While discussing the tenuous logic of John Krasinski’s already much discussed directorial breakout*, A Quiet Place, the Jezebel staff had lots of questions. We thought about what we would do and how we might survive in a movie where noise can get you killed by an ever-looming Monster in the post-apocalypse. How do these people have sex? They only eat non-noisy soft food? Yikes. We are bloggers, so we’re comfortable going long periods of time—years even—without speaking to each other. But what if we were stuck in a house together (suspend disbelief for a moment, won’t you) and had to live with no noise? How long would each of us last? Let’s see.
Cast of characters: Jezebel writers and editors Ashley, Bobby, Clover, Ellie, Hazel, Joanna, Julianne, Katie, Kelly F., Kelly S., Madeleine, Megan, Prachi, Rich, Stassa, and Tracy.
The setting: A beautiful forest house worthy of being featured on Apartment Therapy.
The situation: No one can make noise or else they die.
While online shopping for a new caftan, Julianne spots a cool sneaker in a limited edition colorway only available on eBay and yells, “Holy SHIT!!!!!” then begins click-clacking away at her keyboard to try to purchase it. The Monster hears and instantly maims her. “It’s a fire shoe!!!!” Julianne squeals, as the Monster chomps on her head. Megan, who’s wearing the very sneakers Julianne was about to purchase, notes the irony and can’t help but cackle. Whoops. Dead.
Madeleine is about to make a grocery run. Ellie tries to sign a request for gluten-free pretzel sticks. Unable to resist a good gag and even willing to perish for it, Madeleine yells, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY RIGHT NOW!” She’s subsequently attacked and killed by the Monster. Ellie dies from being in the same vicinity.
Kelly S. is playing a rousing round of felt-Monopoly alone just to strategize for future opponents. Wine not, she thinks, while drinking wine. As she’s plotting her next move (does she buy Park Place and leave a hotel on it or...?), she sighs heavily in exasperation. The Monster hears. Kelly gets eaten while screaming, “Bite me! Amirite??!!” Kelly F. meanwhile tends to her baby in the soundproof basement of the home—a home that is for some reason not entirely soundproofed. She’s safe for now.
Rich has devised a genius noiseless fitness routine in an effort to preserve his youth. After one particularly grueling workout in the living room, he guzzles a bottle of water too aggressively. The Monster hears him gulping and snatches him whole. Even though it wasn’t by a shark, Rich considers it an honor to be eaten alive. Stassa, who’d been sitting on the couch quietly reading one of the many pieces of literature available about lapdogs and bestiality, gets eaten by association. Back from Krav Maga in the soundproof room, Prachi arrives and sees the damage. She creates a replica of the scene in a beautiful oil painting, then performs a silent interpretative dance in their honor. She steps on a tack, yells, and because she doesn’t have an egg timer, the Monster claims her.
Having spent years studying the city’s infrastructure, learning the Monster’s specific ticks, Katie has mapped out an elaborate plan on the whiteboard. It involves the staff leaving the house to live on a boat out in the sea, where the Monster can’t reach us. As she’s sketching out the final phase, the marker screeches on the board. Katie pauses. Nothing. Phew. She continues writing. The Monster suddenly appears and snatches her into his belly. Or is it a sheeeeee? Katie wonders prophetically while perishing. Joanna’s normally reticent cat Louis, who’s been able to last this long by being adorably quiet, becomes disturbed by the carnage and shrieks incessantly. The Monster hears. Joanna, who’d been secretly reading the latest Science of Cannibalism journal, gets eaten.
I claim ownership of Louis and vow to love and protect him. One day, I hear a loud noise outside the window. I use it as an opportunity to stuff four Jalapeño Pringles into my mouth that I’d been saving for just this occasion—thinking perhaps the loud noise will drown out the sound of my crunching. The louder noise, however, stops as I’m still eating. The Monster eats me. Louis runs. Tracy scoops him up, forgetting she’s allergic to cats, and sneezes. The Monster kills her.
Ashley is in the sanctity of the soundproof room, which she needed to use to watch classic footage someone caught on tape of Paul Ryan yelping in horror while being gobbled by the Monster. “Could’ve used healthcare, bitch,” Ashley utters. She snickers and then heads to the kitchen for a reluctant bite of bland potato salad. Her phone buzzes. She forgot to silence her ringer! RIP.
As the monster dines on her flesh, Ashley eyes a memorial portrait of Bobby on the mantle. He’d long been dead from a heart attack over the anxiety of not being able to make noise. Kelly F., baby in hand, uses Katie’s plan to escape to the sea, armed with a duffle bag full of books about Victorian mermaids and lost undersea cities. Kelly and her baby are the sole survivors. Hazel, smart enough to stay away from the Quiet Place house altogether, has been giggling the whole time, watching the events unfold from a jumbo screen in her own home.
*This post originally called A Quiet Place Krasinski’s directorial debut. It is not. Jim Halpert has directed two other movies.