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5 Films That Scare Us With Silence

“No talking” is usually just common courtesy at the movies, but for some onscreen characters, it’s more about survival. That’s certainly the case for the Abbott family in A Quiet Place Part II, who try to stay well out of earshot of deadly creatures known to attack anything making a sound on a post apocalyptic Earth.

As we saw in John Krasinski’s 2018 original, the emphasis on silence lends itself to nearly endless suspense. With his latest installment on the way, we’ve got a few other like-minded movies on the brain. There’s nothing quite like A Quiet Place, but these moments have their own special mix of silent and deadly. Watch at your peril.

No Country For Old Men
No Country for Old Men
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Krasinski has cited this Oscar-winning thriller as inspiration for his Quiet Place films, noting to Smithsonian magazine how powerful its moments of silence are. Who can disagree? Every scene with the chilling hitman Anton Chigurh is pounding with tension—so much of it in the soft noise of a gun cocking, floorboards creaking or a doorknob turning. No doubt screaming internally, poor Llewelyn Moss can rarely afford to make a peep in the movie, as Anton (and his cattle gun!) is always close behind. Truly the stuff of nightmares.

Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park
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We all know the sound of a metal ladle clanking onto the floor thanks to Jurassic Park’s kitchen scene, when youngsters Lex and Tim try to elude relentless, prowling velociraptors. While they try (and fail) to keep quiet and crawl to safety, the kids inevitably and unbearably bump into all of the loudest kitchen appliances …

War of the Worlds
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… but that’s not the only no-noise-allowed nail-biter moment from honorary master of suspense Steven Spielberg. In a certain scene in this sci-fi thriller, a predatory alien probes its long, snake-like head into Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning’s basement hideout, looking for signs of human life. Watching the two slink around the room’s dark corners to try staying undetected is … excruciating. Please keep quiet, 10-year-old Dakota!

Don't Breathe
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There’s something about horror movies and basements, isn’t there? It’s the setting for much of this surprise horror hit about a home invasion gone wrong. After foiling some teenagers’ attempted robbery, a blind man named Nordstrom turns the night into a violent, claustrophobic game of hide-and-seek throughout his home. Gifted with a keen sense of hearing, he hunts them by every sound they make. Not that we asked for any more nightmares, but a sequel is due on August 13.

Get Out
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Don’t get us wrong: There is plenty of screaming in Jordan Peele’s horror debut … eventually. But first, Daniel Kaluuya spends much of the movie piecing together the horrific puzzle of his girlfriend’s family secret—and then looks for ways to either play it cool or get the hell out of dodge. Catherine Keener’s hypnosis, however, soon sends him into the Sunken Place, where he wants to scream but can’t make a sound.

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