Why The A Quiet Place Movies Are So Short (& End Abruptly)

A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II follows the Abbot family as they seek to survive a world overrun by vicious monsters that hunt using their enhanced sense of hearing, but why do their stories wrap up so suddenly? The first film operated on a smaller scale than its sequel by focusing on the issues between members of the Abbot clan, such as the conflict between Lee (played by director John Krasinski) and his deaf daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds). The story is wrapped up within a lean 90-minute runtime, with Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Regan figuring that magnifying high pitch frequencies could incapacitate the monsters long enough for Evelyn to deliver a killing shot.

The second film picks up where the first left off: the Abbots depart their farmhouse to escape incoming creatures, with the new baby which Evelyn delivered in A Quiet Place but sans Lee, who had to sacrifice himself in order to save the lives of Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe). They soon find themselves in peril once again but are given sanctuary by a friend they knew before the arrival of the creatures, Emmett (Cillian Murphy). The story mostly revolves around Regan as she follows a message to help the inhabitants of a nearby island; Evelyn stays behind to protect her sons from the creatures while Emmett goes after Regan. Only seven minutes longer than its predecessor, Part II wraps up its story succinctly and in parallel to the original, with Regan managing to project a high pitch frequency through a radio tower so they can incapacitate the creatures on a larger scale.

Related: Both A Quiet Place Movies Start & End The Same Way

Both films are considered short in comparison to other major releases, with most movies coming closer to 120 minutes. The Quiet Place movies fall under the horror genre which tend to be shorter, but both also have the added challenge of limited dialogue while doing a large amount of worldbuilding, making the tight runtimes more impressive. They are short because they both tell a contained story but can also be seen as individual chapters that form a larger story, ending abruptly to leave room for the next entry to continue the narrative.

A Quiet Place is the foundational block that introduced audiences to the concepts and characters. The Abbots are the entry into this world, a regular family trying to cope in a world where one mistake could get them killed. The audience experiences this world through the Abbots and becomes invested in their attempts to survive while ending showing how Evelyn and Regan finally discover the monster’s weakness left viewers wanting more. The sequel builds off many elements introduced in the original, such as Evelyn’s search for oxygen tanks to Regan’s determination to use their knowledge of the creatures’ weaknesses to help others. Many of the elements introduced in the second film find their roots in the original too; for example, although Emmett is only introduced in the second film, A Quiet Place opens in the same town where the Abbots are shown to have known Emmett in the amazing first scene of A Quiet Place 2.

Because of the thorough set-up, Krasinski provided in the original and his subsequent worldbuilding off of that for the second, the movies really don’t need to be much longer than 90 minutes. The leanness of their narratives also provides them with great forward momentum while contrasting them with rival horror properties. It has already been announced a spinoff is in development, and it seems likely it will follow a similar formula to its predecessor while building out the world even further. The Quiet Place universe will continue to grow through short, chapter-like installments that refine and build off what came previously.

Next: How A Quiet Place 3 Can Properly End The Trilogy (What Needs To Happen)

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