Some movies wrap up so neatly that an announced sequel begs the response ‘why?’ rather than ‘yay!’. However, A Quiet Place II knows that sustained tensions have universal appeal. You may have to buy another sofa because the edge of your seat is about to get worn away.
What Is A Quiet Place 2 About?
Director John Krasinski (also sole writer this time) returns to take us once more into a land where mysterious aliens that are hyper-sensitive to sound have devastated the Earth. The only way to survive for the Abbott family is to remain silent at all times.
Picking up shortly after where A Quiet Place left off, the Abbotts possess two important things.
First, the knowledge that the distortion caused by a microphone near deaf daughter Regan’s hearing aid temporarily makes the creatures vulnerable. Second, a crying baby is not an aid to survival where noise could be lethal.
The Abbotts remain as thrillingly on the fringe of survival as before, more so now that their home is no longer a relatively safe house.
The efforts of Regan (Millicent Simmonds), mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and brother Marcus (Noah Jupe) to find sanctuary make up the opening act, along with a masterfully paced flashback to the day the creatures arrived, which re-cements the threat they pose for the audience.
A Quiet Place 2 Official Trailer
Is A Quiet Place II Worth Watching?
A Quiet Place II thankfully seems designed to avoid enfranchisement of the movies. Instead this is a sequel designed to say, “…and this is what happened next” rather than succumb to set up bloat to swell up future instalments.
A portion of the lip-biting viewing experience is diminished now that we are familiar with the world, and now that the Abbotts have a minor weapon against the creatures. This sequel leans more towards action that makes you forget to blink, rather than tension that makes you forget to breathe.
Regan – petulant or determined depending on your view – is vital to this plot and Simmonds carries that pressure well. Her resolute confidence stands up strong in scenes with newcomer Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders).
Murphy is a fine addition to the cast as he is reluctantly drawn in to helping the Abbotts. When Murphy, always adept at suggesting a multitude of battling emotions beneath those crystal blue eyes, speaks of having seen the worst in people in this post-apocalyptic landscape you cannot help but shudder.
The centralised location and slow shots in the original are what bolstered the stress in an already tense set up. As A Quiet Place II broadens its locations and splinters off into different plot threads this does have the effect of lessening the impact.
As good as Simmonds and Murphy are as they venture off to explore the origin of a mysterious signal, by separating from the exhausted Blunt and perpetually terrified Jupe we are left with scenes that chop between the two. Having two concurrently nail-biting scenes reach their peak simultaneously makes for better action rather than immersion. It’s still effective, but in a different way to before.
A Quite Place II is, at its core, more of the same. The stalking cinematography and empathetic characterisation keep us engaged through what is an essential rerun of the last movie, both heightened by a score that prizes disquieting piano and melodic subtlety.
The struggle to survive may be familiar, but it is nonetheless rewarding to stop, watch, and listen.
Words by Mike Record