Movie Reviews

How Scary & Violent A Quiet Place: Day One Is Compared To The Previous Movies


  • A Quiet Place: Day One is a prequel focusing on the initial chaos of the alien invasion
  • The film’s PG-13 rating is justified by terror and violent content, but it doesn’t push violent boundaries, making it suitable for younger horror fans.
  • A Quiet Place: Day One is scarier and less violent than the previous movies, using suspense and obscured deaths to create terror.

A Quiet Place: Day One is the latest horror film to come to theaters in 2024, with some audiences wondering if they can bring their kids along for the ride. Set before the events of the prior two films in the A Quiet Place series, A Quiet Place: Day One highlights the initial chaos that takes place when the aliens initially arrive on Earth. Largely disconnected from the other two movies, A Quiet Place: Day One boasts a strong character focus, while contending with a fatal prognosis for her health, struggles to evade certain death alongside unexpected survivors she encounters.

All three films in the series were rated PG-13, reflecting their frightening nature, monstrous creatures, and intense subject matter. However, the films are also largely rooted in the tension of the situation, and less focused on blood and guts than many other horror movies. This makes them uniquely well-suited for younger horror fans, who might be more squeamish about gore but capable of handling the jump-scares and intense nature of the series. Here’s how the horror of A Quiet Place: Day One compares to the rest of the series, and if that means the movie is suitable for younger audiences.


A Quiet Place: Day One’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Debut Keeps An Impressive Franchise Streak Alive

A Quiet Place: Day One receives a positive critical reception that maintains an impressive Rotten Tomatoes streak for the horror franchise.

A Quiet Place: Day One’s PG-13 Rating Explained

A Quiet Place: Day One Doesn’t Push The Boundaries Of The Rating

Lupita Nyong'o as Sam runs for cover behind a car in A Quiet Place Day One still

A Quiet Place: Day One is rated PG-13 for its frightening turns, and works for wide audiences because the film doesn’t necessarily push the boundaries of that rating. The prequel to 2018’s A Quiet Place, A Quiet Place: Day One focuses on the titular day when the aliens referred to in-universe as “Death Angels” landed on Earth. The film is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for “terror and violent content/bloody images.” More than anything, the phrase “terror” applies well to A Quiet Place: Day One. The movie leans heavily into suspense, playing the horrifying concept with admirable restraint.

Much of the film’s tension is rooted in moving through a cityscape without making any noise, and what happens when that fails. Lupita Nyong’o’s Sam and Joseph Quinn’s Eric struggle to navigate the buildings, alleyways, and subway tunnels of New York City without being found by the creatures. While there is some violent content due to the monster’s hostile nature, they tend to tackle their prey and dispatch them off-screen. The “bloody images” instead refers to the bloody stains that can be seen on walls or the handful of bodies Sam comes across instead of any explicit gore or bloodshed.

A Quiet Place: Day One Is Scarier Than The Previous Movies

The Overwhelming Tension Of A Quiet Place: Day One Is What Makes It So Scary

A Quiet Place: Day One might be the most effective film in the series, and works well as a scary movie. What makes A Quiet Place: Day One work is the way it infuses suspense into every action taken by Sam or Eric. Looking for medicine or getting out of the rain can quickly become lethal endeavors if they make too much noise and get found out by one of the aliens. There are jump-scares in the movie, but the film largely utilizes sudden flashes of terror as the unnaturally quick aliens chase the protagonists and kill anyone they catch.

Whereas the first A Quiet Place was a largely self-contained take on the concept and the second film explored different settings, A Quiet Place: Day One utilizes the sheer scale of the city to strong effect. The scarier scenes are more intense than anything else in the series, partly because the audience can’t fully see what’s happening. The real terror in A Quiet Place: Day One comes from the sudden shift from slow and methodical to loud and ferocious whenever one of the creatures attacks the survivors. It’s a more effective scary movie than the prior entries in the series.


A Quiet Place’s Prequel Movie Is Putting The Previous Movies’ Aliens To Shame

The second trailer for the horror franchise prequel A Quiet Place: Day One showcases how the movie’s alien monsters outdo the previous two movies.

A Quiet Place: Day One Isn’t As Violent As The Previous Movies

A Quiet Place: Day One Is Scarier For What It Doesn’t Show

Lupita Nyong'o as Sam wanders through the destroyed city streets in A Quiet Place Day One still

A Quiet Place: Day One does feature some notable kills, but feels less overtly violent than the previous movies in the series. While characters are dispatched by the monsters, those kills are often obstructed. At most, audiences will see the creatures tackling someone off-screen. These moments don’t receive the focus that they did in either the first or second film. While there is some bloody imagery in the form of splatters on the walls, it doesn’t compare to scenes like Evelyn stepping on a nail in the first film or Marcus getting stuck in a bear trap in the second.

There’s not nearly as much direct bodily harm shown in A Quiet Place: Day One. Where there are plenty of deaths, they are portrayed as frightening or tragic instead of gory and bloody. Due to the massive amount of dust and smoke that occurs during some of the big alien attack sequences, most of the deaths in the film are obscured. The heroes of the film are also less inclined to fight the creatures, meaning there’s less opportunity for the film to indulge in the violent confrontations that occurred in A Quiet Place II, making it a less violent movie.

Is A Quiet Place: Day One Suitable For Children?

Young Horror Fans Might Find Some Compelling Material In A Quiet Place: Day One

Eric and Sam sit up against a wall with flashlight pointing upwards in A Quiet Place Day One still

A Quiet Place: Day One is an engaging horror film that deals with a lot of adult themes in subtle ways. Questions about mortality and life are front and center in the movie, but never in a way that feels inaccessible to audiences. Much of the film also occurs without dialogue, as the survivors do their best to be quiet while trying to make their way across the alien-infested New York City. Younger audiences will likely be frightened by the Death Angels, and the scenes where the alien creatures are actively chasing the survivors may be too intense for children.

However, there’s nothing in A Quiet Place: Day One that makes it particularly inappropriate for younger horror fans. There’s not a lot of gore and bloodshed, with much of the blood seen in the film used to heighten tension rather than unsettle viewers. The violence is largely off-screen, and the character focus ends up giving the film a strong underlying message. A Quiet Place: Day One may have some intense moments, justifying the PG-13 rating. However, it never tries to push the boundaries. A Quiet Place: Day One is a solid scary movie that young fans of horror can see.

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