Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, John Krasinski
Written by: John Krasinski, (based on the characters created) Scott Beck and Bryan Woods
Running Time: 97 mins
Release date: 4th June 2021
It’s not too often nowadays to find a film that doesn’t have a history, isn’t a reboot or sequel do big business at the box office, but A Quiet Place managed to do just that. A massive success in 2018, the film’s sequel was one of the most anticipated movies of last year until lockdown stopped its plans. Now A Quiet Place Part II is finally here, and was it worth the wait? You bet your bottom dollar it was. A sequel that manages to be bigger, bolder and just as nerve-jangling.
Set just seconds after the end of A Quiet Place, Evelyn Abbott and her children, Regan, Marcus and her newborn, now have to fend for themselves and decide to head towards a beacon belonging to fellow townsperson, Emmett. Refusing to give them refuge from the aliens, Regan recovers a radio signal playing Beyond The Sea on a loop. Determined to find the sound, she goes alone as she believes there may be a sanctuary on an island. Her journey becomes perilous, as does Evelyn and Marcus, stranded in Emmett’s warehouse home with the aliens closing in.
Anyone who has never seen the original may need to do some catching up beforehand, as this certainly Part 2 of a series. It does start with a spectacular prologue that explains how the aliens arrived and wiped out the town the Abbotts live in (allowing a sneaky cameo from writer and director John Krasinski). From that point on, the rift and beat of the original are stamped all over this. They have to be silent; otherwise, the aliens will find them and will kill them. Simple. What Krasinski manages to do this time is build on that premise and expand the world the Abbotts live.
He also focuses much more on the eldest child, Regan. The deaf girl has managed to find a way to stop the creatures in their tracks, and so it must be her who has to find safety for her family. As she heads towards the coast to find the magical island, Evelyn and Marcus are left behind, with their neighbour, and friend Emmett forced to go with the girl. We have double the thrills and chills, as both parties have to face their dilemmas.
Krasinski gives the characters room to develop. Evelyn is now the actual mother figure, with her newborn relying on oxygen to stop her from crying to keeping Marcus, her anxiety-ridden young son, from the perils outside and after suffering an accident that almost kills them all. Yet Regan is the one who has grown the most, having to become almost fearless and on a mission of great importance, even though she doesn’t hear a sound and has to face her fears.
From the start, the film is determined to leave you entirely shaken by the end. Rammed with jump scares, this works so effectively compared to other horror films because the film becomes almost an immersive experience. You dare not make a sound yourself as the characters on screen quietly go about their business trying to survive. You also care about these people. They are not rooted in evil or have some ulterior motive. All they want to do is try and live a life without tragedy.
The performances are top-notch, with Emily Blunt slowly becoming the mother everyone would love to have. Her calmness is constantly hiding the pure terror of the situation, and she manages to portray this just in her eyes alone. The addition of Cillian Murphy as Emmett is welcoming, and he fits the shoes once filled by the director well. Yet it is Millicent Simmonds who steals the show as the gutsy Regan. Her face expresses a thousand thoughts, making you care what happens. She is a star in the making.
A Quiet Place Part II does have some plot holes that you gladly look over because John Krasinski has become so much more assured of as a director. He understands how to build tension, how to place his characters into peril and, all the while, never being bogged down with exposition or unnecessary subplots. At a crisp 97 minutes, this is a thrill ride that is equal to the brilliant first part, and I, for one, cannot wait for part III.
4 out of 5