Eric and Sam look at the devastation around them in A Quiet Place: Day One | Agents of Fandom

‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ Review: A Resounding Return to the Franchise

An ear-resistible thriller that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat.

The A Quiet Place franchise continues with a brand-new prequel story that takes viewers back to the first day the horrific aliens landed on Earth. A Quiet Place: Day One is directed by Michael Sarnoski, who helped write the story with John Krasinski. After directing and starring in the previous two films, Krasinski takes a step back to expand on this world’s lore and tell a story that fans have been curious to learn.

If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of these films, the aliens are a group of beings with hypersensitive hearing that will attack anything and anyone who makes the slightest noise. While A Quiet Place Part II showed a glimpse of the first day the aliens fell onto Earth, the setting was a small town in New York.

A Quiet Place: Day One on the other hand shows the terrifying events on a much grander scale by taking place in New York City. Viewers can expect horrible outcomes with this film being set in one of the noisiest cities in the world.

‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ Will Take Your Breath Away

Eric, Sam, and Frodo enter a dark subway tunnel in A Quiet Place: Day One | Agents of Fandom
You can rely on your emotional support animal to keep you calm during an apocalypse. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The film follows Sam (Lupita Nyong’o) as she goes to New York City for a quick trip, only for it to be interrupted by an alien invasion. The film takes its time to establish Sam as a character to root for before throwing her into a traumatic, life-changing experience. Carnage ensues almost immediately once the aliens land. Sarnoski’s first feature film, Pig, is a much more personal story with little to no action. With this only being his second film, Sarnoski proves that he knows how to present chaos in a way that’ll make viewers disoriented and confused, just like the characters in the film.

A Quiet Place: Day One does a great job of utilizing noise to create horror, similar to the previous films. Even the sound of opening a can of food could mean life or death. With this being set right when the aliens land, it seems a bit too convenient that the main characters practically figure out immediately that the otherworldly beings are reactive to noise. The government and army forces also seem to react fairly quickly to an immediate attack.

In comparison to a similar story, The Last of Us built up the suspense of the apocalypse in a natural manner. Unfortunately, the 1 hour and 39-minute runtime for A Quiet Place: Day One means they can’t take the time to slowly ramp up the tension. The film does manage to skillfully navigate its short length by balancing stressful situations with lighthearted and emotional character moments.

Lupita Nyong’o’s Performance Should Not Go Unspoken

Samira screaming about the situation she's experiencing in A Quiet Place: Day One | Agents of Fandom
Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o deserves more Academy Awards. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Despite her Oscar-winning performance in 12 Years a Slave, Nyong’o has yet to be nominated, let alone win another Academy Award in the past 10 years. Even though A Quiet Place: Day One calls for less dialogue, Nyong’o channels her performance through her facial expressions, especially with her eyes. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and Nyong’o speaks volumes with them.

Sam’s backstory and motivations are sprinkled throughout the film, peeling back the rough exterior she presents herself with at the beginning of the movie. Nyong’o may not win the Oscar, but she deserves to be nominated for this performance.

Sharing the screen with Nyong’o is Joseph Quinn in his first leading role in a studio film. Following his breakout performance in Stranger Things, Quinn has signed on to star in Ridley Scott‘s Gladiator II and the highly anticipated The Fantastic Four from Marvel Studios.

But before he sets the world aflame, Quinn shows off his emotional range as Eric in A Quiet Place: Day One. He embodies hope and restores faith in humanity even while the world is falling apart. Although his character isn’t fully explored, he’s in the film for enough time to not overpower Sam’s character development.

One star that has to be mentioned is Frodo the cat, played by two kitties, Nico and Schnitzel. Putting an animal in a terrifying situation like A Quiet Place: Day One only serves to amplify the stress. The little mannerisms Frodo has are incredibly cute and perfectly live up to the idea of an emotional support animal.

‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ Is a Sound Investment for the Future

Eric and Sam running from the aliens in A Quiet Place: Day One | Agents of Fandom
This franchise is a runaway success. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

While A Quiet Place: Day One suffers from some plot conveniences and doesn’t have the impressive sound design of the previous two films, the performances from Nyong’o, Quinn, Nico, and Schnitzel lift this entry. Setting the story in New York City is a nice change of scenery for a premise like this and keeps the franchise fresh with new ideas.

It’ll be interesting to see how A Quiet Place Part III follows up, and if fans can expect to see any characters featured in this film. If you’re looking to ease yourself into the horror genre, this franchise is a good choice because of its innovative way of establishing fear and stress.

A Quiet Place: Day One premieres in theaters on June 28. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest entertainment news and reviews.

'A Quiet Place: Day One' Review

'A Quiet Place: Day One' Review
3.5 5 0 1
3.5 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Lupita Nyong'o proves why she's an Oscar-winning actress.
  • Great entry in the franchise, and a gateway to the horror genre.
  • The setting breathes new life into the franchise.
  • Cat lovers will enjoy this. If you're not one already, you will be after this.

The Bad

  • There are minor plot conveniences that remove reasonable tension.
  • Not much time is spent to explore other characters.
  • Sound design isn't on par with the previous films.
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