A Quiet Place, Part II is kind of like what you’d get if the Predator franchise’s alien hunter stopped It’s us for a few episodes. The film is a horror story with the heart of a family drama, and for the most part it works out very well. But just like Real Families, it’s pretty consistent in its strengths and flaws – in other words, it’s the perfect sequel for fans of the original film, while not being so bad at welcoming viewers. who could have missed the first round. .
Part II begins with an extended prequel before the first film, depicting the arrival of the deadly and nearly indestructible aliens who wiped out much of the population at that time A quiet place start. Writer-director John Krasinski reintroduces the Abbott family: parents Lee (Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt), as well as children Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Regan (Millicent Simmonds). As the family gathers to watch a Little League game, we also remember that the Abbotts are exceptionally well equipped to handle what is to come: Lee is the survivalist type (as indicated by the large hunting knife that ‘he uses to slice an orange), and the family all speak ASL to communicate with Regan, who is deaf.
In addition to giving Part II the opportunity to bring back Lee, who died in A quiet place, the prologue also helps introduce viewers who haven’t seen the first movie to the rules of this particular apocalypse and remind returning fans who need a refresher. The sequence – which takes place in the small upstate New York town of Abbotts in the last moments before the world goes to hell – is an excellent disaster flick, a terrifying reintroduction to the blind creatures that stalk brutally the humans by sound while rampaging through small towns in America.
After, A Quiet Place, Part II picks up immediately after the end of the first film, with Abbott’s survivors at their destroyed farm, having successfully killed an alien creature for the first time. Finding the trick to fighting them gives the Abbotts a chance at survival as they are forced to find a new home, but it’s nowhere near enough to make them feel safe.
For one thing, they now have to take care of a baby, born during the incredibly stressful climax of the first film. Babies aren’t known to be silent or understand threats, and this one puts the whole family at risk. On the other hand, the Abbots have largely survived in isolation and don’t know what the world is like now that society has collapsed. As they begin to seek a new refuge, they soon find it.
A quiet place was, according to Krasinski, about parenting. With that in mind, his sequel is about parents who abandon their children and trust them to fend for themselves. Before long, the Abbotts must go their separate ways and go on separate adventures, and the children must face the monsters on their own. Regan in particular carries most of the dramatic weight of the film, and a phenomenal performance by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds overcomes a storyline that veers into sickening territory in her portrayal of disability as a superpower.
Most of the time, the sequel takes the highs of the first movie a little higher, while its lows are pretty much the same. A Quiet Place, Part II continues to go for great miles playing with horror’s deep relationship with sound, using wonderfully blended sound to redirect the audience’s sense of danger to anything sound, and using that threat to increase the tension . Through sound, staging and performance, fears are rooted out of silence, and the slightest bump can shock viewers with the terror of a gunshot. Plus, while the thrills are the main draw, the film’s cast does a terrific job with dramatic scenes communicated in ASL. The care taken in these more intimate scenes goes a long way to smooth over how disability is factored into the vanity of the genre. Part II, like the film that precedes it, runs the risk of being overbearing in building a finale where a hearing aid saves the world, but it at least does the job of rooting that moment into the independence arc of Regan.
A Quiet Place, Part II often succumbs to a conservatism that holds him back. It’s worth pointing out that the Abbott’s embody a white, traditional view of family, and her paternalistic view almost completely ignores Evelyn, who has a lot to do, but no real history. Krasinski wants to celebrate her deaf hero for her differences, but also burdens her with guilt over her character’s death and makes her main fight the need to prove that she can take care of people the way he can. None of that makes it a bad movie – just one smaller than it could be.
A Quiet Place, Part II hesitates the most in how it tries to go beyond the original film, either thematically or scope. The film is at its peak as it reaches its climax. The Abbotts and their former neighbor Emmett (Cillian Murphy) have split into three groups and, in a crossover final, they each attempt to accomplish the impossible at the same time. This is the kind of show that is quite effective the first time around, but might not perform as well on repeated viewings. Yet in the end, it’s forgivable, because A Quiet Place, Part II isn’t exactly a horror movie, but an unusually stressful family movie, with all the learning required accompanied by horrific violence.
It’s hard to blame A Quiet Place, Part II a lot, however. With a 97 minute downtime, it’s a lean, wicked thriller with a lot of heart, albeit a bit thin. It’s the kind of sequel that feels like it was intended as a middle chapter, with its dangerous road trip structure that works to establish a new status quo for its characters. In the end, he plays his story a little too safe: he does enough to set up another potentially engaging film, if Krasinski has another story to tell, but not enough to convince viewers that they will. will like. For all that these films have a unique interest in silence, they need to have a little more to say.
A Quiet Place, Part II is now playing in theaters and is slated to make its streaming debut on Paramount Plus on July 12.