“A Quiet Place: Day One is very character driven,” says Lupita Nyong’o

Billed as a backstory, the bustling city of New York is the setting of the franchise which followed a family struggling to survive in a world of forced silence after an alien invasion. In “A Quiet Place: Day One,” the main character is Lupita Nyong’o who plays Samira, a poet and cancer patient who lives at a suburban hospice facility with her service cat.

When she and her fellow patients are invited to New York city to check out a play, Samira agrees if they are able to grab a slice of pizza afterwards from her favorite joint in Harlem. Things don’t go according to plan and after they become stranded as aliens wreak havoc on the city, Samira sets off on her own as everyone else attempts to escape the city. Her goal? To grab that slice of pizza from Patsy’s Pizzeria. 

Lupita Nyong’o and Djimon Hounsou in A Quiet Place Day One

With just six months to live, she has accepted her fate and just wants to satisfy a craving. As she navigates her way through the city, which is rocked by several explosions and swarming aliens, she meets Eric (Joseph Quinn), a scared student from England who latches on to her.  A friendship between the duo develops, mostly through non-verbal actions, as she tries to navigate him and the service cat to safety.

Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn

“A Quiet Place: Day One” focuses on events that occur before the original film was released in 2018. It still raises the familiar question – how long can you walk without a sound and manage to survive? “It is very character driven,” says Nyong’o. “Yes, there are scares, but the investment is really in the characters.”

There is still plenty of chaos and pandemonium as the pair evade the aliens by darting into ramshackled buildings and swim through a flooded subway tunnel. With a brief appearance by Djimon Hounsou, the film offers nothing new and although we get a glimpse of the alien’s nest, we learn nothing more about these large hypersensitive creatures who snatch up anyone who dares make a sound.

Directed and co-written by Michael Sarnoski the film releases in theaters Friday.

By Samantha Ofole-Prince/ Photos by  Gareth Gatrell

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