A Quiet Place: Day One

Sequels often disappoint, and prequels sometimes seem unnecessary. This film falls into the latter category. The producers may have been banking on return visits by moviegoers who were thrilled by A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place, Part II. That certainly influenced our decision.


If you’re not familiar with the franchise, this chapter in the series benefits from being able to stand alone and is fairly riveting like its two predecessors. Being constantly stalked and killed by ultra-violent aliens keeps the tension high throughout the movie. If they hear you, they will kill you.


Lupita Nyong’o stars as Samira, a cancer patient in a support group on an outing to New York City. She is understandably angry as a result of her terminal condition and is reliant on medications for some level of comfort. That becomes a problem when the city comes under attack, preventing her from returning home.


Viewers hoping to see the sound-seeking creatures that have arrived in a massive global attack got a satisfying look in A Quiet Place, Part ii. That film also showed the onslaught on day one, played out in greater detail here. Unlike in The War of the Worlds, where the invaders are generally seen at a distance, the Quiet Place monsters are everywhere–stampeding in the streets, crawling like giant spiders on buildings, lurking in alleys, dropping from bridges, and often right around the corner in the next room.


Samira and her pet cat reluctantly team up with Eric (Joseph Quinn) a British law student, studying in the States at just the wrong time. He is initially a hindrance, in such a state of shock that he can barely speak. As the pair eventually begin a somewhat ridiculous journey to find a favorite pizza restaurant, he becomes helpful, even a kindred spirit, going on a solo quest to find Samira’s meds in a half-destroyed pharmacy. The cat seems unfazed by the invasion and chaos, perhaps serving as an odd metaphor for the will to survive. It certainly exhibits nine lives.


John Krasinski shares writing credits in this outing. He wrote, starred in, and directed the first films in the series.


None of the films explain why the aliens have arrived. I guess it’s assumed that they are planet conquerors, perhaps paving the way for a subsequent repopulation. They destroy buildings, busses, and people with equal facility, never stopping to feed on a victim or take captives. As such, it becomes possible that these are bio-engineered attack drones paving the way for a higher intelligence, albeit a remorseless one.


The ending is unsatisfying if you’re looking for a happy resolution. Earth is left, locked in a perpetual struggle for survival, and a deafening silence that reminds us what a noisy species we are.


The post-apocalyptic special effects are well done, combined with disturbing close-ups of drooling alien mouthparts. Pretty scary stuff, and worth seeing if there’s nothing better at the theaters.


A Quiet Place: Day One runs 1 hour, 39 minutes, and is rated PG--13.

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