A Quiet Place Day One, Mark Kermode’s film review (video).

In a world where silence is not just golden but vital for survival, “A Quiet Place: Day One” emerges as a chilling prequel to the acclaimed horror series, offering a poignant exploration of humanity amidst harrowing circumstances. Directed by Michael Sarnoski and starring Lupita Nyong’o in a powerful lead role, the film transports audiences to the chaotic genesis of an alien invasion in New York City.

From the onset, Sarnoski’s vision infuses the screen with a palpable sense of dread, amplified by a backdrop where every sound could spell doom. The narrative centres on Samira, portrayed with emotional depth by Nyong’o, a terminally ill woman navigating the eerie quietude of a city under siege. Accompanied by a supporting cast including Joseph Quinn and Djimon Hounsou, the film unfolds against the relentless onslaught of extraterrestrial creatures with hypersensitive hearing.

The film’s development was not without its own dramatic twists, mirroring the intensity of its storyline. Originally conceived under Jeff Nichols’ direction, the project saw a shift in creative leadership to Sarnoski in early 2022. This transition, albeit turbulent, proved fortuitous as Sarnoski’s nuanced approach and indie sensibilities lent a distinctive flavour to the narrative, drawing inspiration from seminal works like “Children of Men”.

Filmed amidst the controlled chaos of London, which stood in for the ravaged streets of NYC, “A Quiet Place: Day One” employs Simon Bowles’ meticulous production design and Pat Scola’s evocative cinematography to craft an immersive experience. The tension-filled sequences, set against the eerie quietude of a desolate cityscape, underscore the film’s mastery in visual storytelling.

Premiering at the Tribeca Festival to critical acclaim, the film resonated with its audience, blending heart-pounding terror with moments of profound human connection. Critics lauded Nyong’o’s performance as the heart of the film, alongside the palpable chemistry between the characters amidst the chaos. Entertainment Weekly praised the film’s ability to find beauty in the bleakness, noting that “Nyong’o walks from Chinatown to Harlem for a slice of pizza even though aliens are killing everyone in the city.”

Despite its success, “A Quiet Place: Day One” faced its share of scrutiny, with some critics arguing that its narrative at times felt incomplete. Nevertheless, the film’s ability to evoke raw emotion amidst a world on the brink of extinction resonated deeply, marking it as a worthy addition to the franchise.


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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