A Quiet Place: Day One Review


  • A Quiet Place: Day One lacks emotional depth and creativity, with a weak storyline and underdeveloped characters.
  • Lupita Nyong’o’s strong performance can’t save the film from its lack of tension and scares.
  • The alien creatures lose their impact, and become less scary and intriguing.

A Quiet Place is a movie I never thought I’d see expanded into a full franchise, but it might have been better if it’d remained a standalone. A Quiet Place: Day One, which, as its title suggests, explores the first arrival of the noise-sensitive aliens to Earth, is interesting for a bit before coming to a nearly complete standstill creatively. Starring a stellar Lupita Nyong’o, who carries the emotional weight of the film, One Day has the depth of paper and less effective scares and tension than either of the first two movies.

Directed and written by Michael Sarnoski, from a story by him and A Quiet Place director John Krasinski, Day One follows Sam (Nyong’o), who lives in hospice care and is dying from cancer. She’s stranded in New York City after a day trip turns into a nightmare following the alien creature’s arrival. From there, the story primarily centers on survival, though Sam, along with her new friend Eric (Stranger Things’ Joseph Quinn), a fearful law student, really wants to get the pizza she was promised. I would’ve laughed at the pizza bit had the movie not taken it so seriously.

Lupita Nyong’o Doesn’t Disappoint In A Quiet Place: Day One

Day One started out strong enough, and it was easy for me to get invested in Sam thanks to Nyong’o’s sorrowful eyes and wit. Sam is a woman who is tired of waiting for death to come, but must wait anyway. Nyong’o’s face is eternally expressive, giving us insight into Sam’s emotions and state of mind despite a script that refuses to rise to her talents. Emotionally, the actress does most of the heavy lifting. I wanted her to get her pizza as much as she did, even if I also got tired of hearing about it.

Nyong’o puts a lot more effort into her role than the story offers, but she can’t save the film from becoming sluggish. Quinn, for his part, is fine. Certainly, he’s no match for his scene partner, and his character is rather bland with little depth. Therein lies the problem: Day One doesn’t offer much in the way of emotional depth, and thus there’s no anchor to fully keep the film afloat. The characters are thinly drawn and can’t match the tension, effectiveness, or feeling that is built into the original A Quiet Place.


How Much A Quiet Place: Day One Cost To Make & What Box Office It Needs

A Quiet Place: Day One has a fairly large budget and needs to earn quite a bit at the box office to turn a profit, but it could easily be a success.

A Quiet Place: Day One Doesn’t Offer Anything New Or Intriguing

The monster aliens are somehow less scary here

The aliens in the first movie were terrifying, creeping into scenes and putting everyone on edge. That sense of danger and fear is almost entirely lost in One Day. In fact, the aliens appear so often, and are not as sensitive to noise as the first two movies made them out to be, that they lose their impact. It’s only the initial alien landing in NYC that properly builds intensity and eeriness.

Sam, trapped in the middle of the street and surrounded by dust and debris from a nearby explosion, can’t see around her; the scene is disorienting, shot in a way that confuses and heightens the genuine fear that is absent throughout the rest of the film. It’s the only truly disconcerting scene in a movie that doesn’t know how to evolve its horror. Beyond that, the film doesn’t introduce anything new about the hostile creatures. It retreads what we already know about them and manages to somehow flatten them as antagonists.

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t invest in its characters or in its world beyond the surface, so why should we?

In some instances, the logical inconsistencies are hard to ignore because Day One commits one of the worst movie crimes — it becomes stagnant to the point of being dull. About an hour into the film, I felt myself becoming detached from the story, lulled into exhaustion by a slow pace and an insubstantial, weak storyline. The fact that Sam’s cat managed to stay quiet the whole time is impressive, but even I grew tired of watching it run around the city. It’s as though Sarnoski was killing time between the film’s big moments, which lost their momentum and payoff.

A Quiet Place: Day One had potential, but it squanders some of its goodwill early on and never recovers. It’s a tension-free viewing experience that leaves a lot to be desired. Nyong’o puts in a solid performance, and the feeling of coming alive again when one’s body and the world around them is deteriorating is effectively communicated. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t invest in its characters or in its world beyond the surface, so why should we?

A Quiet Place: Day One releases in theaters Friday, June 28. The film is rated PG-13 for terror and violent content/bloody images.

A Quiet Place Day One Poster Showing Lupita Nyong'o Covering Her Mouth

A Quiet Place: Day One is a spin-off of the A Quiet Place franchise conceived by John Krasinski. The film is set at the beginning of the invasion as humanity scrambles to survive, before the events of the original film, with Lupita Nyong’O leading the cast, directed by Michael Sarnoski.


  • Lupita Nyong’o excellently brings the emotion to her role

  • The story’s pacing is slow and the story exhausting
  • The script is thin and lacks tension
  • The alien creatures don’t have a strong impact

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