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A Quiet Place Day One Review: A Predictable But Emotional Prequel

John Krasinski surprised everyone in 2018 when he directed A Quiet Place, proving that he’s more than just a comedian or Jimmy from The Office. After a sequel in 2020, the franchise proved successful enough to return in 2024 with a prequel movie, A Quiet Place Day One. However, this is also the first one in the franchise not to be directed or starring Krasinski himself. Is it still any good? Read on to find out more.

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Lupita Nyong’o as “Samira” in A Quiet Place: Day One from Paramount Pictures.

A Quiet Place Day One is exactly what its title suggests; it aims to show viewers the day that the aliens of the franchise invaded Earth. While we’ve already technically seen some of that in 2020’s A Quiet Place Part 2, A Quiet Place Day One takes place in New York City instead of a small town, and features a mostly new cast. What I can say about A Quiet Place Day One is that it’s exactly what you’d expect from another A Quiet Place movie, though on a grander scale. It mostly follows the formula and structure of other alien invasion and/or natural disaster movies, where you’re introduced to your main protagonist in the beginning just before the invasion/disaster strikes.

In A Quiet Place Day One, the protagonist is a woman named Sam, played by the award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. Lupita is no stranger to horror or sci-fi movies, having previously starred in Jordan Peele’s Us. Her performance is amazing in A Quiet Place Day One and she essentially carries the movie. There’s one element that makes A Quiet Place Day One more emotional than a conventional prequel and it’s because Lupita’s protagonist is terminally ill and suffers from cancer.

That adds a unique twist and dynamic to the generic protagonist archetype of these alien invasion/natural disaster movies. That’s also a major part of what makes the tender moments in the movie work, especially when Lupita’s Sam spends time with the other major character in the movie, Eric (played by Joseph Quinn, best known for his role in Stranger Things and soon-to-be Human Torch). Their chemistry together results in some heartfelt scenes, though I won’t spoil the specifics.

Besides that, A Quiet Place Day One can be as intense as the first two movies when it comes to the iconic scenes that the franchise is known for; namely the scenes where the characters are trying to be as quiet as they possibly can to avoid getting noticed and killed by the alien creatures. That being said, while these scenes can be immersively scary and tense, they’re using the same tricks from the first two movies, so it all feels a bit too predictable and ‘old hat’ at this point. The biggest flaw of A Quiet Place Day One is how predictable and familiar the ‘intense’ scenes can be. This also affects the pacing of the movie, as it can feel a bit too slow or draggy sometimes (despite the movie only being 1 hour 39 minutes long).

Kudos once again to the people who work on the sound editing/mixing. Once again, A Quiet Place Day One continues the franchise’s tradition of having excellent sound editing/mixing, which is what distinguishes this franchise from other creature features in the first place. Last but not least, Lupita’s character, Sam, has an adorable cat named Frodo who has quite the screen time in the movie. And don’t worry, cat and animal lovers, the cat stays unharmed (if you’re worried about any animal-killing scenes).

Silence Is Golden

If you’re a fan of the first two movies, A Quiet Place Day One offers more of the same cinematic experience featuring intense scenes and great sound design that we’ve come to expect from the franchise. However, it doesn’t really do anything new or exciting, with the exception of the protagonist. For now, this is good enough to tide us over until the planned third movie of the franchise.

 

FINAL SCORE: 70/100

We attended a press screening of A Quiet Place Day One courtesy of United International Pictures Malaysia. A Quiet Place Day One premieres in Malaysian cinemas on 27 June 2024.

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