Review: A Quiet Place: Day One (2024)

A Quiet Place: Day One (2024) A Quiet Place: Day One (2024)

Bring on this anthology series.

I spotted this from Kyle Alex Brett on my way in to see A Quiet Place: Day One, and I thought about it the whole way through the movie:

A Quiet Place: Day One isn’t A Quiet Place parts one or two – and that’s ok. It doesn’t have the same perfect interweaving of form and function, between theme and story (or even premise vs guiding principle). This isn’t about family (in the traditional, nuclear sense at least). There’s no deaf character who offers the key to combatting invading aliens whose viciousness (and ultimate downfall – spoilers) is powered by their hearing. And it doesn’t pack the same kind of gut-wrenching suspense as the first two films.

What Day One is, however, is more interesting than what it isn’t. It’s a story about found family, or at least about compassion, between particularly vulnerable people in the face of apocalyptic horror. Samira’s (Lupita Nyong’o) infirmity drives her personal journey through the apocalypse; Eric (Joseph Quinn), in shock, begins tagging along like a stray, until his own overpowering panic attacks begrudgingly elicit her care, and the two learn to help eachother. Along the way, director and co-writer Michael Sarnoski (taking over from John Krasinski, who steps back to co-writer and producer roles on this instalment) finds fresh and interesting ways to keep us on-edge visually, peering into smoke and debris in out-of-focus backgrounds for any hint of monsters, a kind of update on the viewing experience unique to low-res, low-light noise in old horror movies on VHS).

The scares are more jump and less slow-burn, and the set-ups and payoffs aren’t always neat or even clear as they could be. But the performances are captivating, and the production design and VFX of the decimated New York City is at times breathtaking.

Day One suggests there’s room for more films like and not-like this. I’d be happy with an anthology series of A Quiet Place movies, each telling its own type of intimate story, each in its own style or even sub-genre, where Part Two is an outlier as the only one connected to any other film.

Further Viewing

A bunch of interviews and breakdowns of how A Quiet Place‘s scares are less jump than slow-burn – and more thematic:

Using Ghostbusters (1984) as a case study, Lessons From The Screenplay explains premise vs guiding principle:

Related Posts: