A Quiet Place: Day One

A Quiet Place: Day One Is an Energetic Addition to the Franchise

Dept. of Fiends and Felines


How would you react if a sound sensing race of aliens suddenly invaded the planet? How would you cope? What would you do to survive? Could you survive with being completely and utterly silent? They were questions that we all had after watching A Quiet Place. They are questions that A Quiet Place: Day One answers with raw, intimate, visceral abandon.

Much of what we know remains unchanged. We know that these aliens – or monsters, or whatever you want to call them – are still lethal, sound-sensitive, and deadly allergic to water. Yes, there was a brief scene in A Quiet Place Part II that shows the Abbott family and the townspeople reacting to their first encounter with these aliens, but this time it’s full on. This time, it’s set in the bustling cityscape of New York that’s just thronging with traffic, people, and far too much noise.

Amidst this chaos, we meet Lupita Nyong’o’s Samira, a terminally ill cancer patient with nothing much to live for (a stark contrast to the strong-willed Abbott whom we’ve followed thus far), and follow her, and her cat, Frodo, to fulfill her death wish while navigating the fast-changing, perilous situation around her.

A Quiet Place: Day One

For those of you who whinge about not seeing enough of those eerie Demogorgon-looking creatures, Day One is sure to satisfy your cravings. Now that it’s centered in a large-scale metropolis, these fast-moving aliens are having an awfully good time with the space, scaling up and down skyscrapers for brutal attacks that leave ominous scratch marks on the concrete. This is the most we’ve ever seen of these monsters, and frankly, I still can’t get enough of them.

The movie still doesn’t delve any deeper into their origins and that’s a great thing. A Quiet Place has never been that kind of post-apocalyptic franchise. It’s not concerned with the “why” as much as it is with the consequences of what happens. It’s what makes it unique. It’s what makes it interesting.

A Quiet Place: Day One

It’s also not surprising that Michael Sarnoski, known for his emotional action debut feature, Pig, excels once again in preserving the humane and poignant core of this premise. Here, he ventures into exploring how profound human connections can develop even without established relationships; a vastly different approach compared to the earlier films.

Halfway through the movie, Samira encounters Eric, played by Joseph Quinn, which leads to a heartfelt friendship in which they support each other both emotionally and physically. Both Nyong’o and Quinn are emotional powerhouses, and succeed in sparking a palpable chemistry, despite having limited verbal exchanges. Even though Part II does introduce the humans-gone-bad concept, this prequel breaks away from bleaker tropes, and remains rooted in a genuine desire of characters aiding one another. Notably, the narrative also weaves in Djimon Honsou’s Henri, and depicts the pivotal events that shaped his journey, connecting us back to the man we met in Part II.

A Quiet Place: Day One

All of these emotions, however, don’t get in the way of the horror. A Quiet Place: Day One is still pretty terrifying. But it relies on a different kind of terror. There are no childbirths, no bear traps, and no nails on stairs. Instead, the thrill here lies in the initial shock and struggle of encountering these aliens for the very first time. We witness characters who are clueless and terrified, forced to navigate their fear silently, unable to scream or cry out. This juxtaposition of needing to accept imminent danger while sacrificing the basic instinct to vocalize fear in such a short amount of time, is absolutely chilling.

It’s also practically impossible to not swoon over the meticulous sound editing that immerses you in every rustle, raindrop, and breath, keeping you at the edge of your seat in anticipation throughout. The movie initially presents you with a cacophony of city noises, so once everything drops silent, your heart drops with it too. While there are occasional moments that might raise questions of logic, they are overshadowed by the film’s strengths, making it a worthwhile experience for horror enthusiasts seeking a gripping, satisfying watch. Again, it’s also worth noting that the franchise has featured a literal newborn, so strict realism isn’t something you should be looking for.

A Quiet Place: Day One manages to revitalize its premise by offering a completely distinct perspective, while maintaining its emotional core, and solidifying its place as a strong addition to the franchise. It opts for minimal exposition, still keeping things simple and effective, which is precisely what makes this franchise so successful. My advice: catch it in IMAX if you can. Don’t miss the chance to experience the exceptional sound editing for yourself and meet the cleverest, quietest cat ever on the big screen. 

A Quiet Place: Day One is now showing in Malaysian cinemas.

Sue Ann can often be found watching a movie in bed or writing reviews on Letterboxd like it’s her daily blog. She can probably recite the script of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird from memory as a party trick. Mention any slasher or horror franchises to her and she’d likely keep the conversation going endlessly.

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