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‘A Quiet Place’ Test Screenings Were Impossible Because Viewers Kept Laughing, but Not For the Reason You’re Expecting

Apparently the sight of John Krasinski in a motion-capture suit is not frightening.

Emily Blunt A Quiet Place

“A Quiet Place”

Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place” is widely regarded as one of the best horror films of 2018, but apparently its initial test screenings had more people laughing than covering their eyes in fear. Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller looked back at the film’s test screenings in a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, and they revealed testing “A Quiet Place” was difficult since the final VFX work on the film’s monsters wasn’t completed at the time.

“Whenever the alien would come onscreen [in the test screenings], people would laugh, because it’s John playing him,” Fuller said. “You can’t say, ‘Pretend that’s an alien’ to a test audience.”

Instead of seeing a terrifying monster, viewers caught a glimpse of director, co-writer, and leading actor John Krasinski in a gray-motion capture suit. So little VFX were finished by the time of the film’s test screening that viewers could even see Krasinski’s Vans sneakers as he played the monster and filmed a scene in which the creature heads into a basement to attack the characters played by Millicent Simmonds and Emily Blunt.

“As hard as you try to tell an audience, ‘Please, we understand all the visual effects aren’t in, but that will be the creature,’ it’s impossible,” Form said. “It just is. Someone’s gonna laugh, and it just kind of breaks everything. So it was a very hard movie to test, so we only put it up the one time and then we stopped.”

“The development went all the way through postproduction. This was a hard one for us,” Form continued about the late-breaking addition of VFX for the monsters. “In preproduction we had the artist going, and we thought we had landed on a design right before filming. And then we made the big [cardboard] cutout that you have on set of what the creature’s head would look like. And then halfway through shooting, John and I were talking about it and it just wasn’t landing for us. And then we went back to the drawing board.”

Krasinski confirmed on Twitter the footage of himself as the monster exists. “It’s currently locked away in a vault,” the actor-director joked. “Without a key.”

After earning critical acclaim and over $300 million at the worldwide box office, “A Quiet Place” is now on the awards season trail as one of Paramount’s big contenders this year. The studio recently confirmed all of the actors in the film are being submitted into the supporting acting races, including Emily Blunt, who is seen as the film’s best shot at a nomination, albeit a long shot nonetheless.

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