Lupita Nyong’o (left) and Djimon Hounsou (right) star in “A Quiet Place: Day One” (Photo Credit: Gareth Gatrell/Paramount Pictures).

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(“A Quiet Place: Day One” trailer courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Everyone and everything have an origin story.

Before Boyz II Men came Unique Attraction.

And before New Kids on the Block came Nynuk.

However, many times the origin is not as spectacular as the finished product.

But in the case of “A Quiet Place: Day One,” the origin story is just as epic as the finished product in a movie that is just as heartfelt as horrifying.

“A Quiet Place” is one of the best suspense and horror franchises to come out in recent years.

The premise is that blind aliens invade Earth, hellbent on death and destruction.

To escape death, people must remain quiet.

Any noise could alert the aliens to where humans are.

While modern humanity has learned how to survive amid the alien invasion, the unfortunate guinea pigs of the early 20th century do not have the luxury of years of learning how to coexist with this existential threat to humanity.

In “A Quiet Place: Day One,” Sam (Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”) and the rest of the residents at her hospice are just trying to survive, period.

Every day is a journey.

And every day they wake up is a blessing.

Nevertheless, that does not make for an easy and stress-free existence.

Sam is a world-renown poet.

But her current predicament has reduced her career to sh*t.

All Sam wants to do is relive some of the best days of her life, which included live shows with her father, jazz performances and pizza dinners.

So, when she is invited to attend a show with the rest of the hospice residents, she agrees to accompany them if they can get some pizza once they are in the city for the show.

Well, a wise person once said that if a person wants to make God laugh, then that person should tell Him their plans.

Suffice it say, Sam’s plans go completely haywire towards the end of the show.

Right before Sam can get that coveted slice of pizza, a nurse at the hospice is advised to bring the residents back to the hospice because something suspicious is occurring in the heart of New York City.

In “A Quiet Place: Day One,” as residents of early 21st century New York look up at the sky, they do not see an adversary from another country.

They see an adversary coming from another world.

While the normal response to an invasion of any kind would be screams, shrieks and cries for help, that typical response is what will lead to more devastation in “A Quiet Place: Day One.”

Fortunately, human beings are often quick learners.

Therefore, it is not too long before other survivors like Henri (Djimon Hounsou, “Guardians of the Galaxy”) are doing everything in their power to save as many lives as possible, even if heart-wrenching decisions must be made.

But the problem with saving many lives is that it requires surrounding yourselves with many people at a time in which any noise could lead to a brutal demise.

In “A Quiet Place: Day One,” Sam desperately wants to figure out her new world on her own.

All she needs is the company of her cat who has comforted her throughout her medical ordeal.

Unfortunately for Sam, she has a bugaboo that keeps following her everywhere she goes even through she quietly begs him to go his own separate way.

In normal times, Eric (Joseph Quinn, “Stranger Things”) would be a stalker or creeper.

Eric probably would have gotten MeToo’d or Times Up’d.

But desperate times call for desperate measures.

In “A Quiet Place: Day One,” Eric is worrying about survival not his reputation or the possibility of society canceling him.

The law school student is terrified of dying.

Therefore, he attaches himself to Sam’s hip in a desperate attempt to survive this threat to Earth from outer space.

Their new alliance shows how heartfelt and heartwarming humans can be when push comes to shove.

Unfortunately, aliens intent on death do not care about what is heartwarming.

They just want to make sure they can stop as many heartbeats as possible.

And that is totally horrific for the people enduring that nightmare.

“A Quiet Place: Day One” is unique because the origin story unites strangers in a quest for survival against alien invaders.

In past installments, the focused centered on family members.

The dynamic of the prequel truly shows how humanity can come together when faced with a common enemy.

When catastrophe strikes, it does not matter what demographic a person belongs to because when it comes to survival, the human race is all that matters.

In fact, “A Quiet Place: Day One” does not even mention whether a person is male or female, or Black or White.

The film just shows New Yorkers united in a quest to stay alive.

Unfortunately, movie franchises are movie franchises for a reason.

Moviegoers have already familiarized themselves with the plotline of “A Quiet Place.”

But that does not stop “A Quiet Place: Day One” from shining.

That is probably a testament to how good a movie it is because a movie cannot become a part of franchise without some predictability.

And despite what happened to pop music groups like Boy II Men and New Kids on the Block, “A Quiet Place: Day One” proves that the origin story can be just as good as the finished product.

 

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Todd A. Smith
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