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The untapped potential of “A Quiet Place: Day One” – Guy Denton

There is no clearer sign of the decline of a horror franchise than a sensational change of location. Although A quiet place (2018) was marred by an often perfunctory script, the rustic, simple setting of a remote farm helping to conjure a distinctly haunting atmosphere. But after a sequel that largely retained that austere aesthetic and was uninspiring, the series seems unsure how to further expand on a premise that’s already all but exhausted.

A quiet place: day one hopes the solution lies in scale and spectacle. This wild prequel moves the excitement of the franchise from the green valleys of upstate New York to the urban chaos of Manhattan. Unfortunately, the change of location makes for a grim reminder of such ill-conceived horror outings as Jason Vorhees’ visit to the Big Apple and Lubdan’s vacation in Las Vegas. day one is a shallow exercise in genre convention, full of invention and largely devoid of memorable shock moments. Lubdan was at least polite enough to accept his own ridiculousness.

We follow Sam (Lupita Nyong’o), a terminally ill cancer patient living in a hospice on the outskirts of New York City. She is lonely and restless, but finds a reason to be somewhat cheerful when her nurse, Reuben (Alex Wolff), offers to drive her into the city to a puppet theater. For Sam, the trip is just a means to achieve her ultimate goal – grabbing one last slice of New York pizza at Harlem’s famous Patsy’s Pizzeria.

The show is set in Chinatown, but the otherwise relaxed journey to the restaurant is disrupted when meteorites suddenly hit the city, triggering an invasion of monstrous, insect-like aliens that rampage through the five boroughs, slaughtering everyone in sight. Sam is knocked unconscious in the attack. When she wakes up, her fellow survivors have discovered that the aliens are blind but hypersensitive to sound; even a quiet whisper or the sound of glass crunching means certain death for the unfortunate perpetrator. The government tells all survivors to get into the water, as the aliens cannot swim, but Sam is undeterred and instead sets off on an arduous journey to the pizzeria to end her life on her own terms.