You might see the noise-hating creatures in A Quiet Place as animalistic hunters, but the sound designers who worked on the film consider these creatures to be far more intelligent than the movie might let on.

Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, the founders of E² Sound, engineered the sound design for A Quiet Place. And for a movie so steeped in silence, they told Inverse it was “a sound designer’s dream.” Van der Ryn and Aadahl played a huge role in establishing the dramatic tension and overall mood of A Quiet Place, but their work also helped define how the film’s awesome monster design developed over time. At least when it came to designing the sound of these creatures, they considered the alien monsters to be intelligent.

“We thought of them as intelligent and communicating with each other,” Van der Ryn explained. “At one point, we had much more of that in the track, because we wanted to relay a certain amount of intelligence.” From the gist of what they relayed, a previous version of the story in A Quiet Place characterized these creatures a bit more. And with intelligent communication usually comes some kind of culture in sci-fi stories.

Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe play siblings Regan and Marcus Abbott in 'A Quiet Place'.
Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe play siblings Regan and Marcus Abbott in 'A Quiet Place'.

“A lot of that offscreen communication stuff we took out of the movie,” Van der Ryn admitted, “but we definitely thought of them as highly intelligent and communicative — at least with each other.” So at the very least, these aliens weren’t just mindless beasts rampaging across the Earth assaulting anything that made noise.

Everything we know for sure about the monsters in A Quiet Place comes in the form of random notes and newspaper clippings with headlines like “U.S. Military Defeated” or “Death Angels” or even one that mentions an asteroid hitting Mexico with the force of a nuclear bomb. Their armor is impenetrable and their hearing is insanely acute.

But one of Lee Abbott’s notes in the basement of his house wonders why these creatures don’t eat their kill. If they were mere animals, then they’d probably feed on humans, right? So does that mean they’re deliberately hunting down human beings with the intention of eradicating the entire race? Maybe.

Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) in 'A Quiet Place'.
Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) in 'A Quiet Place'. 

To be fair, all of this doesn’t necessarily mean that the aliens from A Quiet Place willingly traveled to Earth with the intent of destroying humans. It also doesn’t even mean that their being able to communicate intelligently should be considered “canon.” For all we know, they were bug-like creatures that evolved into perfect hunters and hatched after landing on Earth by total happenstance.

We might never know where they come from or what they want — unless the film’s creators follow through on their potential sequel plans. Until then, we’ll have to stay quiet either way.

A Quiet Place is out now in theaters.