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Day One: A Surprisingly Heartfelt and Decent Prequel

Films with minimal dialogue can be tough to pull off. They have the added challenge of creating engaging storylines without relying on words to express each character’s emotions.

The “A Quiet Place” franchise has consistently excelled in this regard. Each installment presents a compelling narrative through the cast’s impressive physical performances. The stakes are high, keeping the audience invested in the characters’ lives as they navigate a world overrun by terrifying killer aliens. These extraterrestrials arrived without warning and are taking over the planet.

In “A Quiet Place: Day One,” viewers are taken back to where it all began, on what initially appears to be a typical day in New York City. Sam (Lupita Nyong’o), terminally ill with cancer, visits the city with her therapy cat, Frodo. Hospice nurse Reuben (Alex Wolff) has brought some of the patients to see a show. However, chaos erupts when they’re leaving the venue, as aliens suddenly emerge and begin to take over the city, killing anyone who makes even the slightest noise.

Even with the knowledge gained from the first two films about how these creatures behave, “A Quiet Place: Day One” still manages to thrust viewers into an anxiety-ridden rollercoaster ride full of tension and uncertainty. As soon as the aliens arrive, unpredictable chaos follows. The film showcases notable action sequences set against the impressive backdrop of New York City. Impeccable sound design heightens the scares and overall viewing experience. The audience is constantly on edge, unaware of the aliens’ whereabouts, adding to the suspense.

The story is also enriched by its emotional depth and the sentimental message at its core. The meeting of Sam and Eric (Joseph Quinn) amidst disaster feels like fate, with both characters leaving a lasting impression on each other. Their unexpected introduction underscores the importance of empathy, kindness, and good deeds. The film also reflects on how much we cherish memories of loved ones and the lengths we would go to relive those moments.

What elevates “A Quiet Place: Day One” the most is Nyong’o’s emotionally charged performance, captivating the audience from the moment she’s introduced. Despite the absence of dialogue, her expressions and demeanor convey exactly what Sam is thinking and feeling, showcasing Nyong’o’s remarkable acting skills. Sam is resilient, strong-willed, and a comforting presence to Eric, making viewers root for her even more. Despite her harsh exterior, she is compassionate and understanding. The dynamic between Quinn and Nyong’o adds depth to the story, their contrasting personalities and approaches to the apocalyptic world keeping the narrative compelling.

However, the prequel is not without its flaws. The biggest drawback is that it doesn’t delve into the aliens’ origins or offer new insights into the story. Viewers might leave the theater without additional information about the creatures’ lore. Another issue is the characters’ rapid understanding that staying silent keeps the aliens at bay. While necessary for the plot, this detail feels incongruous with the narrative that depicts the first day of the invasion. The characters’ quick realization of how the aliens operate seems unrealistic, detracting somewhat from the story.

Despite these plot issues, Michael Sarnoski’s sci-fi horror film compensates with intense action scenes, deeply affecting performances, and a poignant message emphasizing the significance of human connection.

And be prepared for the film’s final scene. It’s tragically poetic and sure to linger in your mind for quite some time.

Source: Culturess