A Quiet Place: Day One – Review


A Quiet Place: Day One is, as implied, a prequel movie set on the first day of the invasion from the movie A Quiet Place. It centres around a terminal cancer patient, Samira (played by Lupita Nyong’o), who wants to make a trip into New York city to get some pizza. Trust me, that makes sense in context. It basically follows the thread of, if you had only so long left to live, how do you spend your time?

The supporting cast is rather revolving. The most prevalent person is Eric (Joseph Quinn), a British law student studying in New York, who surprisingly, doesn’t show up until about halfway through the movie. As implied, this doesn’t involve the cast from the original movie or the sequel- there’s virtually no returning actors except for Djimon Hounsou.

John Krasinski doesn’t direct this one, though he does hold a writing credit- direction this time falls to Michael Sarnoski, who previously directed the film Pig, but otherwise, doesn’t have many other films directing to his legacy, he’s mostly known for shorts and TV series. That being said, this is his best movie! Granted, it’s a short list, but he does take to this franchise rather well.

The film continues its tradition of making sound scary. I think it’s actually kind of good that they managed to make a new setting this time. The other films did have some suburban settings, but they were mostly in depopulated areas. New York City provides an interesting location, and the film opens with a fact about the average sound output of New York, which is renowned for being a very busy and loud city, hence the nickname, ‘the city that never sleeps’. It’s used to the film’s advantage, and it allows for some great ideas. One of the most notable scenes, in my opinion, involves the mass walking sequence, which was used in part in the trailer. The way the tension was built in that scene was excellent!

I have to give some props to the actors; Lupita is really becoming one of my favourite actresses right now. I’ll say this again, the actors do take very well to a movie where they have to convey pretty much everything they do with facial expressions and gestures.

I’ve gone on about A Quiet Place when I reviewed the past two movies, and I might repeat myself quite a bit. But I really like both of those movies and I thought that they nailed the very experimental style and setting. One of the things I feared that the prequel movie might end up doing was that it would over explain what the invaders were about. We still don’t actually know what they are- we assume that they’re aliens, but they could be extra-dimensional or something else; but the fear comes from the fact that we don’t know much about them, which I think is a strength.

Fortunately, the film doesn’t go into the identity of the invaders, it just keeps up the same information that we learnt from A Quiet Place Part 2, which is that they fell from the sky, and if they hear you, they will kill you.

If I was to compare Day One with the other two movies, I do think that it feels like it’s trying to fit in too many sequences, which I think is a weakness. It was as if they really wanted these aliens in New York, so we have to come up with reasons why we’re in dangerous situations- and while none of them are too contrived, some of them are borderline.

I think the theming around terminal illness, in reflection, is executed very well, which is something that often isn’t very well handled in a lot of movies.

Plus, I have to give credit- this film has one of the best final shots and I really loved it.

If you liked the first two movies, this is another good one. I don’t think it’s as strong as the previous movies, I do think it’s very strong overall. Excellent central performances, the writing is pretty good, the film makes excellent use of its concept again, and despite a change of director, the tone has been kept. It’s really good, pure and simple, and I think if you like this series, this is a film you should see as soon as possible.
Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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