‘A Quiet Place’ makes noise in its box office return

NEW YORK (OSV News) – Though it’s the third film in a franchise that kicked off in 2018, “A Quiet Place: Day One” (Paramount) serves, as its subtitle suggests, as a prequel to its predecessors. Accordingly, it recounts the opening stages of the series’ trademark showdown between resourceful humans and marauding aliens.

As in the previous outings, the giant, murderous, insect-like ETs display both strengths and weaknesses. Though they suffer from poor eyesight, and have an aversion to water, they can maneuver swiftly thanks to deft legs, and enjoy exceptionally acute hearing.

Thus earthlings in areas the creatures have occupied know that they must keep extremely quiet to avoid detection. What has yet to be made clear, over the course of the trilogy, is the overarching motive for the newcomers’ invasion.

New plot and setting

Writer-director Michael Sarnoski has successfully found a fresh plot and setting. For viewers adept enough to discern it amid all the chaos, moreover, his screenplay includes a subtext about making important sacrifices.

This go-round places the story in New York City. Though Gotham is normally quite a noisy place — as a screen caption rather superfluously informs us — it’s been forced into a dystopian silence. Additionally, as a result of warfare between the invaders and the military, large parts of Manhattan’s landscape have been left in ruins.

The focus is on two characters. Samira (Lupita Nyong’o) has been painfully dying of cancer in a hospice — a fate that has embittered her. On a field trip to a theater in the company of other patients, she suddenly finds herself alone as the metropolis begins to explode and the slaughter is instant.

Eric (Joseph Quinn) has, up to the point at which he encounters Samira, been incredibly inventive in finding ways to duck the aliens. Initially, his goal is to get to one of the downtown docks where a barge is taking survivors to safety. But plot developments eventually point the duo in the opposite direction — toward the Harlem neighborhood where Samira was raised.

Along their trek, the pair finds refuge in both a bookstore and a candlelit basilica, although substantive religious messages are not present here. As for the lessons about family bonds that were so vital to the first movie, they’ve been left behind as the filmmakers concentrate instead on the thrill-ride aspects of the saga.

Content considerations

On the positive side of the ledger, both bloodletting and off-color dialogue are kept to a minimum. So “Day One” can be considered acceptable fare for older teens as well as grown-ups.

The film contains some combat and physical violence with brief gore and fleeting rough language. The OSV News classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

This post ‘A Quiet Place’ makes noise in its box office return appeared on Our Sunday Visitor.

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