The roots of A Quiet Place, one of the most successful horror/thriller franchises active today, are Midwest. Even the recently released prequel, A Quiet Place: Day One, which is divorced from the core storyline, can't shake the connection.

But first, a little background. Released in 2018, A Quiet Place was directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. Beck and Woods were both raised in Bettendorf, IA, and attended the University of Iowa together. They went on to create their own production company, Bluebox Films, and sold their original screenplay to Paramount Pictures in 2016. That screenplay wound up being the basis for A Quiet Place, starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.

A Quiet Place was critically acclaimed upon its release in 2018, and managed to gross over $330 million worldwide. Beck and Woods haven't slowed down since. Right now, they're readying a brand new thriller, which is set to hit theaters in March 2023.

While Beck and Woods didn't write A Quiet Place Part II, they still received a credit due to the fact that writer/director/star John Krasinski continued the story of the characters they created. Now, A Quiet Place: Day One, the prequel to the first film, is in theaters. Starring Lupita Nyong'o and Joseph Quinn, the film follows the events that occurred the first day Earth was attacked by vicious aliens that hunt by sound.

The aliens destroy everything in their paths, and render those who want to survive silent, for the slightest footstep could lead to one meeting their fate. While Beck and Woods hailed from Bettendorf, IA, the director of Day One has Midwest roots of his own. He's also one of the most promising young directors working today, in my opinion.

The film was directed by Michael Sarnoski, who grew up in Milwaukee, WI of all places. Before making it in Hollywood, Sarnoski attended the University School of Milwaukee. Upon graduating in 2006, he attended Yale, where he majored in art and film.

Sarnoski's big break came in 2021 when he directed Pig, one of the best films of that year. The movie revolved around Nicolas Cage as a former-restauranteur-turned-hermit who foraged deep in the wilderness with the help of his truffle-hunting pig. Cage's character would collect the truffles his pig discovered, and sell them to ritzy, high-dollar restaurants to make a profit. Cage is sent into a tailspin when thieves steal his pig, leaving him to resort to forcing one of his highest paying clients (Alex Wolff) to help him recover his beloved pet.

If that sounds silly, trust me when I say Pig is a gritty and surprisingly emotional little movie that plunges you into the underbelly of the fine dining industry. Cage is extraordinary, and Sarnoski's direction is dark but not hopeless.

Not a great deal is known about Sarnoski's early life in Milwaukee, but the fact that he's a Midwestern boy is heartwarming. In A Quiet Place: Day One, Lupita Nyong'o's character desperately tries to keep her loyal cat alive during the apocalypse. From his first two movies, you can already tell Sarnoski is an animal lover, which makes him that much cooler in my mind.

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A Quiet Place: Day One has been soaring at the box office as well. In four weeks of release, it has earned just shy of $100 million at the American box office, including $21 million over the Fourth of July weekend. So far, it's earned over $178 million worldwide.

That's more-than-ok with me. Beyond being a quality prequel, Sarnoski is one of the most promising directors working today. I can't wait to see what he does next. Read more about Michael Sarnoski on his Wikipedia page.

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