One of the great disappointments of my life—probably the greatest disappointment, really—is that snap-crackle and pop people keep doing snap-crackle and pop theatre shit. Focus on the screen be damned, I’ll still leave with popcorn-chewing memories from the guy two rows behind behind me.
In an era where theatres still play short videos telling you not to act like assholes by talking loudly or using your iPhone enters last weekend’s box office champ A Quiet Place—as much a shut-up-and-watch shame-fest as it is a horror film.
Set in yet another dystopian future, creatures with acute senses for noise stalk humans. Evelyn and Lee Abbot (real-life married couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, also the director) spend their days amidst this silent hell, scavenging and surviving with three children, one of whom is deaf, played by Regan (Millicent Simmonds).
Much of the film zeroes in on eyes and faces, with actors communicating through sign language and facial expressions amidst muted scores and sound. The film feels quiet and fresh, but throughout the 90-minute length of silent tension, I had another kind of fear in the theatre. Folks chew noticeably slower, people’s whispers sounded louder and suddenly, a film about silence managed to let me know where every shitty moviegoer was sitting.
Which raises the question because I have a dark imagination with a need to rant—what kind of theatre goer would be the first to get killed in the world of A Quiet Place? Here’s a select few that came to mind.
The In-Between Laugher
These are the hysterical sorts, who go off on blast. Most see funny jokes, and they see the funny in the the stuff that leads up to the funny joke, and for some reason they can’t tell the difference. They’ll laugh at the awkward, the stupidly savage and giggle at the disturbing—which is just about all of A Quiet Place—until they’ve pretty much choked on their own cheap laughter, because they’re dead.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: Seconds before first jump scare. The Anticipator
The visionaries, bootleg-psychics, Nostradamus lites of the group. They’ll want to blab out what’s going to happen before it happens—classic horror movie fodder. With sweaty palms and fists clenched in a need to maintain a know-it-all-rep, they’ll predict the woefully predictable jump scare to all those within earshot. Horror flicks aside, The Rock will eventually do the eye thing in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Denzel Washington will ultimately rub his forehead, and Channing Tatum will at some point remove his shirt to the tune of the the anticipator…who's thankfully now dead.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: The first jump cut
These are the barkers of bad jokes. Their whole shtick causes collateral damage for those around them. So obsessed with their own hipster-coolness, they’ll shout “Don’t go up the stairs, you stupid fuck,” things. Like an Alien chestburster that chest-busts without command, they’ll echo the dumb-as-hell things, expecting laughs in return. Instead, he’ll get a few shut-the-eff-ups and sit downs, before being deaded with everyone that had the nerve to go Hannibal on that ass.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: After character death #1 The Sleeper
Listen, it happens. It’s dark, quiet, warm, and that damn memory-foam chair is way too cozy, perfectly wrapping itself around that stationary butt. You probably came in having eaten a whole dog so you wouldn’t be shamed into being quiet during a movie called A Quiet Place. And then it happens, eyelids close and you snore a deep sleep kinda snore that you can’t achieve in the comforts of your own home, and painfully but wistfully, you’re dead.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: 26 minutes in. Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox daily.
The Pessimistic Reviewer Person
The most self-hating victim here. This is a person that views film so damn much that he no longer loves anything or himself. It’s within his undying mission to ensure that he takes his surrounding audience all the way down with him. He’ll blurt out personal opinions, point out plot holes because movie mechanics are his way. In another life, he was a film student, maybe even a budding Rotten Tomatoes downvoter. He views A Quiet Place as a terrible piece of art that can hardly compete to the unease of Psycho. And he’s now beyond dead. How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: The halfway point
Some dudes may view this as a women-only problem, but no my friends, men can be the worst offenders. It’s one of the more horrible things that one can experience. Not because their decibels can rival a Dolby 7.1 surround system, but because they’ll grip, and physically scream at every minor sound that escapes a sea of silence. My ears still hurt from the homie that no longer watches horror flicks with me because he’s dead to me.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: First jump scare
The Loud Eater
*Munch* *rustle* *burp* *munch* *crack* *smack* *burp*.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: The trailer previews
In the context of A Quiet Place, they mean well, but they aren’t the heroes of the group. They’re just the passive aggressive announcers-in-training. Their saliva-infused ssshhhes deafen, completely ignorant to every other ear that’ll feel the warm wind blow. They could have survived but a husher can’t help the self-righteousness of the hush.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: right after the announcer
The Talk About Everything But The Movie-Moviegoer.
Movie theaters are mistaken for phone booths for these folks. The hell with the film about silence and shit, I’m busy hearing the whole story about the head boss Todd Wilson refusing to give up the raise, or why little Timmy can’t seem to behave himself and keep his diaper on. Chatter and chatter about everything but the horror film in question, just a breakdown of a very boring life forced down everyone’s throats.
How long this person survives in A Quiet Place: Immediately murdered by group Follow Noel Ransome on Twitter.