Whispers in the Rain: A Quiet Place: Day One (2024) - Reviewed

Images courtesy of Paramount Pictures


The Quiet Place franchise gets a sturdy prequel in the form of a character driven survival tale set in the streets of New York. Where A Quiet Place 2 stumbled in its repetitive storytelling, Day One is leaps and bounds better and proves that worthy prequels still have a place in the cinematic realm. With a new director, Michael Sarnoski, taking the helm, this backstory is one that breathes fresh life into a franchise that may have been silenced otherwise. 

Set just before the events of the first movie, Lupita Nyong'o's Samira is in hospice care hoping for one last eventful trip to the city where she can see a show and get some pizza. Her plans are dashed as the otherworldly aliens set about about armageddon and begin taking a foothold on the planet. Where so many other films with lesser directors would have been placated by repeated story tropes to play it safe, Sarnoski uses this third film to prove that science fiction-based horror can still be about strong character arc and their plight to survive against all odds. For much of the run time, he strays from the norm to give an all around, well written tale of mortality against the odds. 

Nyong'o takes this chance to finally carry a major box office film with ease. Her penchant for creating and delivering roles with depth shines from beginning to end. She's the heart of the story with Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things season three) getting the mainstream attention he absolutely deserves. A Quiet Place: Day One has all the markings of an independent drama that just so happens to be set in a large-scale cinematic entry with a massive budget. Adding to the luster of this chapter is the much better-looking creature effects. This time around, they're more detailed as audiences are given a much closer look at the interplanetary monsters. They're actually scary this time. 

John Krasinski should be extremely satisfied with the product that Sarnoski came up with here. Day One is an exemplary specimen of a series moving forward with positive creative momentum. Changing the environment from the countryside and forests to the big city is a much needed change that definitely sets this apart from its predecessors. The spectacle of mass destruction carrying on while Samira attempts to survive cancer serves as a type of duality in this whip smart addition to a revered mainstream horror franchise.

When it's at its best, A Quiet Place: Day One reaches for the sky and comes very close to being as good as the Krasinski directed original. This is a respectful continuation that does what good prequels should do. It takes nothing away from what we know, gives us some details that only add to the mythology, and ends up being a rewatchable movie that takes some hard left turns to stray from becoming just another movie about staying silent while the monsters play grab hands with human bodies. 

The lighting works, the updated set pieces are amazing to look at, and the Quiet Place franchise seems destined to give us more side stories and spin-offs that just may keep this series headed in the right direction. The delicate shared moments between Nyong'o and Quinn mixed with explosive scenes of sheer terror make this a dynamic expansion that should be seen in theaters.