‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Movie Review
Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet...
In director John Krasinski’s sequel to the 2018 runaway horror hit, the now-widowed Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) and her three children, oldest Regan (Millicent Simmonds), middle child Marcus (Noah Jupe), and infant (unnamed and unattributed), find a reluctant ally in Emmett (Cillian Murphy), an old family friend turned expert survivalist. When the kids figure out that there are people hiding out on an island that’s supposedly uninhabited by the monsters, they find a glimmer of hope. But it turns out that the killer alien creatures aren’t the only adversaries they’ll have to face.
2018’s A Quiet Place was a tight, intense, and very well-made monster movie that showed audiences that creature features can not only still be done well, but can be done well for a fairly wide audience. It was a hit with critics, audiences, and the box office, so a sequel was inevitable. And you know what? It’s really great, too! Personally, I don’t think it’s quite as good as the first one, but the fact that it’s even competitive is an achievement for Krasinski, especially since he initially didn’t want to make a sequel. Seeing him being two for two as a director has been awesome for fans of his career as an actor (of which I am one).
While the first film was very self-contained, A Quiet Place Part II gives us a broader look at the world, post-invasion, and in the opening scene, pre-invasion. The very beginning of the film flashes back to the day the creatures arrived, à la War of the Worlds. Seeing that “Day 1” invasion was cool, and it was a wise choice to save it for the sequel, in my opinion. This is actually the only time Krasinski appears on screen, and while seeing more of him would have been cool, it would have made his death in the first film feel less finite, so I’d say it was the better decision. This also allows us to see the friends and neighbors that the Abbotts lost, making their world that much more tragic and desolate. As stated before, the film also features some new threats, in addition to the literal monsters. I won’t say anything more, but if you’re well-versed in post-apocalyptic horror like me, you can probably guess where it’s going.
The heart and soul of the first film was the character Regan, the deaf daughter played by actually deaf actress Millicent Simmons. While the previous film focused on her relationship with her father, this one sees her trying to be the hero, as well as forming a sort of bond with Cillian Murphy’s character, Emmett. Both are very determined, but Regan’s heroic idealism clashes with Emmett’s bitter cynicism. The relationship they form is very sweet, and I never thought it felt forced. Murphy is no stranger to the genre, having starred in the film 28 Days Later, and he fits right in. Obviously, Emily Blunt delivers, just as she always does. She is now somewhat more jaded and somber (for obvious reasons), but she never loses her loving motherly instincts. I also have to give props to Noah Jupe, the young actor who plays Marcus. He is able to hold his own alongside some heavy hitters, and that’s always impressive, especially for a kid. We also get a cameo from beloved character actor Djimon Hounsou, and as short as it may be, he makes the most of his time on screen.
This film is absolutely just has intense as the first film; some people even saying even more so. Being able to act against purely-CGI characters can be tough, especially when conveying fear, but this cast manages to do so magnificently. I just love the design of these monsters. The way they move and the sounds they make are so creepy and menacing. You can really feel the tension whenever they are present. One of the most suspenseful highlights of the first movie was the infamous grain silo sequence, which felt incredibly real, especially since the horror isn’t even coming directly from the monsters. There is a similar scene in this film involving a vault that might actually outdo that one. But again, I won’t say anything more.
A Quiet Place Part II succeeds at both expanding the universe of its predecessor and maintaining the heart-stopping tension that made it an instant favorite. Krasinski continues to hone his skills behind the camera, creating ample suspense and a bevy of scares that never feels cheap. Featuring excellent creature effects and outstanding performances all around, this is a worthy sequel that continues to show that monster movies can still be fun, effective, and sincerely terrifying.