'A Quiet Place' Had Issues Using Corn as a Special Effect

Paramount's A Quiet Place didn't face box office challenges during its April 6 debut, but the film's special effects team encountered complications with using corn for one particular scene.

The horror-thriller follows the Abbott family as they navigate a post-apocalyptic world where sound-hunting monsters dominate, causing the group to remain silent to survive. Special effects were crucial to certain aspects of the flick, but the scene that caused the most stress involved the two children—Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe)—as they wind up trapped inside a corn silo while creatures swarmed the premises.

"We spent a lot of time researching and testing, and testing, and testing, because we had to come up with something safe for the kids," Mark Hawker, a visual effects supervisor for the movie, told The Verge Sunday. "We had to use real corn because of the close-ups on it. They fall into the corn, they sink into it, they go under, they're moving around in the corn."

The film's budget was relatively low for a theatrical film of its caliber, coming in at a mere $17 million. Hawker told The Verge they subsequently had to rely on "old-school effects" to complete the motion picture, which has since made $331 million at the worldwide box office. The team would move objects themselves, with the corn silo scene being no exception to this rule.

"The safety rig we had to build for them was pretty complicated. It took four people to help operate it. That was the biggest challenge—keeping it safe and making it look good. But it came out really believable in the movie," Hawker explained. "In that whole sequence, there's hardly any visual effects."

A Quiet Place was written and directed by John Krasinski, an actor who was previously best known for playing Jim Halpert on NBC's The Office. He starred beside real-life wife Emily Blunt. The movie earned praise from fans and critics alike, sitting at 95 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and with an 82 percent rating on Metacritic. The film additionally earned a B+ on CinemaScore, a website that has a reputation for grading horror films—including mother! and The Box—more harshly.

Prior to A Quiet Place's release, Krasinski said the film wasn't intended to be a horror film.

"I never saw it as a horror movie. When I got the script, it was scary. The thing I bonded to most in the original draft was this idea of family," Krasinski, 38, told Variety in April. "We had just had our second daughter three weeks before I read the script. I was an open nerve. So when I did my rewrite, I thought I could really make this a metaphor for parenthood."

a quiet place
Actress Emily Blunt is pictured as Evelyn Abbott in a still from the Paramount Pictures horror thriller, "A Quiet Place." Paramount Pictures