John Krasinski’s breakout directional effort was quite the surprise when it hit theatre’s back in 2018. The final frame felt like a fitting and sophisticated end to the prior events laid out in the thrilling spectacle. A mere weeks later and the rumours of a sequel would be set to release in the coming years. Expecting the worst (especially going on the basis that most horror sequels are rather sucky), I finally made my way back to the theatre, after what seems like an eternity of being away, and relished in the fact that cinema could well and truly be back. So whilst I might be drunk on the atmosphere of witnessing big screen entertainment once again, calling Krasinski the saviour of cinema may feel a little much. Nevertheless it’s the welcome back I desperately needed.
After an enthralling and nail-biting introduction to this sequel, which takes us back to ‘Day 1’, the moment the world turned into the quiet chaos it has become over a year later, it kicks off where the previous instalment left us. The Abbott family (minus Lee after his heroic, suicidal act) have worked out a way to take out the deftly dangerous monsters that have been terrorising Earth since they landed. With this new information, which finds a common weakness in the human hunting demons, the Abbott family look to leave their sheltered safe haven to branch out into the unknown.
Evelyn (Emily Blunt), accompanied by her newborn and two other children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Dupe), will discover new threats, be given new hope and run into an old friend as they aim to wonder through the rough and desolate streets.
The decision to kick things off with the collapse of humanity was the right touch. This was something that was left out of the opening instalment entirely, but it establishes the clinical tension that is felt throughout much of its runtime. It was also a nice way of bringing Lee (John Krasinski) back into it, after his devastating exit.
Where the first instalment relied solely on the journey of the Abbott family, the role of Emmett (played by Cillian Murphy) fills the void left by Krasinski’s departure. Whilst the story is still very much focused on the same protagonists, they find themselves splitting up into separate journeys. Which becomes equal parts intriguing and frustrating as the film goes on. The pacing at times suffers due to certain moments that they try to cram together, and it tries to tackle multiple side quests as apposed to telling one fluid moving narrative.
There’s plenty of obvious jump scares and this film offers classic Hollywood, tension driven timing on more than one occasion, which made the experience feel unnecessarily hammy.
What worked so well the first time around is still very fundamental here. The cleverly utilised sound design which goes hand in hand with certain narrative and character progressions. The creature design and their interesting constraints still hold up well in a separate viewing and it’s still a gripping and intense affair that especially being viewed at the big screen (as is intended and highly recommended) will have you on the edge of your seats for the most part.
The breakup of different little stories coexisting side by side makes certain moments feel a little clumsy and takes you out of one intense segment to throw you into another. Cillian Murphy was a fantastic inclusion and gets a larger portion of script and screen time than I was expecting. The same unfortunately can’t be said for Djimon Hounsou, who is given the smallest of support roles to work with.
The adult performers (lets not forget Emily Blunt who once again turns in a stellar performance) really do well with the material their given but the young performers, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Dupe, are really the stars of this sequel. Millicent in particular who once again gets a big brunt of the story put on her shoulders and she takes it on and performs alongside Blunt and Murphy like it’s nothing.
A Quiet Place Part II is certainly a film I have some issues with. Some of the pacing suffers, the story isn’t perhaps quite as polished as the prior movie and towards the end the novelty and terror of these monsters start to wear thin. But still a fairly comprehensive and highly entertaining flick this sequel certainly is. Ending much like the first film, this sequel has the potential of taking the story further, but it doesn’t necessarily need to.
If you’re raring to get back to the theatre’s once again, then I recommend A Quiet Place Part II as a good starting point.