Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou and John Krasinski
Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world.
Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realise that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
A Quiet Place was a surprise and commercial success in the spring of 2018, with the high concept of an extraterrestrial species arriving on Earth and killing everything in sight as they use their hypersensitive hearing to hunt, leading to audiences following the Abbott family trying to survive by remaining as silent as possible and communicating primarily through sign language, with the films conclusion and critical and commercial reception, a followup was inevitable. While we finally get the sequel three years later, the film takes place immediately where the original film ended, with the Abbott family having final the attack on their home. Since it’s no longer the safe haven it used to be, they decide to venture beyond the sand path, though they soon come to realise that the aliens that hunt by sound are not the only threats in the world.
I absolutely loved the opening sequence in which we see through the Abbott’s just what happened on the first day the blind alien killing-machines arrived. The way Krasinski builds and cranks the tension in that sequence, while making us familiar with the location of the town they’re in which is the exact same as where we first seen them in the original film, is executed so well that it could be argued that this could be one of, if not the, best opening sequence we’ll see this year. Like the original, there’s a few scenes in which Krasinski builds the suspense, leaving the audience waiting for the next jump scare and, for the most part it’s effectively done. Despite the growth spirt of some of the characters (particularly young Marcus), the film does take place immediately after the original’s ending, and I knew that going into the film, but I wonder if this will jar some viewers initially, but I appreciated in a day-and-age of de-aging technology, they just rolled with it. We also have some characters making certain decisions (i.e. Evelyn looking to do her own thing in order to help) that still feel correct with their actions from the previous film, but might cause a few sighs or eyerolls.
I was still invested in the Abbott family as a whole, following them having to move on to uncharted territory whilst trying to overcome a tragic loss. Emily Blunt is still as reliably good as ever as Evelyn, while Noah Jupe still, for me, has some of the best facial expressions when it comes to highlighting Marcus’s fear and terror at the creatures. As good as they are however, this definitely feels like Millicent Simmonds’s film, if I were to make an odd comparison, it feels very TellTale’s Walking Dead-ish, in that Lee may have felt like the main character in the original, here it’s definitely young Regan as veers on a path that could either have drastic consequences for the Abbott family or one that could provide help and hope for any remaining surviving humans out there. There’s a new character introduced to this world known as Emmett, played by the great Cillian Murphy, and I really enjoyed his subdued performance of a man whose just beat down, given up on trying to help others because of the horrors he’s seen that the Abbott’s haven’t on the humanity scale, not to mention those that he’s lost. His interaction and journey alongside Regan is definitely one of the highlights of the film for me.
While I enjoyed the flashback opening sequence, the rest of the sequel doesn’t really present much visually in terms of the world building, other than mentioning some things verbally that maybe future films in the franchise can showcase (examples: Djimon Hounsou’s character revealing about how he learnt about one of the aliens weaknesses, Emmett telling Evelyn that the people remaining aren’t the kind of people worth saving). While the first film was co-written by Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and John Krasinski, here Krasinski is the sole credit writer on the sequel, but the sequel doesn’t feel as tightly structured as the original, primarily because the Abbott family get separated, and Emily Blunt’s Evelyn feels sidelined in order to give Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe more focus this time round. This also leads to one particular character doing something that made me sigh and didn’t feel organic in how it was executed, as well as plot convenience that just felt like we need something like this to happen in order to ramp up the tension in the climatic finale.
While it didn’t for me as well as the original did, A Quiet Place Part II is still a solid sci-fi horror/thriller, with the original performers still being really good here, especially Millicent Simmonds, and Cillian Murphy is a welcome addition to this world.