A Quiet Place: Day One

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A Quiet Place: Day One
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Sarnoski
Screenplay byMichael Sarnoski
Story by
Based onCharacters
by Bryan Woods
Scott Beck
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyPat Scola
Edited by
Music byAlexis Grapsas
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 26, 2024 (2024-06-26) (Tribeca)
  • June 28, 2024 (2024-06-28) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$67 million
Box office$241.4 million[3][4]

A Quiet Place: Day One is a 2024 American apocalyptic horror film written and directed by Michael Sarnoski, based on a story he conceived with John Krasinski. It is the third installment in the A Quiet Place film series, serving as a spin-off and prequel. The film stars Lupita Nyong'o as a terminally ill woman during the early stages of an invasion in New York City by blind, extraterrestrial creatures with an acute sense of hearing. The supporting cast includes Joseph Quinn, Alex Wolff, and Djimon Hounsou, who reprises his role from A Quiet Place Part II.

Development on A Quiet Place: Day One began in November 2020, with Jeff Nichols set to write and direct. Despite a completed script, Nichols dropped out of the film in October 2021. In January 2022, Sarnoski was announced to replace Nichols as writer and director; he was approached by Krasinski because of his feature directorial debut Pig (2021). Principal photography took place from February 2023 to April 2023 in London, England.

A Quiet Place: Day One premiered at the Tribeca Festival on June 26, 2024, and was released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on June 28, 2024. The film received positive reviews from critics and has grossed $241.4 million worldwide.

Plot

Samira "Sam", a pessimistic, terminally ill cancer patient, lives at a hospice outside New York City with her cat, Frodo. Reuben, a nurse, convinces a reluctant Sam to join a group outing to a marionette show in Manhattan. While in the city, the group notices meteor-like objects falling from the sky. Shortly afterwards, hostile extraterrestrial creatures attack the gathered crowd and passersby. In the ensuing chaos, Sam is knocked unconscious.

Sam later wakes up inside the puppet theater with Frodo and other survivors, including Henri, who signals her to remain quiet. Announcements from military helicopters warn civilians to stay silent and hidden until the authorities can rescue them. Sam then witnesses fighter jets bombing and destroying the bridges leading out of Manhattan, preventing the creatures from leaving the island. One of the survivors begins to panic, and Henri accidentally kills him in the process of trying to keep him silent.

The power grid cuts out that night, causing the building's emergency generator to noisily activate. Reuben turns it off, but attracts a creature that kills him on hearing his shirt rip. A distraught Sam takes Frodo and leaves for Harlem. The military announces it is preparing to evacuate civilians by boat from South Street Seaport as the creatures are unable to swim. Groups of people start leaving buildings towards the evacuation point, but the volume of their crowded movement alerts the creatures, who attack them and cause a stampede. Sam flees in the opposite direction and is separated from Frodo.

Eric, an English law student, escapes a flooded subway station and encounters Frodo, following him back to Sam. She attempts to convince Eric to go south to the evacuation point, but Eric is in shock and follows Sam back to her apartment instead. While there, Eric learns Sam is an acclaimed and published poet. The next morning, Sam leaves alone for Harlem, but Eric finds her and they continue their journey together. Sam and Eric accidentally alert the creatures, and flee into a flooded subway. With no other way out, the pair are forced to wade through the deep waters, eventually waking a dormant creature that pursues them but drowns while they escape. Sam falls unconscious after the ordeal.

They end up in a ruined church, and while Sam rests, Eric ventures out alone to get pain medication for her from a pharmacy. He then rescues Frodo from a construction site, discovering a group of creatures led by a larger one feeding on the remains of an organic egg-like pod. Sam tells Eric that as a child, she used to watch her late father play jazz at a club in Harlem, and would get pizza with him at Patsy's afterward, something Sam always wanted to do before she died. Eric fulfills Sam's wish by taking her to the club, collecting pizza from another store, and performing a magic card trick to cheer her up.

Eric and Sam see boats in the river, filled with survivors escaping Manhattan. As the two leave together, creatures start to congregate along the shore. Sam gives Eric her jacket and Frodo, and then runs off to distract creatures by smashing car windows. As a result, car alarms activate which attract the creatures away from the coastline. Meanwhile, Eric and Frodo jump into the water and are pulled up into a boat by Henri. Eric then finds a note in the jacket written by Sam, telling him to take care of Frodo and thanking him for reminding her to live.

Sam walks into a deserted street as she listens to Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" on her iPod. Accepting her imminent death, Sam smiles as she unplugs her earphones and lets the song blare, causing a nearby creature to suddenly appear behind her.

Cast

Production

In November 2020, Paramount Pictures announced a spin-off film set within the same world as A Quiet Place (2018), with Jeff Nichols set to write and direct, based on a story by John Krasinski.[5][6] In May 2021, Krasinski disclosed that Nichols' completed script had been submitted to the studio.[7] By October, however, Nichols dropped out of the film to focus on a different project at the studio,[8] and in January 2022, Michael Sarnoski was announced to replace Nichols as writer and director.[9] Krasinski approached Sarnoski after seeing his indie feature directorial debut, Pig (2021).[10] Day One is a co-production between Platinum Dunes and Sunday Night Productions, with Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, and Krasinski producing.[5] Sarnoski cited Children of Men (2006) as an inspiration for the film's look.[10]

Lupita Nyong'o and Joseph Quinn came on board to star in November 2022.[11][12] Nyong'o's character in the film, "Sam", has a cat, "Frodo". The actress had asked Sarnoski if they could change the animal due to a fear of cats, which she overcame with cat therapy; by the end of production, she adopted a cat of her own.[13][14][15] Paramount executives wanted Frodo to be computer-generated, but Sarnoski's insistence for a real cat changed their minds.[16] Frodo was played by two cats named Nico and Schnitzel.[14] The script originally depicted Frodo as hissing and arching its back, a natural reaction to feeling threatened, which animal handlers could not train the cats to do; to avoid scaring the cats or using CGI, those elements were removed.[16] The character of Sam was inspired by Sarnoski's desire to subvert expectations of the genre by focusing on "someone who had a different relationship to death and survival".[17] Alex Wolff, who starred in Sarnoski's Pig, was cast in January 2023.[18] Djimon Hounsou reprised his unnamed character from A Quiet Place Part II (2020), revealed to be named "Henri".[19][20] Denis O'Hare was cast in an undisclosed role,[21] but his character was cut from the final film.[citation needed]

Principal photography took place from February 6 to April 11, 2023, in London, though the film is set in New York City.[22][23] Simon Bowles was the production designer, and Pat Scola, who shot Pig, served as cinematographer.[24][25] The backlot at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden was utilized to recreate four NYC blocks, each two stories high, including Mott Street in Chinatown and parts of Harlem, the Lower East Side, and the Upper East Side.[26] Bowles designed 3D models of his sets through SketchUp to allow Sarnoski and Scola to test angles beforehand. London Charing Cross was used to shoot the subway sequence.[24] During post-production, Alexis Grapsas, who worked on Pig, composed the score and Industrial Light & Magic completed the visual effects.[27][28] The film's budget was $67 million.[29]

Release

The world premiere of A Quiet Place: Day One was held at the Tribeca Festival on June 26, 2024, as a special presentation taking place after the festival itself, which was held from June 5–16.[30] It was released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on June 28, 2024.[31] It was previously scheduled to be released on March 31, 2023, then on September 22, 2023, and on March 8, 2024.[32][33]

Reception

Box office

As of July 21, 2024, A Quiet Place: Day One has grossed $127.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $113.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $241.4 million.[3][4]

In the United States and Canada, A Quiet Place: Day One was released alongside Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1, and was projected to gross $40–50 million from 3,707 theaters in its opening weekend.[29][34] The film made $22.5 million on its first day, including $6.8 million from Thursday night previews, the best of the series. It went on to debut at $52.2 million, marking the best opening weekend of the franchise while finishing second behind holdover Inside Out 2. Anthony D'Alessandro of Deadline Hollywood attributed the accomplishment to heat waves prompting people to visit theaters, substantial walk-up business (66% of moviegoers bought tickets the day of their screening), and turnout from diverse audiences (of the opening weekend, 32% identified as Hispanic and Latino, higher than the first film's 28%). IMAX and Premium Large Formats (PLFs) accounted for 39% of the earnings, with IMAX specifically earning 11% of the weekend take.[35] The film then made $20.6 million in its second weekend, finishing in third, and $11.4 million in its third weekend, finishing in fourth.[36][37]

Internationally, the film earned $45.5 million from 59 overseas markets, a 4% increase over the opening weekend of Part II. The biggest markets were China ($9.8 million), Mexico ($4.7 million), the United Kingdom ($3.9 million), Australia ($2.6 million), and South Korea ($2.5 million).[38]

Critical response

Joseph Quinn and Lupita Nyong'o on the red carpet for the Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2024.
Quinn (left) and Nyong'o were praised for their performances.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 87% of 256 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The website's consensus reads: "Grounded in raw humanity by Lupita Nyong'o and Joseph Quinn, this sideways entry into A Quiet Place finds fresh notes of fright to play amongst the silence."[39] According to the website, critics found the film tense though less terrifying than its predecessors, and praised the performances, including the cat Frodo.[40] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 68 out of 100, based on 53 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[41] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale (the same score as the first film), while those surveyed by PostTrak gave it a 79% overall positive score, with 59% saying they would definitely recommend it.[35][42]

Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ and stated, "Anyone who has seen the previous A Quiet Place films knows that an exuberant happy ending is not awaiting Samira and Eric but, in the time they have together, perhaps they can find things that will make life a little better. You can see this same sensitivity with performers in A Quiet Place: Day One. Nyong'o walks from Chinatown to Harlem for a slice of pizza even though aliens are killing everyone in the city. On paper, that's idiotic. But somehow, this movie ends up being quite touching in between scenes when it's making you jump."[43] A two and a half star review at RogerEbert.com stated, "There are enough interesting ideas and at least two confident performances holding A Quiet Place: Day One together, even if it sometimes feels like a first draft of a richer, more complex final film."[44] Rating it three out of five stars, Peter Bradshaw's review for The Guardian read: "It's an efficient, if familiar, spectacle of suspense."[45]

Variety's Peter Debruge criticized the fact that most of the film was "tiptoeing through a mostly off-screen apocalypse".[46]

References

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