joseph quinn and lupita nyong'o standing next to each other with a cat
(Paramount Pictures)

‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ Is a Must-See Franchise Best

A world where making a sound can bring your own demise is terrifying, and A Quiet Place: Day One asks us how that’d work in New York City. The third installment to the franchise is a prequel, taking us to day one of the invasion and how the world reacted.

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While the first two films focused on the Abbott family and their unique ability to survive together, as aliens that hunt with incredibly sensitive hearing terrorize the remaining human population, Day One shows us the frantic energy of the story’s beginnings, as everyone is trying to navigate what these invaders are going to do. Sam (Lupita Nyong’o) is in the city with her group, off to see a show. The only reason she’s there is because she wants pizza from a specific place, but suddenly the group leader, Reuben (Alex Wolff), tells her they have to go.

It is then that the invasion begins, much in the same way it was shown at the beginning of Part II. No one quite knows what is going on, people are screaming and dying, and the government is making things worse because they simply don’t know what to do. Trapped in a city with the bridges blown to pieces, Sam and her cat Frodo are trying to navigate a quiet city when she meets Eric (Joseph Quinn), and suddenly this movie about surviving becomes so much more.

Eric very clearly needs Sam, and while she might not admit to needing him, she does, and the two form a deep connection in a world where everyone is frantically trying to just survive for themselves.

There are characters we’ve met before trapped there, like Djimon Hounsou’s Henri, but what makes this film so special is how we get to know these characters. Sam and Eric don’t know each other, and yet they want each other to survive, and that’s beautiful to watch.

A different kind of New York

In the first moments of the movie, it is said how loud New York actually is. We go into this knowing that things are really boisterous just naturally in the city, and we, as the audience, already know what these invaders are like. The bustle of the city is terrifying because every single noise could end up taking someone from the “city of dreams.”

Still, director and writer Michael Sarnoski didn’t ruin what makes this city special. It still feels warm and busy and full of life as people are dying constantly around Eric and Sam. Sam’s determination to go somewhere in the city that makes her feel whole may feel outrageous given the stakes, but it grounds the entire film and her as a character. Eric’s decision to help her shows that these two have found each other in the unknown and are determined to survive together.

A Quiet Place: Day One has all the typical flair of a film from this world. Scary aliens will jump out of nowhere; you will hear someone make a noise and freeze in your seat, but it’s also so much more than that. There is something about Day One that is just so beautiful to watch unfold. The final moments of this movie are something that I truly cannot stop thinking about. They’re powerful and moving, and it shows where each of these characters fits into this universe best.

If you’re wondering if Day One is a necessary entry into A Quiet Place as a franchise, I will say: It is my favorite movie of the three so far. I found it breathtaking. I wanted to see what Eric and Sam would do each new step of the way, and I highly suggest seeing it as soon as possible in theaters.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.