It’s still fresh in my memory how back in the simpler days of 2018, A Quiet Place was making waves with its use of a premise around the filmmaking element of sound and how it uses that sound to turn tension horror into dread. It was remarkable for its time and solidified the fact that horror film stock was rising in mainstream cinema. I never expected there to be a sequel for A Quiet Place. Although you could see the potential for more after the ending of the first film, I still though that the open ending would remain an unanswered mystery. The film was lightning in a bottle, and I didn’t want it to be opened up out of fear of getting dirt on its reputation. If there is one thing that A Quiet Place Part II proved to me, it’s that this is not the end of these films because where film sequels have failed time and time again to live up to what came before, A Quiet Place Part II might actually be better.
Something you should consider is how much you love the gimmick A Quiet Place offered before you see this film. If you remember A Quiet Place, then you know that it never really depended on the strength of its story, it was the hush-hush world the characters lived in that drove the film. But now we know how it works, I felt the film would be disappointing if they still continued to rely of the wonderment of its world. Thankfully, the filmmakers shared my thought, and A Quiet Place Part II is definitely a more story driven film. And boy what a story.
The writing for A Quiet Place Part II has improved massively. Putting in contrast with the first film, A Quiet Place was a story where the parents Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) were in control. Now in this sequel, it’s the turn of the children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) to take charge. Underneath the story is a narrative of the children taking on adult responsibility and becoming independent individuals. Regan is definitely turning out to becoming a bit of a fighter, after we learn the aliens can be defeated through the feedback of her hearing aid, she sets a plan to broadcast the feedback noise on a wider scale. Marcus meanwhile is stuck with baby duty alongside Evelyn so there’s that going on. The film does an amazing job of showing the children maturing, I also like the fact they each have their moment where they realise how scary being independent can be because there’s so many things you have to look out for.
There is a very warm welcome to the newest addition of A Quiet Place in Emmett (Cillian Murphy). I’m just going to come out and say it, best casting I’ve seen in years. This is the perfect role and film to cast Cillian Murphy in. The man is legendary for being able to act with just his eyes and considering a lot of the acting is done with just facial and body language, John Krasinski has struck gold with this choice. I also really enjoyed his character, he isn’t written as some sort of new father figure or male role model for the children, he’s just another person who has had his own troubles as a father, which is resolved through the interactions he has with the Abbotts, in particular Regan. I also enjoyed how the film drip feeds new information on the world and aliens, it doesn’t resort to heaps of information just because we have an idea of how the world works now, there’s still a lot to learn.
If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ll know that this film takes us back to how this world came to be, you see the aliens arriving, the initial hysteria and so on. This scene is pretty long for an opening, but it encompasses a lot of answers to questions you didn’t know needed asking. Something I love about what this opening scene explained is how the Abbotts quickly understood ‘the rules’ of the new world. I don’t want to hint at too much, but we’re also introduced to Emmett in this opening scene also and you come to love him even more after his establishment here.
If you remember back to my review of A Quiet Place, you’ll know that I talked a lot about how the film was a shining example of tension at it’s finest. Now with A Quiet Place Part II, that type of horror has had to evolve and if I’m honest, it hasn’t worked quite how I believe the filmmakers intended. Don’t get me wrong, the tension is still there, but I couldn’t help but notice that the tension breaking was too jumpy at times. The first film’s tension was so tight with its grip, it felt like it wouldn’t let go, with A Quiet Place Part II, it felt too relaxing at times. When you talk about sequels, you have to talk about if it lives up to its predecessor, I believe on the story category it does, but the horror was lagging behind for me.
I do feel that these films end quite abruptly. I wasn’t expecting the first film to end where it did, and it was like déjà vu with this film as well. I believe they’re done purposefully to leave room for future films, but the level of investment is at maximum and to have it cut off is almost depressing. I guess you can compare it to how TV shows end episodes, but with film you do need a level of closure.
There are very minimal gripes you can come up with for A Quiet Place Part II because it feels like a perfect film when watching it. Any issues I have are minor and don’t affect the experience this film offers in any way. John Krasinski through exemplary writing has managed to capture lightning in a bottle twice and I can say with all the confidence in the world that the future is crystal clear for the soon to be A Quiet Place series.
Final Result: 9/10 – Excellent
Have you seen A Quiet Place Part II? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: The Father