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[Review] New to the Silence: A First-Timer's Thoughts On 'A Quiet Place: Day One'

As a new fan of the A Quiet Place franchise, I was expecting a silent thriller with lots of loud jump scares and scenes of immense tension. However, the film takes on a more empathetic approach to how our perspectives shape our lives (plus all the jump scares and tension).


A Quiet Place

Michael Sarnoski, a new director, directed the latest addition to the franchise. Just like the director, this was also my first movie in the series, and being new to the A Quiet Place franchise, what struck me the most about this one was how silent the film was. I knew the film would be quiet—it’s in the name—but it’s how the film uses the silence to add to the story. This is easy to note as the movie’s first few scenes are incredibly noisy, with voices, the sounds of traffic, music, and footsteps overwhelming our ears.


The film is set in New York, which the opening screen text informs us has an average noise level of 90 decibels. Besides a handful of dialogue, an incredibly heartfelt night together, and a few close calls, the film is silent. What the silence adds is a new layer of tension: any noise made could alert the ultra-sensitive ears of the monster and spell death for the cast.


In the opening scene, Sam, played by Lupita Nyong’o, is in hospice, surrounded by the elderly, sarcastically reciting a poem that is too explicit to repeat here. In short, she’s bitter at the world, and as a young woman who’s lost everything precious to her, who is now losing her health, she feels every right to be.



During her group therapy sessions, she’s invited to a show by the head nurse, and on this trip, terror strikes. Falling from the sky is death, literally, and it strikes fast, quickly wiping out anything that emits more than a whisper. Realizing that the world as she knew it was over, Sam is on one last mission: to eat at the pizza/jazz parlor that her father took her to as a child. On her journey there, she befriends a college student named Eric, played by Joseph Quinn, who aids her along the way.


Eric’s introduction into the film serves as the turning point for Sam, causing her perspective to shift from that of impatience and anger at slowly dying to understanding that just because her life is ending doesn’t mean that it is over. This isn’t just a one-sided relationship; when we first meet Eric, he’s an understandably nervous wreck who freezes every time a monster appears on the screen. It’s Sam’s calm and collectedness in the face of such horror that inspires the same courage in him. A duo like this flips the infamous Hollywood trope of the perfect white knight saving the damsel in distress. Here we have two flawed people coming together to rescue each other. In the end, we see Sam perform an act that in the beginning we would’ve thought impossible from her.


A Quiet Place: Day One is now playing at theaters worldwide.


2 Comments


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mary coca
mary coca
Jul 04

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