Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Michael Sarnoski
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou, Alex Wolff, Thea Butler
Runtime: 1 hr 39 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence)
Released By: UIP
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 27 June 2024

Synopsis: New York City is under siege by a deadly, unknown enemy that hunts by sound and kills ruthlessly in A Quiet Place: Day One. The third chapter and prequel to the wildly popular franchise leaves the rural home of the Abbott family to tell the story of the day meteorites fell from the sky and humans were snatched away by vicious creatures, never to be seen again. When Samira (Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o) returns to the city of her birth, all she wants is a slice from her favorite pizzeria. Instead, she finds herself trapped in a brutal waking nightmare that could be her last day on Earth. Accompanied by a virtual stranger named Eric (Joseph Quinn) and her cat Frodo, she embarks on a perilous journey past burning buildings, flooded subways, and smashed cars in a newly silent world where danger lurks everywhere. 

Movie Review:

How long could this writer stay quiet when watching this third instalment in the A Quiet Place film series? Not very long, unfortunately. During a sequence where characters are trying to stay silent, this reviewer let out an uncontrollable sneeze in the quiet theatre. And in the post apocalyptic setting of this movie, it means that he would have been devoured by the extraterrestrial creatures with an acute sense of hearing.

Fans of the John Krasinski’s 2018 movie and its 2020 sequel would be familiar with how the story works. The protagonists are humans who have to navigate and survive in a world where the slightest noise can get them killed by the sightless aliens with sharp hearing and impenetrable armour plating.

With the known premise, there is nothing surprising about the plot in this spin off directed by Michael Sarnoski, which is also a prequel to the first film. Hence, it is wise of the filmmakers to focus on the human emotions here. And casting Lupita Nyong'o in the lead role of a terminally ill woman is a great choice too, because we haven’t seen a such a heartfelt performance on the big screen in a while.

The Academy Award winner (12 Years a Slave) plays Samira, a cancer patient who lives in a New York City hospice with her cat, Frodo (Sam and Frodo – get it?). After a group outing to Manhattan, she finds herself in the midst of chaos as the extraterrestrial creatures begin attacking. Besides how seeing how Sam and Frodo struggle to stay alive by trying their best not to make any noise, the movie is about Sam’s quest to enjoy a slice of pizza while people around her are fleeing for their lives. There is a sequence where Sam stands out in the crowd as she walks in a different direction from the people who are heading towards the evacuation point – the wide shot where Sam looks on in a sea of people back towards her hits the right note.

The 99 minute movie is a showcase for Nyong'o’s confident performance. Through poignant close up shots, we feel Sam’s determination to get that slice of pizza, and on a broader level, to make sense of what it means to live in a direly hopeless situation. While the reason of why she wants to have pizza isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it is feels wholehearted and sincere.

Nyong'o’s performance is complemented by Joseph Quinn, who plays Eric, an English law student who goes along with Sam on her quest to get pizza. The actor, best known for his role as the sarcastic and nonconformist but extremely kind and loyal Eddie Munson in the popular series Stranger Things, delivers a feel good performance as a lost individual looking for solace and company in a world that has nothing left for him.

Cat lovers would also embrace this movie because of Frodo. It is notable that the cat character isn’t created with CGI (it is played by two cats, Schnitzel and Nico). The unlikely hero is central to Sam’s emotional journey, and seeing how the service animal eventually become a soulmate is warmly rewarding.

Movie Rating:

(Lupita Nyong'o's committed performance makes this journey through a post-apocalyptic wasteland emotionally gripping)

Review by John Li

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