A Quiet Place: Day One | 2024 | Movie Review


The first A Quiet Place film was a nice breath of fresh air for the horror/thriller genre.  Creator John Krasinski has stepped down from the director's chair and is replaced by Michael Sarnoski for this prequel that shows how this whole crazy thing started.  

Lupita Nyong'o stars as Samira, a terminally ill cancer patient that's on a day trip to New York City from her hospice center.  She didn't want to go but was talked into it with the promise of pizza.  Not just any pizza.  Pizza from a very specific place.  If it sounds like I'm mentioning pizza a lot, it's only because the film itself mentions pizza more times than the Little Ceasars' guy on crack.  While at a puppet show, the alien invasion happens.  

The strength of this film lies in the first act.  The set up for Samira's story and her personality is all top notch.  The initial devastation and confusion of the first contact with the aliens is all intriguing and really puts you in the mindset of trying to figure out what's going on.  It's excellently done and Nyong'o's performance is outstanding.  

However, after that, it all begins to feel samey.  They figure out that the aliens react to noise and so they get quiet.  Then someone makes a noise and the aliens show up immediately to jump scare you.  Rinse and repeat for pretty much the remainder of the movie.  Joseph Quinn shows up about midway through as Eric, an Englishman in America to study law.  While the acting between Nyong'o and Quinn is fine, there doesn't appear to be any real chemistry between them.  I'm not even talking romantic chemistry.  They just seem to be emoting at each other instead of TO each other.  It's disappointing really.  There's a few moments here and there where there seems to be a connection but unfortunately, they're too few and far between.  

The alien effects during the close ups are great.  They look terrifying and like they're really in the scene.  However, the long shots that show a bunch of aliens running around look like ropey CGI.  It's disheartening.  

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Samira's cat, Frodo.  I found myself for the majority of the runtime wondering about the cat.  Did the cat survive?  Where's the cat?  How are they swimming with the cat?  Why does the cat never really make a sound?  Why does the cat never so much as hiss when face to face with an alien?  How did the cat find Eric in the first place?  Look, I love cats probably more than most people, but at a certain point, it definitely took me out of the movie.  

While the original A Quiet Place felt like something new and exciting and the sequel felt like a coda to the original, Day One simply felt like more of the same.  Except this time, I didn't care about the lead characters quite as much.  I felt sympathy for Samira, but I didn't necessarily like her.  Eric was basically just there.  Frodo was the main star of the film and even that brought me out of it.  

A Quiet Place Day One isn't bad.  It's just not great.  It doesn't hold up to the original and apart from the stellar opening act, it gets a bit boring and repetitive and turns into a bog standard zombie film with aliens taking the place of the zombies.  

The final scene with Samira is outstanding though.  

2.5 jump scares out of 5

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