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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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‘A Quiet Place: Day One:’ A Silent Cinematic Experience

Michael Sarnoski directed this uniquely apocalyptic film as a “spin off” prequel to the first “A Quiet Place” movie.
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Madelyn Foulger
(Design by Madelyn Foulger | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

Your heart rate speeds, your palms start to sweat, the edge of your seat beckons and a hush falls over the crowd as the opening credits of “A Quiet Place: Day One” fill the screen. 

The franchise’s prior box office success only solidifies this third installment, which premiered on June 27, as one of the most anticipated horror movie releases of the year so far. Michael Sarnoski directed this uniquely apocalyptic film as a “spin off” prequel to the first A Quiet Place movie.

What Had Happened Was

The film focuses on a woman named Sam (Lupita Nyong’o) who is a terminally ill cancer patient living in New York City with her service cat named Frodo, when a group of extraterrestrial beings invade its skies. 

It is swiftly discovered that the creatures are entirely blind and possess an acute sense of hearing which will require the group of survivors to remain almost entirely silent to avoid drawing their ears. This task is uncharacteristically difficult because New York is considered to be one of the loudest cities in the world. The day-to-day life in its streets accumulate 90 decibels which is the frequency of a constant scream, making it prime hunting grounds for this unknown species. 

When the invasion begins, the people who survive the initial stampede seek shelter, but Sam has other plans. Her dying wish is to return to her home city of Harlem and eat pizza from a restaurant called “Patty’s” near the bar where her deceased father played piano before he passed. Regardless of the current state of the world, she has no intention of deviating from that plan. Along her journey she happens upon the company of a man named Eric (Joseph Quinn) and, in the most unlikely way, becomes both his lifeline and saving grace. 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The “A Quiet Place” movie franchise as a whole is difficult to hone because of its intense lack of a script. The actors must be overly expressive in their facial expressions and body language to articulate the emotion that normally comes from speech. Nyong’o gave a particularly flawless depiction of both terror and strength in the way that she played Sam’s character. She balanced the look of complete horror at the creatures around her with the internal strength of a cancer warrior. Even with her failing health, she took the role of the leader when Eric came to her anxious and alone. The irony of their relationship is astounding.

I knew that a horror movie could pull at your heartstrings, but this one snapped them in two. The subplot that existed regarding Sam’s battle with cancer and the loss of her father and how they both intertwine with the roots of the film added a much needed element of sentimentality that the horror genre often lacks. These hardships allowed viewers to see Sam’s character as human, and therefore empathize with her predicament. 

Honorable Mention: Frodo Has Nine Lives

So often in horror movies, there is one character who should have died in the opening scene, that magically, somehow makes it to the end. In this film, the cat takes the cake. Nearly the entire population of New York City of people perished within the first hour of the film, yet Frodo managed to make it to the final credits. Don’t get me wrong, we are all relieved that the adorable kitten was not eaten by aliens, but that cat really does have nine lives. 

 

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@thornrosejayy

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About the Contributors
Jordan Thornblad
Jordan Thornblad, Arts Writer
(she/her) Jordan Nicole Thornblad is a junior at the University of Utah and is majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism. She enjoys reading anything and everything that she can get her hands on from classic literature to the most recently viral young adult novels. She spends her free time watching Criminal Minds, wandering the aisles of thrift stores and vintage markets and reminiscing on her years as a competitive figure skater by spending nights at local ice rinks. She finds joy in building outfits and expressing herself through personal style which is why she hopes to take her love of writing and the experience she gains while working on the Chrony and turn them into a career in fashion journalism.
Madelyn Foulger
Madelyn Foulger, Social Media Manager, Design Contributer
(she/her) Madelyn started at the Chronicle in 2022 as a social media contributor and designer before becoming Social Media Manager in May 2023. She's double majoring in Film and Media Arts and English with minors in Honors Human Rights and Resources and British Studies. Madelyn enjoys various creative pursuits, including writing, illustration, design, film, and photography. When not being artistic she can be found reading or listening to music.

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