Movie Review

A Quiet Place: Day One

PG-13

GENRE

Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

CAST

Lupita Nyong’o as Samira; Joseph Quinn as Eric; Alex Wolff as Reuben; Djimon Hounsou as Henri

DIRECTOR

Michael Sarnoski

DISTRIBUTOR

Paramount Pictures

IN THEATERS

June 28, 2024

REVIEWER

Emily Tsiao

Movie Review

All Sam wants is some pizza.

When her hospice nurse, Reuben, suggests going into the city to see a show, Sam has no interest. New York City has lost its charm for her. But then Reuben promises they’ll get pizza from Patsy’s, Sam’s favorite, on the way back.

So Sam agrees.

But she begins to regret her decision when she realizes the “show” is actually a marionette performance. Not exactly what she had in mind. Still, there’s that promise of pizza.

Then Reuben gives her some bad news: Something strange is going on in the city. They’ve been told to leave immediately. Pizza isn’t going to happen.

Sam is upset. But before she can even process her emotions, that strangeness catches their attention.

Things begin falling from the sky like meteors.

Things that are alive.

Things that attack anything that makes noise.

Sam is rendered unconscious in the chaos. But when she comes to, she makes a decision: If she’s going to die, she’s going to die on her own terms.

And she is not going to die before she can get some pizza.

Positive Elements

As the world seemingly comes to an end, people rally together, helping each other try to escape the monsters that fall from the sky and protecting one another. Many people risk their own lives to save others.

Sam is aided by Eric, a British law student. Eric learns that Sam is dying from a terminal illness and decides that if the world really is ending, he would rather help her fulfill her dying wish—to get pizza at Patsy’s—than save himself. They bond over their dire circumstances and Sam’s pet cat. Eric gives Sam a new outlook on life, and in return, Sam saves Eric’s life.

Sam is somewhat mean to Reuben, stating that he’s her nurse, not her friend. But when everything falls apart, they reconcile, hugging each other in friendship.

Spiritual Content

People pray in a church while awaiting evacuation orders. Crosses adorn graves in a cemetery.

Sexual Content

None.

Violent Content

The aliens that fall from the sky are terrifying in appearance. They have multiple spider-like limbs that allow them to scale skyscrapers at impossible speeds. They have no eyes but impeccable hearing, getting around by a type of echolocation. And they have many, many teeth. The film itself can likewise be terrifying, with many jump scares and suspenseful, perilous moments.

As mentioned (and as we’ve seen in the previous two films), the aliens attack anything that makes noise. Many people get yanked off screen by the insectoid interlopers. Cars are thrown into crowds, likely killing the people they strike. Others are crushed beneath falling rubble. Buildings are torn apart as the monsters hunt their prey.

We see many dead bodies lying about. Fires cover the city. Blood soaks many surfaces.

A man panics, crying out in fear. People nearby try to hush him up, but he continues to make noise. Another man finally snaps his neck, killing him. However, it appears to be accidental, and the killer apologizes, shocked by his own actions, which were witnessed by his son.

At one point, a woman purposely makes noise so the creatures will kill her.

A man nearly drowns, popping up from the water after an underground subway station floods. One of the aliens drowns while chasing two people through another flooded station.

The military blows up the bridges connecting Manhattan Island to the rest of New York to prevent the invaders from escaping. Unfortunately, this traps millions of people on the island as well (though many are eventually evacuated).

People are knocked down and nearly trampled in the chaos. We see folks limping, their friends holding them up. Sam’s ankle is crushed by a car when a man grabs hold of her, begging for help.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear eight uses of the s-word.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Sam has a fentanyl patch prescription to manage her pain caused by an unnamed terminal illness. She applies these patches throughout the film.

Sam and Eric drink bourbon at an abandoned jazz club. We see liquor bottles in a convenience store.

Other Negative Elements

Sam goes through withdrawal from her medication. She sweats heavily. Her pain makes her weak and unsteady. And she spits up water, unable to keep anything down.

Sam insults several of her fellow hospice patients. She makes fun of an elderly patient who sometimes has accidents in his pants.

Early on, Sam goes out of her way to save her pet cat from the creatures. And while this isn’t inherently a bad thing, she puts others in harm’s way by doing so.

Conclusion

You may be wondering, “Man, just how good is this pizza from Patsy’s? There’s no way it could be worth getting killed by noise-hating aliens.”

Well, that’s probably true. But if you’ve seen the previous Quiet Place films, then you know there’s more to it than that. And like those other films, Day One has a heartfelt tale to tell.

Sam has all but given up on life. She sees Patsy’s pizza as a dying wish—one last hurrah before death claims her. But Eric changes that. He initially follows her out of shellshock. However, his unwavering persistence and desire to help shows Sam that there’s another way. She doesn’t have to die in misery. She doesn’t have to just survive. She can thrive even in her circumstances and truly live once more.

Of course, to get to that nice, sweet story, viewers will have to subject themselves to the horror part as well.

The creatures that attack Earth are terrifying. We don’t really see them kill anyone onscreen, but many jump scares show folks getting yanked offscreen to their doom. (One poor fellow becomes the victim of his fellow man after he nearly alerts the creatures to a theater full of survivors.) And the blood and bodies that are left behind leave no doubt regarding their fate.

Language is also a problem, especially when Sam reads a poem early in the film that includes the s-word multiple times.

Those content concerns may make this film a nonstarter for many families—certainly nothing you would want younger kiddos to watch. But for more mature audiences, A Quiet Place: Day One may be a navigable tale about camaraderie and hope.

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