In the movie A Quiet Place, there's a scene where:

The father and his son are walking back home from the creek/waterfall. They pass by an old house. Nearby is a half-eaten corpse lying in the middle of their path, and near the corpse is a grizzled old man. The father signals him to keep quiet, but instead he yells loudly and is promptly taken down by one of the creatures. The father and son hide and eventually escape.

What I don't understand is who the old man was supposed to be, and what his motives/intentions were. Any of the following seem equally plausible:

  1. He's a cannibal and also deathly ashamed at having been caught out as a cannibal (and murderer).
  2. He's deliberately trying to lure/trap people for the creatures to kill.
  3. He feels like he needs to sacrifice himself so that the others can escape.
  4. He's just plain done with creatures, ready to give up, and indifferent to whether or not he takes some other people with him.

Which is it? Or was it something else entirely?

2 Answers 2


To my understanding:

  • This old man is one of their neighbors; at the beginning of the movie, the father lights up a fire and in response, a few fires are lit as well. It is basically a signal to say: I am OK, how are you?
  • The half eaten corpse is this old man's wife or someone close to him; she is recently attacked and killed by a monster, when the old man finds out, he is stunned.
  • That does kind of explain who he is... but is there any explanation (in the movie, or in an interview or something) of why he does what he does - specifically why he does so with the others in front of him?
    – V2Blast
    Apr 27, 2018 at 7:42
  • 4
    going out on a limb here but... sudden onset remorse, morning, and suicidal thoughts? If the only person you were living for (speculation) suddenly dies, would it be that far of a stretch to consider you believe your whole reason for living has died with them? May 23, 2018 at 20:18

The old man is simply half of a couple living in the woods. In this scene we see that his wife has been heard and killed by the monsters.

His response is to scream aloud, committing suicide by monster.

His main importance in the story is to draw a clear contrast with what happens later, when a monster is attacking the two children, and the father screams aloud to draw their attention.

On the surface, the father does the same thing as the old man.

But in context, there's a night-and-day difference: The old man gives in to despair and commits suicide, giving up his life for nothing, whereas the children's father gives up his life to save the lives of his children.

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