Alien inconsistency: ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ looks fantastic, but the plot is beyond implausible

John Krasinski’s blind-alien saga continues, this time with a prequel. A Quiet Place: Day One shows the first days of the invasion as the aliens attack New York City.

The premise—aliens that attack without mercy when you make any kind of sound—was interesting in the first film, but started to wear a bit thin in the sequel. Those films were directed by Krasinski, but he’s stepped back into a producer role on this one, replaced in the director’s chair by Pig director Michael Sarnoski.

Lupita Nyong’o joins the fray as Sam, a terminally ill woman dealing with the final stages of cancer. When one of her nurses (the always great Alex Wolff) invites her into the city for a marionette show, she reluctantly agrees to go, as long as she is allowed to get some pizza. The show annoys her; she steps outside with her cat for some fresh air; the sirens get louder and louder.

After Sam takes a short bus ride, the aliens start their particular brand of carnage. As before, they can’t see a damn thing, but they will hear even a muffled fart and kill you without question.

Sam and her cat get to temporary safety, where she is eventually joined by the very scared Eric (Joseph Quinn). Sam wants to be alone, but Eric doesn’t, and he fights, albeit quietly, to stay by her side.

As in the prior films, a whole lot of stuff doesn’t make sense, including the fact that the characters here do an awful lot of talking and making noise without attracting the aliens. The aliens seem to only pop out when it moves the plot along.

Krasinksi came up with a cool premise, and it made for a creepy, strange theater-going experience in the original; much of the film was silent, and thus, you were sitting in a theater in complete silence. The premise worked great in the first one, and it still worked a bit in the second—but it’s knee-slappingly silly in this one.

It’s also a little ridiculous how everybody, within mere hours, figures out things like 1) the aliens can’t see and can only hear and 2) you can mask screams and loud thumps when thunder rolls. Wait for the lightning, then scream. Don’t worry; the aliens won’t be able to figure out that the thunder is masking your screams. Scientists apparently conducted a study within mere hours and delivered pamphlets declaring that the whole screaming-during-thunder thing is a go. Just don’t crinkle that candy wrapper, because if you do, you’re gonna get it.

Nyong’o is always a marvel to watch, and she’s very good despite a script that peters out on her. The film actually almost works based on its first couple of acts, but the ending is virtually impossible. Yes, I know everything in the movie is impossible, but I still want to see logic applied when things are getting wrapped up. This one presents a circumstance that would never happen in a million years.

Sarnoski that shows his talents go beyond intimate Nicolas Cage character studies, and that he can handle a big-budget action film as far as looks are concerned. The movie looks great, with solid special effects. As for performances, he gets very good ones from Nyong’o and Quinn.

But the premise is officially tired—good more for eye rolls and groans than genuine scares. That said, A Quiet Place: Day One is kicking ass at the box office, so there will be more of these for sure. I imagine the next time out things will go from, “Oh, come on?!” to “OK, that’s it, I’m fucking done with this!”

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