[Film Review] A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE – The Invasion, The Cat, And The Quest For Pizza

Following a path that many a franchise has blazed before them – this third installment into the A QUIET PLACE story is a prequel – or perhaps more accurately a sister piece to the bit of a prequel we got in the second installment. At the beginning of A QUIET PLACE 2 we got a pretty intense and frightening look at invasion day – and DAY ONE, while changing the location (we see the invasion through the eyes of those living or visiting NYC on the fateful day) certainly kicks the death and destruction up a few notches.

DAY ONE masterfully tiptoes that line of not completely relying on the need to see the first two films while at the same time, not ignoring their existence.

This film succeeds on many levels but relies heavily (and smartly so) on star Lupita Nyong’o who gives an exceptional performance as Sam – who is living in a horrible hospice, dying of cancer, and needing some heavy drugs to keep the pain at bay and provide her the slightest quality of life. Well – the pain meds and service kitty Frodo – that seems to be what keeps her motivated to keep fighting. Her counselor at the hospice convinces her to head into the city with a group of other residents for a show – which she agrees to partake in, as long as she can get some real New York pizza before heading back.

It’s while the group is at this show that all hell breaks loose.

Hitting theaters with a PG-13 rating, the blood and guts are kept to a minimum but that doesn’t stop the director Michael Sarnoski from building a terrifying hellscape for our survivors to have to fight through – that includes Frodo the cat who for my money is the best genre cat to hit the screen since Jonsey in ALIEN.

Want to stay far away from anything that even resembles a spoiler but – we do get to see (and learn) a lot about the monstrous invaders that fall from the sky – and when those long-legged, ugly mofos start to herd and stampede through the city – it’s freaking terrifying – kudos to the sound design folks because they perform a masterclass in showing how sound can be so important in a movie that is all about being quiet.

When all is said and done though – it’s Lupita Nyong’o – whose amazingly strong yet achingly vulnerable performance serves to highlight my takeaway from the film. That in the darkest most desperate of situations only love and empathy can overcome the monsters that stalk us.

A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE is a surprisingly touching alien invasion flick that will leave you feeling as hopeful as it does horrified. Not an easy task to pull off.

And does Sam get her pizza? Well, you’re going to have to head to the theaters for the conclusion to that cliffhanger.

4 stars and I recommend that you find the time to fit this one into your holiday weekend.

  • Review
Dave Dreher
Co-Founder / Lead News Reporter at Gruesome Magazine
Dave is co-founder and lead news reporter for Gruesome. Dave has built his resume working for Diabolique Magazine, The Horror Channel, Horrornews.net, House of Horrors and Creature Corner. He has worked with Tom Savini on his official site since 1997 and is also co-host of the popular podcast Horror News Radio.