(Note: This post contains spoilers for “A Quiet Place.”)
“A Quiet Place” imagines a future where humanity is in pretty rough shape. In the early moments of the movie, newspaper clippings make it clear that the human race has come up against some pretty tough creatures — and have lost.
The movie follows the Abbott family, consisting of Lee (Krasinski), Evelyn (Emily Blunt), and their kids Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Beau (Cade Woodward), as they sneak around ruined towns in search of supplies. Newspaper clippings Lee has gathered describe the “dark angels” that have apparently ravaged the planet. The only way to avoid the seemingly indestructible but blind killers is to maintain silence, because the creatures use sound to hunt and kill.
“A Quiet Place” never explains where the creatures came from, but it does give some sense of how long it has been since they first appeared: 473 days, during the period where most of the action takes place.
But how far in the future is the movie set, and when is the apocalypse supposed to have started? “A Quiet Place” doesn’t make that completely explicit either, but there are some clues in the movie that give some idea of just when the movie might be occurring.
In the opening portion of the movie, 89 days have passed. “A Quiet Place” kicks off with a trauma: the death of Beau, the Abbotts’ four-year-old son, when he turns on a toy and is carried off by a dark angel. Later in the movie, the Abbotts’ daughter, Reagan, returns to the train bridge where Beau was killed, and we get a chance to see his headstone. It places Beau’s death in 2020.
Working backward from that date, we can get a pretty solid approximate idea of just how far in the future most of the movie is happening. Beau’s death in 2020 is three months into the end of the world, and looks like late autumn or early winter wherever the Abbotts are living. That suggests that the dark angels first started showing up in the late summer or early fall of 2020.
The rest of the movie takes place on days 470 and 473. If the dark angels first started appearing in the early winter of 2020, that puts the bulk of the movie’s action about 15 months later, or around spring 2021. That tracks with the long sleeves and light jackets the family is shown wearing.
So “A Quiet Place” finds the end of the world taking place just a couple years in the future from our current world, and what’s more, humanity is leveled within three months of that. Though we don’t have to deal with any super-strong, indestructible, sound-hunting monsters out here in the real world, the idea that “A Quiet Place” is pretty close to our own world is not exactly a comforting thought.