A Quiet Place: Day One's Stressful and Tragic Ending, Explained

lupita nyongo as samira and joseph quinn as eric in a quiet place day one from paramount pictures
'A Quiet Place: Day One' Ending, ExplainedGareth Gatrell

[There are major spoilers ahead for A Quiet Place: Day One. If you don't want to know how the film ends, exit this story!]

Calling Silently gesturing at all who want to see A Quiet Place: Day One but need to know how it ends because otherwise they'll be too freaked, or watched this prequel without seeing the other movies in the horror franchise that came before it. Here's everything you need to know about the ending of A Quiet Place: Day One and what it means for future films.

The film stars Lupita Nyong'o and Joseph Quinn as two Manhattan-bound survivors at the beginning of the apocalypse we're familiar with from the A Quiet Place films. Aliens fall out of the sky. The creatures can't see you, but they can hear you—and if they hear you there's a pretty high chance that they're going to kill and eat you. In the second movie, we learned that the creatures can't swim. That's beneficial to the characters in this movie. As long as they get off the island, they're safe.

The catch or twist, so to speak, in this horror/disaster movie is that the survivor we're following is in a hospice facility with terminal cancer. Our heroine Samira aka Sam (Nyong'o) starts the movie joking that she might not even live long enough to go on the field trip to the city where she spends the rest of the film. This changes the stakes considerably. We're not rooting for Sam to die, obviously, because that would be cruel. But we can understand why going to a pizzeria in East Harlem from her childhood, across from a jazz club where her father used to play, is more important to her than making it out of NYC alive. Along for the journey are a service cat named Frodo (get it? Sam and Frodo?) and a young law student named Eric (Quinn).

Do they get their pizza?

They finally make it to the jazz club. The pizza place is closed, but Eric finds a substitute nearby and the two make do with what they have. Sam reconnects with her memories and the things that make life worth living. But how does it end? What happens next?

First things first: does the cat die?

No! Sam's furry companion makes it out of the film alive.

Do Sam and Eric make it out alive?

This is where things get a little more complicated and sad. At the end of the movie, after Eric and Sam enjoy their pizza, Sam gives her dad's yellow cardigan to Eric and the two enact a silent plan. (It may seem obvious that the plan is silent, given the nature of the Quiet Place universe, but we don't see any of the discussion beforehand–so everything that happens from that point on comes as a surprise.)

Sam and Eric head to the East River, where a ferry boat full of survivors is blaring its horn to keep the creatures on the shore and away from the citizens both in the water and in the city. The two split up, and Sam says goodbye to Frodo. She then runs ahead, smashing cars and creating a distraction so that the creatures clear a path for Eric and Frodo to get to the water. This also gets the attention of the people on board. Eric jumps off of a pier and swims to the ferry. There, Eric and Frodo are rescued by Henri (Djimon Hounsou) and his family.

Meanwhile, Sam goes back to the jazz club. When she's ready, she takes her iPod and goes for one last walk in the city. In the film's final moment, an alien attacks and kills her. Since her terminal illness meant she could die at any point anyway, she chooses to get it over with and on her own terms. It's brutal and tragic, but I get it.

Where is the boat going?

A Quiet Place: Part One isn't just a prequel because it's set at the beginning of the apocalypse that A Quiet Place takes place in. One of the supporting characters is a key figure who appears in A Quiet Place: Part II, Henri–though Hounsou's character didn't have a name in that film. He is the leader of a community on an island that our heroes meet up with in the sequel. He says that the boat is one of only two who survived–and the community isn't doing great by the end of A Quiet Place: Part II. So I wouldn't think too hard about whether or not Eric and Frodo made it long enough to pop up in A Quiet Place: Part III, which should be out next year. It's possible they're alive... maybe?

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