A Quiet Place has proven yet again that movie audiences are interested in original horror films. In fact, Forbes predicts that the Platinum Dunes thriller, which had a minimal $17 million budget, is already poised to cross $100 million in domestic ticket sales this weekend.
Part of this success is being attributed to an especially unique moviegoing experience. Due to the film’s reliance on a lack of sound, many are reporting that ticketholders sit in complete silence throughout the entire 90-minute show time — quiet aside from a few well-placed scares that cause audiences to shriek in terror, that is.
Audiences Report on the Quiet Phenomenon
Cellphone usage, talking and loudly eating snacks, and rustling with their packages are among the biggest issues that moviegoers complain about. This could be part of the reason that 2017 saw the lowest theater attendance in decades. Of course, an argument could also be made that audiences simply prefer to watch streaming movies at home. But is this actually the case?
A Quiet Place contains minimal music and less than five minutes of spoken dialogue. That’s what makes the film so brilliant, at least according to several reviewers, but it’s also putting moviegoers on edge in a completely new way.
The Washington Post pointed out that eating or even sniffling during a screening comes with the risk of having every other audience member turn on you. Viewers describe the experience as “dead silent.” This effective technique brings the audience into the film’s atmosphere, thereby making them follow the same rules as the characters on screen. It’s working too, with huge box-office numbers and sold-out showings.
Changing the Industry
The huge popularity of horror films such as Get Out and A Quiet Place has already changed the movie industry, perhaps forever. In 2017, horror films managed to become the biggest seller of the year by surpassing $1.1 billion in ticket sales. This made the genre a big contender during awards season, despite the fact that horror is usually snubbed by the Oscars.
Now, people are already speculating about whether horror will catch the attention of Academy voters again in 2018. Of course, if it does, we can expect them to label A Quiet Place as anything but horror. For example, Get Out was labeled a “social thriller,” and Guillermo Del Toro’s creature feature The Shape of Water was safely put into the “adventure fantasy” category. According to the New York Times, this was done because the film industry is “ashamed to call [them] horror films,” although that’s exactly what they are.
Regardless of the Academy’s reaction or any creative relabeling, horror movies have clearly become a modern audience favorite. Interestingly, the age of remakes and endless sequels seems to be coming to an end in response to higher ticket sales for original stories. Bloody Disgusting reported that Platinum Dunes, the studio behind A Quiet Place, has even pledged to stop making horror reboots. Years from now, this may be the most enduring legacy of A Quiet Place, Get Out, It Follows, and other similar horror films that have proven audiences crave something unique.