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A Quiet Place: Day One Keeps the franchise fresh

Director Michael Sarnoski brings us back to a world where silence means survival in "A Quiet Place: Day One" from Paramount Pictures. Sarnoski also wrote the script based on a story he conceived with John Krasinski, the director of the franchise's first two films.

I want to ensure that my review contains no spoilers that are out of consideration for those planning to watch the film. "A Quiet Place: Day One" is a prequel to the first film. It introduces us to a woman named Sam (Lupita Nyong'o), on a field trip to New York City led by Reuben (Alex Wolff). She becomes trapped in the city during an invasion by alien creatures with ultrasonic hearing.

The film's strength lies in its unique approach, which director Michael Sarnoski takes. We are thrust into the action quickly after the first attack, and the director purposely delays revealing the title card. This choice, which I found quite intriguing, gives a sense of realism about how quickly things can escalate.

After the initial attack and the heart-pounding moments of suspense, the film offers us a bird's-eye view while evacuation measures are frantically underway in Manhattan. As viewers, we're right there amidst the chaos with Sam and her trusty therapy cat by her side. Despite the alien invasion raging around her, Sam's additional goal injects humor into the intense situation—something tied to a beloved New York food staple, though I won't spoil it for you.

Lupita Nyong'o genuinely shines brightest on screen for much of this narrative journey. Eventually, however, Sam crosses paths with Eric (portrayed wonderfully by Joseph Quinn), a lost-looking Englishman who remains loyally by her side from that point onward. Quinn brings depth to his character; he grapples with his fears yet never becomes irritating or someone you'd wish ill upon. "A Quiet Place: Day One" does have its minor flaws like its predecessors did.

Without spilling any spoilers here, I know some might raise eyebrows over aspects of Sam's seemingly invincible plot armor—but personally? It all made sense to me within this world they've built. Fans craving extreme gore might be disappointed as there aren't many corpses shown despite how brutally loud our alien "visitors" are depicted.

Lastly, I was disheartened that Djimon Hounsou's return got spoiled in the trailer. Although he doesn't play a massive role in this prequel, keeping his appearance under wraps would have given audiences an extra element of surprise that could've added even more to their experience. I believe many viewers might share this sentiment.

With a short run time, genuine jump scares, and a solid performance by Lupita Nyong'o, "A Quiet Place : Day One" is another commendable entry in a franchise where silence is survival.

Final Grade: B+


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