June 27, 2024

GENRE | The Last Days of 'A Quiet Place: Day One'

"You can't have a cat in here."
Schnitzel Lupita Nyong'o Michael Sarnoski | A Quiet Place: Day One
Paramount Pictures / Platinum Dunes
Pig writer/director Michael Sarnoski, in his sophomore feature film, tackles the silent horror spin-off A Quiet Place: Day One, produced by mainline franchise steward John Krasinski, who also co-wrote the film's story. His thrilling sidequest prequel shows us the lives of other survivors at ground-zero level in the immediate aftermath of Earth's violent invasion of the previously seen, sound-sensitive alien monsters.

Set in possibly the noisiest location of New York City, Lupita Nyong'o and Joseph Quinn star as strangers thrust together, alongside maybe the greatest screen cat ever, Frodo (played by Schnitzel and Nico), in order to survive and have their last day in the city. The unlikely pairing make for dynamic leads during both the action parts and more soulful, dramatic scenes that capture the anxieties of constant danger without making a noise. Sarnoski goes to more emotional places as he alternates between the human elements of the horror drama and stakes of escaping bloodthirsty aliens.

Thanks to the radically new and exciting direction of A Quiet Place: Day One, the prequel mines the idea of silence in the loudest city in the world as its setting. Characters much more familiar with global attacks and threats react differently than a family living in a remote farm. Still, the premise is used to exploit character depth while motivated by lingering personal trauma.

Day One serves as a worthy entry in the A Quiet Place franchise without its usual A-list stars and new characters or the same concept around parenthood after the apocalypse. We see more of the monster mayhem in a new locale that's both bigger and louder with numerous moments of quiet solitude. It's a more intimate (despite often actually being "noisier") action portrait of group therapy where characters go on significant emotional journeys under the threat of constance violence.

More | YVArcade / Gate / Inverse / Polygon

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