Once upon a time, John Krasinski was not a huge fan of horror. He made that clear when the first A Quiet Place came out, saying that only while writing and directing the soon-to-be horror touchstone that he developed a passion for the genre. Now he obsesses over watching everything in it, with certain classics drawing him back time and again. And for A Quiet Place Part II, he had a killer shark of an inspiration.
“This movie I really want to feel like a throwback,” Krasinski says about A Quiet Place Part II. “So it was definitely all the Hitchcock stuff for sure. I watched [that] religiously, and then I watched Alien, but certainly Jaws is a huge touchstone for me. With the opening of [A Quiet Place Part II], I think there’s even visuals I wanted to feel from the sense of Jaws.”
Without giving away any more than what’s in the trailers, A Quiet Place Part II opens with a flashback to the first day that monstrous creatures invaded our planet. The sequence is admittedly a sneaky way to get Krasinski back on screen in the movie (albeit briefly), as we see him, his wife, and three children, including poor Beau who died in the first movie’s opening scene, enjoying an afternoon of little league. It’s all-Americana and a reminder of the tight family unit that was so happy before the first film’s events, as well as the horror of seeing an idyllic peace shattered. After 2020, we imagine you can relate.
“[It’s] almost like on the beach when we’re at the baseball game, you get that sense,” Krasinski says. “And I think Jaws is a perfect film, and I think that, storytelling-wise, what I learned from it was simplicity, the strength that comes from simplicity. The idea that just getting your characters you love from Point A to Point B is sometimes journey enough. You don’t have to think of all these crazy ways to ‘sequel’ this thing, you just tell a story that’s organic and real, and it may be as emotionally impactful if not more so.”
Obviously drawing parallels between this scene and the Fourth of July bloodbath that ensues during the middle of Jaws, Krasinski confirms the Steven Spielberg influences run deep in both A Quiet Place movies. Still, as a relatively new convert to horror, he’s been watching a lot of modern stuff too, including films that came out between the releases of A Quiet Place and its sequel.
Says Krasinski, “Most recently I certainly loved Us. I love everything that Jordan [Peele]’s doing. That was an amazing follow-up for me to watch. Most recently what I liked was The Lighthouse. I really loved Robert Eggers’ follow-up to The Witch. [It] was so horror, yes, but such an artistic accomplishment that happened to be extremely eerie and scary.”
A Quiet Place Part II has its own unique chills too, and fans are finally getting to experience them, in a theater no less, right now. You can watch the breadth of Krasinski’s influences in the video below.