as a bonus A Quiet Place: Part II connection, both films also happen to feature actor Cillian Murphy in key roles.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Streaming A Quiet Place isn’t exactly a perfect substitute for watching A Quiet Place: Part II, as there are fans who have watched the original several times in anticipation for the sequel, and getting something new is always more exciting than something familiar. With only one of the two actually being available to watch this weekend, however, you may want to still consider it. After all, it’s a film that is infinitely rewatchable even if you know it beat-for-beat, as beyond the scares it is an awesome piece of cinematic art that is delightful in the way in which it manipulates the senses. Watch it now, and then make plans to watch it again just before the sequel finds its way to theaters (presumably later this year).
Bird Box (2018)
Upon its release, Susanne Bier’s Bird Box earned a lot of comparisons to A Quiet Place – particularly because it debuted just a few months after Krasinski’s film. While there is more of the movie that is mid-apocalypse than post-apocalypse, the Netflix Original is also about a group of people trying to survive a deadly extraterrestrial invasion, with the hook being that individuals have to blind themselves so that their vision isn’t manipulated. The comparisons are ultimately fair, but Bird Box still has a lot to offer in the way of thrills and character development (with Sandra Bullock delivering a great performance), and the two ultimately make for a good double feature.
Where To Stream: Netflix
Where To Rent Online: N/A
With A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place: Part II, John Krasinski used the story of the movie to mold a special cinematic experience, and director Matt Reeves pulled off a similar stunt with Cloverfield back in 2008… albeit in a totally different way. Years before found footage became a full-on trend in Hollywood, the secretive blockbuster used the cinematography style to present a monster movie unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and it’s spectacular how well it holds up (plus it's fun to see all of the recognizable names in the credits, including Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Theo Rossi, Ben Feldman, and screenwriter Drew Goddard). It doesn’t exactly have the intimacy of the Krasinski film, but they share a spirit.
The Descent (2006)
Neil Marshall’s The Descent isn’t a post-apocalyptic film, but it does still manage to capture the feeling of being trapped in isolation and hunted by violent and dangerous monsters that makes it of a kind with A Quiet Place and its sequel. The simple premise following a group of spelunkers getting trapped in a cave and assaulted by creatures living in the dark is executed brilliantly, as you’re kept living on the edge of your seat without a moment where any of the characters feel truly safe. It’s surprising, terrifying, bloody, and awesome.
The Host (2007)
More than a decade before he won four Academy Awards in one night, Parasite’s Bong Joon-ho first really caught the attention of cinephiles everywhere with his fantastic 2007 monster movie The Host – the writer/director venturing into new genre territory much like John Krasinski did with A Quiet Place. The film follows the terror that results when a man-eating monster emerges from Seoul's Han River, but much like Krasinski’s breakout hit, the story is as much about the love and importance of family during a time of crisis. At times it manages to be both impressively thrilling and emotional, and through and through it’s entertaining.
The majority of films on this list qualify in the “monster movie” subgenre, but writer/director Mike Flanagan’s Hush gives us some great latitude to mix things up with a taste of some slasher action. Like Millicent Simmonds' Regan Abbott in A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place: Part II, our protagonist in this story, Kate Siegel's Maddie, is deaf, and the sadistic serial killer hunting her (John Gallagher Jr.) delights in taking advantage of her disability. Plot-wise it really couldn’t be more different than the sequel that was scheduled to be released this weekend, but it’s an equally awesome sensory experience.
Where To Stream: Netflix
Where To Rent Online: N/A
It Comes At Night (2017)
About 10 months before the release of A Quiet Place, Trey Edward Shults’ It Comes At Night hit theaters, telling the creepy story of a family living an isolated life in the woods following an apocalyptic event. The danger of the outside world is a contagion instead of sound-sensitive monsters, but you probably already get how the two movies are related. The Shults film primarily and effectively deals in dread from paranoia, and should actually have an interested added flavor if watched during the on-going quarantine.
The Last Man On Earth (1964)
One of the more significant lackings of the major streaming services is that they aren’t too big on the “classics” (which might as well be code for films pre-1970), but one that can be enjoyed right now and definitely operates in the same ballpark as A Quiet Place is Sidney Salkow and Ubaldo B. Ragona's The Last Man On Earth. The movie is the first adaptation of Richard Matheon's great 1954 novel “I Am Legend” (to be followed by 1971's The Omega Man with Charlton Heston and 2009's I Am Legend with Will Smith) and features horror icon Vincent Price in the lead role. It’s one of the original man at the end of the world movies, and a cool piece of film history. (Note: the version that is currently streaming is colorized).
Train To Busan (2016)
John Krasinski has said that he originally made A Quiet Place as tribute to the love he has for his family, and that theme is very much at the core of Yeon Sang-ho’s Train To Busan as well – as the film begins with a workaholic father (Gong Yoo) traveling with his young daughter (Kim Su-an) so that she can be with her mother/estranged wife. What unfortunately impedes their journey is a viral outbreak that is highly contagious and turns people into mindless cannibals. It’s a freaky and fun bit of horror cinema, and one of the best modern zombie movies.
What if the monsters from A Quiet Place lived underground, and instead of responding to sound responded to vibration instead? And what if instead of taking place in the jungle, it took place in the desert? Well, the film I just essentially described to you is Ron Underwood’s Tremors – and if you haven’t seen it before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a different experience tonally than the world of John Krasinski’s horror movies, as the 1990 feature is much more tongue-in-cheek, but that is just part of what makes it its own fun thing. Plus, if you truly, deeply fall in love with it, Netflix also provides access to all of the sequels.
With A Quiet Place: Part II not in theaters, what are you watching this weekend? Answer our poll below, and hit the comments section with other options for movie-goers!