A Quiet Place (2018) became a sleeper hit upon its release, building positive word-of-mouth among audiences because of it’s almost unbearable suspense and instantly engaging plot. If they hear you, they hunt you. They, being blind but bloodthirsty extraterrestrial creatures attracted to the slightest sound. Grossing over $300 million on a budget of around $20 million, a sequel was a no-brainer and was quickly put into production, with director John Krasinski and star Emily Blunt both returning.
Due to release this week, A Quiet Place: Part II has now been pushed back to an unknown date as a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic. A smart move, seeing as these movies almost demand to be seen in a theater with an excited crowd to really take advantage of the unique sound design that makes it all the scarier. But don’t fear, horror fans who may be cooped up at home and bored senseless: we have still gathered some of the coolest alien invasion themed merchandise for your viewing pleasure.
Can’t Keep Quiet About This A Quiet Place Merch
Not only did A Quiet Place receive positive reviews from both critics and general audiences alike, it also received a massive marketing campaign that created the perfect storm for a box office success story. Virtually a whole line of promotional merchandise invaded theaters and social media, and nearly all of it was themed to the movie’s plot of having to stay deathly silent, lest you attract you the monsters.
Regal Cinemas held a contest in which fans could win A Quiet Place t-shirts, beanies, noise-canceling headphones (clever!), and even a travel blanket. Useful for when you’re on the run! Other theater chains and social media outlets held similar contests, offering other assorted merch such as lanterns, drawstring bags, water bottles, and earbuds.
Even more merch came when A Quiet Place was released on home media, including this author’s personal favorite piece of memorabilia: a squishy stress-ball replica of the infamous space shuttle toy that led to one character’s shocking demise in the movie! Other merch included a kitchen timer, a safety alarm keychain, a dry erase board for silent messages, socks, slippers, a flashlight, and even jars of A Quiet Place candy.
Although the marketing campaign for A Quiet Place: Part II has essentially been placed on hold at the last minute, some promotional items have been spotted in the wild, such as these glow sticks that were given out at the film’s world premiere that was held before the postponement. Be on the lookout for more as the new release date is announced and the hype returns!
Close Encounters of The Merch Kind
Though arguably more mesmerizing science fiction than terrifying horror, Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind is still a hallmark of the alien invasion genre, and who wouldn’t be terrified as UFOs surround your house and alien invaders start making their way inside? Starring Jaws‘ Richard Dreyfuss as the head of a family trying to survive as aliens invade a small Indiana town, the movie was a massive success both critically and financially when it was released in 1977, earning eight Academy Award nominations and winning one and cementing it’s legacy as a sci-fi classic.
To promote the movie’s various releases over time (a director’s cut titled Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition was released theatrically in 1980, as well as multiple releases on home video), several promotional and tie-in products have been released. A cheesy but fun “UFO Frisbee/Flying Saucer” was released by Wham-O as tie-in to the original release in 1977. Also released was a tie-in novelization authored by Steven Spielberg himself, though co-author Leslie Waller assisted him in the writing. And last but not least, a really cool-looking paperweight containing an image of the movie’s poster art was released a promotional item, likely to accompany a home video release.
War of The Worlds Merch Invades
Spielberg returned to the alien invasion genre in 2005 with War of the Worlds, based on the H.G. Wells classic. Featuring both Tom Cruise and a more terrifying breed of alien than seen in Close Encounters (the Tripods in War of the Worlds waste no time instantly disintegrating terrified citizens), this new adaptation was once again a massive success at the box office and received generally positive reviews.
Adaptations of The War of the Worlds are no stranger to garnering hype, with an infamous radio broadcast on Halloween night in 1938 that was so convincing, it’s said to have caused widespread panic amongst listeners who thought what they were hearing was actually occurring, though later research has suggested those claims are somewhat exaggerated. In the event such an invasion ever does occur, this hand-crank powered “Survival Radio Light” created to promote the 2005 adaptation may just prove it’s worth. While these were given away as promotional items and weren’t available for purchase, they still pop up on eBay from time to time.
Species Leaves Its Mark
Released in 1995 and featuring an altogether different kind of alien than those featured thus far, Species stars Natasha Henstridge as the seductively dangerous alien Sil, who seeks to find a human mate and will do whatever it takes before scientists track her down. Featuring an alien design cerated by H.R. Giger (also responsible for the Xenomorph design in Alien), the movie received mixed reviews but has gained a dedicated cult following in the 25 years since it’s release.
To promote the movie, Species-branded Frisbees were created and given away to select media outlets and lucky fans. (Man, these alien invasion movies love their flying disc tie-ins.) In addition to the Frisbee, the screenplay was adapted into both a novelization by Yvonne Navarro and a comic book released by Dark Horse Comics. Due to the success of the first movie, three sequels were released, Species II, Species III, and Species: The Awakening, the first of which also received a novelization written by Yvonne Navarro.
With so many works of alien invasion fiction out there, the possibilities for tie-in merch are as vast and endless as space itself. Do you have any in your collection that we missed here? Let us know on Reddit, Facebook, or Twitter, and your merch could be featured in a future edition of the Collector’s Crypt!