John Krasinski’s silent horror hit, A Quiet Place, already has a sequel lined up, but you might wonder whether the movie’s planned sequel can keep up that unique audio style. According to the film’s Oscar-nominated sound editors Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, that’s exactly the plan for A Quiet Place 2, which will replicate the best moments of the original while expanding the story in intriguing new directions.
“[John Krasinski] wants to stay in this world, but he’s hinted that maybe it will be with different characters,” Aadahl tells Inverse.
So A Quiet Place 2 might feature an entirely new set of characters in a brand-new location, but the story could still look and feel like the original. To create this clear connection between what could be a brand new cast and the family from A Quiet Place, Aadahl wants to maintain one powerful sequence.
“A big part of the first film that really worked for us was going into the sonic perspectives or sonic envelopes of our characters,” he says. “Even though we didn’t have any visual point of view shots, we were able to do that with sound and take people into sonic points of view. I’d love to think that we can continue that idea. I think there’s a lot there’s a lot of territory to mine there. It’s an effective tool for engaging the audience in a new way and a deeper way.
Aadahl is referring to sections of the film where we perceive the world through the lens of Regan Abbott, the eldest daughter of the family at the center of the story in A Quiet Place. Regan was born deaf, and seemingly because of that, her family was that much more capable of survival when a blind alien species with super-hearing started hunting humanity to near-extinction.
At several points in the movie we “hear” the world through Regan’s perspective. The sound shifts into a kind of feedback or white noise that blocks out her actual hearing. It functions as a sonic metaphor for what it feels like to actually be deaf, and evolves throughout the movie as Regan experiments with a custom hearing aid designed by her father.
In an earlier interview in April 2018, Aadahl told Inverse how he and Van der Ryn crafted those moments.
“We realized early on that we had to take music out to sell her point-of-view. Once we realized the solution was in stripping away sounds and music, that illuminated the concept we were going for. That was the first big challenge: realizing we had to be really ruthless with what we chose to play. It twists into hearing an interference. The sonic shifts in perspective was the biggest nut to crack.”
Ultimately, those creative sonic shifts might be the innovation that earned A Quiet Place its only Oscar nomination, so one can only hope they’ll play a part in the sequel.
“John [Krasinski] is keeping the cards super close to his chest right now,” Aadahl says about the upcoming sequel. “We can only imagine what he’s cooking up.”
There’s no guarantee that A Quiet Place 2 will still utilize the sonic perspective of the deaf like we saw in the original, but even with the possibility of a new cast, we wouldn’t rule it out either. After all, it stands to reason that deaf people might have the best chance of surviving this very unique kind of apocalypse.
A Quiet Place 2 is scheduled for release on May 15, 2020.