Video: A Quiet Place: Day One (2024)

Michael Sarnoski’s A Quiet Place: Day One attempts to breathe new life into the acclaimed horror franchise but ultimately falls short of its predecessors. Serving as a prequel, the film dives into the early stages of the alien invasion in New York City, following a woman named Sam (Lupita Nyong'o) and her terrifying experience.

While the concept of witnessing the chaos from day one is intriguing, the execution lacks the innovative flair that made the original films stand out. John Krasinski's and Emily Blunt's family dynamics, combined with the unique advantage of having a deaf child, brought depth and creative tension that this installment struggles to replicate.

The plot centers on Sam, who resides in a hospice with her mysteriously non-meowing cat, Frodo, and harbors a craving for pizza in Harlem, even as the alien threat escalates. This quest for pizza is quiet humorous given the dire circumstances but detracts from the overall suspense, making the story feel very thin. The scenarios Sam and her friend Eric (Joseph Quinn) navigate feel uninspired and fail to leave a lasting impression. Unlike the original, where every scene was a meticulous dance of survival, this film’s sequences lack creativity and memorability. I can clearly recall the scene where Emily Blunt is attempting to deliver a baby amidst staying quiet; this film doesn't have "that scene" that is likely to stick with audiences.

The second film already provided sufficient insight into the events of the first day, leaving this prequel feeling redundant. I initially thought that this film would expand on that, but unfortunately, we don’t really learn many new details about the creatures or what caused them to land. Instead, the focus is on our characters in circumstances similar to the first film (just set in New York), which aren’t too compelling. This is ultimately why A Quiet Place: Day One is one of 2024's biggest disappointments.

The supporting cast, including Alex Wolff as Reuben and Djimon Hounsou reprising his role from A Quiet Place Part II, do their best with the material, but the characters are completely underused/underdeveloped.

Technically, the film is competent. Pat Scola’s cinematography captures the eerie atmosphere adequately, and Alexis Grapsas’ score punctuates the jumpscares effectively, yet neither element elevates the film beyond its pedestrian screenplay. The editing by Andrew Mondshein and Gregory Plotkin maintains a brisk 99-minute runtime, a relief in a film that might otherwise outstay its welcome.

A Quiet Place: Day One is a mild disappointment, especially for fans of the first two films. It lacks the complex relationships, gripping battles, and memorable scenes that defined its predecessors. While it may offer enough thrills for those seeking a straightforward horror experience, it doesn't quite live up to the high bar set by the original films. In the end, it serves as a reminder of how brilliantly Krasinski crafted the first two installments, and it’s hard not to long for those quieter, yet infinitely more intense, days.

I do hope to see A Quiet Place Part III so we can revisit the Abbott family and build upon what was truly a fascinating universe.

Final Verdict:Despite strong performances, the film lacks the originality and depth of its predecessors.