A Quiet Place: Day One | Review by: Amanda Guarragi

 In 2018, John Krasinski debuted his sophomore feature, A Quiet Place. Krasinski made a film centred around family and communication. One family must survive these creatures, who are blind but are noise-sensitive creatures. The beauty of the first film comes from the impeccable sound mixing and sound editing because of the silence within the film. The family used sign language for the creatures and to communicate with their deaf daughter. Krasinski let his scenes breathe, and the silence filled the screen creating a unique suspenseful atmosphere. Unfortunately, the sequel, A Quiet Place Part 2 did not live up to the first instalment. It lacked the character-driven focus of the first film and wasn’t nearly as suspenseful. When more characters are added to assist the leads, it can get quite messy. Krasinski co-wrote and directed both films, but the prequel A Quiet Place: Day One is directed by Michael Sarnoski. Sarnoski created depth for the world Krasinski built. He demonstrated that humanity can be saved through the power of connection. 

First and foremost, it was lovely to see Lupita Nyong’o star in a horror film again. After Jordan Peele’s, Us, Nyong’o became a horror darling. To this day, it is still one of the best performances by an actress in a horror film. Nyong’o thankfully returned to the genre and delivered another captivating performance as Samira in this prequel. Samira is slowly dying and is in a hospice at the beginning. She looks at her life and questions if it’s even worth living without anything to live for. Her nurse, Reuben (Alex Wolff) challenges her and wants her to feel more present in the community. The real story begins with Samira venturing to the city with the hospice group to watch a play and get a slice of “Patsy’s” pizza. Something as simple as eating pizza turned into an emotional journey for Samira, once the creatures touched down in the middle of the puppeteer’s performance. The small moment of wonderment and hope with the puppeteer for Samira was stripped away from her. She couldn’t find one moment to enjoy life again. Sarnoski created a chaotic environment in New York City with flashes of smoke and the silhouette of the creatures coming in and out of focus. 

Nyong’o’s performance stemmed from her facial expressions and eye movements. She was expressive through her physicality more than the dialogue. Once the characters had to remain quiet, Sarnoski perfectly balanced the suspense of the creatures approaching and the tender moments between the characters. The character dynamics became stronger once Eric (Joseph Quinn) was introduced to Samira by her cat Frodo. Samira knew she could not escape New York City, but made it her mission to get Eric on the next ferry out. Quinn brought charm and some humour to the second half of this film. Eric reminds Samira of the small things that make life worth living. Quinn and Nyong’o had lovely chemistry. That’s why, A Quiet Place: Day One is one of the better prequels to any franchise. Sarnoksi focused on the human connection of these characters because there is nothing much to these creatures. They are mainly in the background for some “scares,” but it’s more the journey they both go on. These characters learn to trust each other, which is so hard to come by nowadays. To find a commonality among people and genuinely wish to help one another. It’s a reminder that kindness and playfulness are the root of building relationships. 

Sarnoski builds tender moments between Eric and Samira to develop a friendship quickly. Eric suffered from panic attacks and Samira coached him through. Although their relationship was short-lived, it still grounded the characters while the world fell apart around them. Their survival depended on trust. At times, it does feel like part of the franchise, but it also does well to stand on its own. There are moments with the creatures that highlight the guidelines within the franchise and lay the foundation for the other two instalments. A Quiet Place: Day One is a wonderful addition to the franchise. Sarnofski focuses on the character's relationships and connection to the small, beautiful things around us. The final moments with Samira walking through New York City and embracing the sounds of the city while listening to music is one of the best endings of 2024. There’s an appreciation for beauty and what we take for granted. Sarnoski did thread similarities from the franchise while making this a deeply personal and reflective film.


Review by: Amanda Guarragi 

#movies #films #moviereviews #filmreviews #1STReviews #LupitaNyongo #JosephQuinn #JohnKrasinski #MichaelSarnoski #DjimonHounsou #horror #thriller 

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