Saturday, June 29, 2024

A Quiet Place: Day One - Movie Review

The Movie: A Quiet Place: Day One

The Director: Michael Sarnoski

The Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Quinn, Alex Wolff, Djimon Hounsou

The Story: A woman finds herself trapped in New York City during the early stages of an invasion by alien creatures with ultra-sensitive hearing.

The Rating: 8 / 10

The Review:
A Quiet Place has been one of the more interesting franchises to come out over the last several years with the first installment giving horror fans a really unique and fun experience. John Krasinski is still on board as a producer and co-writer but this story takes us back to the very beginning of the alien invasion so we get to see some new characters running around trying to not make any noise. Lupita Nyong'o, who only seems to be capable of brilliant acting performances, is the lead in this film although we all know Frodo (the cat) is the real hero of the story.

The story itself is a bit more character driven than the previous installments although there are still plenty of scares and, as Hollywood likes to do, New York takes a serious beat down in the bigger action equences so be prepared for some imagery that will evoke memories of the 9/11 aftermath. There's plenty of aliens running around gobbling people up and tossing cars around and it's always creepy and intense and quite scary at times. Bringing in Michael Sarnoski to direct this movie was a great choice considering the last movie he made, Pig starring Nicolas Cage, is quite brilliant in its own right.

With all of that goin on, it's interesting to see Nyong'o's character fight and struggle so valiantly for what's left of her life and, in the grand scheme of things, an alien invasion almost seems like just another day considering what we learn she has had to endure. As a director, Sarnoski does a great job of finding a comfortable balance and pacing for everything that's happening in the movie. It would be easy to lean heavily on either the drama or the action or the scares but I felt like there was just enough of each to keep me engaged without it also just being a big special effects explosion.

While watching the movie, I was curious to see if CGI was used for the cat at all and thankfully I could never really tell although there are a few scenes where the cat was either added in digitally, or the cat actors, Schnitzel and Nico, are very well trained to do some pretty amazing stunt work. I mean, it's nothing too crazy but just try to get a cat to do anything at home and see how that goes. Also, I'm not going to spoil whether the cat makes it through the whole movie or not, you'll just have to experience that for yourself.

I really like how this installment of the franchise stays focused on people with real problems and real humanity and real vulnerbilities instead of giving the audience another over the top hero type figure to fight off the aliens. At times, I was reminded of Cloverfield, another monster movie that tears up New York, as both storues make you think how you might react during an alien invasion or really any sort of attack or extreme event that turns the world upside down.

If this is what we can expect from this franchise moving forward, I'm all for it. Keep giving us legit scares, bits of action, and real human beings who are just doing everything they can to survive. The only super hero this time around was the cat and, for this movie, that was more than enough. Now, having watched the movie, all I want to do is get some pizza. When you watch the movie, you'll understand.

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