11 days ago

'Day One' holds on to the essence of the 'A Quiet Place' franchise even as the prequel

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Imagine walking through the busy streets of New York City, a place once alive with the constant buzz of urban life. Now, that city is plunged into a deafening silence, where the slightest whisper or footstep could mean a certain death. This is the world director Michael Sarnoski welcomes the audience with A Quiet Place: Day One.

The latest prequel in the franchise, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, and Djimon Hounsou, transports the audience back to the horrifying first day of the alien invasion.

The film opens with utter chaos. The city that never sleeps is suddenly wide awake with fear as monstrous, noise-sensitive creatures attack without warning. The streets are filled with people running for their lives, cars crashing, and buildings crumbling.

Amid this pandemonium, Sam is introduced and portrayed by Lupita Nyong'o. Sam is a terminally ill cancer patient who had hoped for a quiet day out, perhaps her last, in the city she loves. Instead, she finds herself fighting for her survival.

Joining Sam is Eric (Joseph Quinn), a terrified British law student stranded in the chaos of the city. The pair forms an unlikely alliance, and together, they navigate the urban hellscape, constantly under the threat of sound-sensitive aliens.

Frodo, a street-smart therapy cat, forms the trio with Sam and Eric. His instinctual behaviours, such as chasing a mouse or nearly giving away survivors' locations, add realism and charm to the narrative. Frodo's loyalty and resilience symbolize the small, precious things worth holding onto in the face of overwhelming fear.

Director Sarnoski brings a human touch to a large-scale disaster narrative, balancing intimate, character-driven moments with a broader spectacle of a city under siege.

The emotional parts make the audience care deeply about the character's fate. However, the prequel format inherently limits how much can be revealed without disrupting the established lore of the previous films.

A Quiet Place: Day One shows its ability to recapture the tension and atmosphere of the original. Including Frodo the cat and Sam's struggle with her illness adds depth and poignancy. However, the film can feel repetitive, with certain scenes mirroring the tension of its predecessors. The alien creatures do not significantly evolve, even though they are terrifying, potentially limiting their impact over multiple films. The film needs to expand the franchise lore more, leaving the origins and true nature of the aliens unsolved.

The film maintains the franchise's core elements, including intense suspense, emotional storytelling, and innovative use of silence.

A Quiet Place: Day One is a heartfelt prequel to the original franchise, showing the power of silent strength and enduring bonds. It introduces new characters and dynamics, highlighting the impact of holding onto what matters most in the face of fear. 

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