In 2018 audiences around the world were introduced to A Quiet Place. In this horror/thriller humanity were besieged by a seemingly indestructible enemy. The film followed one family’s struggle to survive in this new world and it ended on a hopeful note. A Quiet Place Part II picks up almost immediately from the climax of the previous film and sees Evelyn (Emily Blunt) try to find her family a new safe harbour. With her new baby in tow as well as Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Regan (Millicent Simmonds) she comes across Emmett (Cillian Murphy) an old friend of the family.
Regan feeling galvanised by the new technology that she can weaponise against the creatures decides to head off and find a way to help everyone. With Marcus unable to follow his sister and Evelyn needing to take care of her new baby Emmett is tasked with bringing Regan back. He’s uncomfortable, broken and unsure he even wants to as he has suffered greatly during this event. However, he heads out to find Regan and from there the story kicks into gear.
A Quiet Place Part II is everything you want in a sequel. It expands on the elements that made its predecessor so fantastic as well as continuing the story in an organic fashion. I was immediately back with the Abbott family and their plight. Yes, they have found a way to combat the creatures however this new technology is useless if it dies with them.
And it very well could with Evelyn recovering from giving birth and the family still reeling from the death of Lee (John Krasinski) in the previous film.
A Quiet Place Part II, where a star is born
Thankfully this is where Regan steps up. She is an incredible force of nature. In A Quiet Place, we saw her learning to handle herself, her father trying to teach her lessons. In A Quiet Place Part II, she has taken full control of her life and these creatures are not ready for the person she has become. She is smart, resourceful and has learned from her past mistakes.
She is by no means perfect, making one or two mistakes as she sets out to save the world but she is a wonderfully fleshed out character that I couldn’t help root for. This is in no small part to the impressive performance from Simmonds. Her character goes through so much in this film and when there is a moment to breathe in the third act I found myself crying with her. It’s a credit to both the film and her as an actor that I was drawn so deeply into this world.
Simmonds may lead the pack in A Quiet Place Part II but the rest of the cast don’t rest on their laurels. Cillian Murphy’s Emmett is a version of Lee that lost everything. He’s broken, trusts no one and honestly doesn’t know why he still exists. Murphy gives an understated ut human portrayal of a man unsure of his purpose in life now that everything is gone. With the arrival of the Abbotts, there is a chance of something and against his own supposed better judgement he jumps headfirst to help them.
Blunt and Jupe are left in the slightly less interesting half of the story. They have to take care of the new arrival while making sure not to be killed by any random creatures that show up. If I had any issues with A Quiet Place Part II it would start here. Though both Blunt and Jupe are giving it socks with their performances the thrust of their story is to make sure they have enough supplies. Honestly, it felt like a video game. In lesser hands, it would drag the film down but thankfully there is still plenty of tension and action to interest audiences.
John Krasinski brings the same tricks to A Quiet Place Part II that made the first outing so memorable. He does find further ways to explore the avenues of fear that these creatures can open up. There are several scenes involving water in some shape that give the creatures a new dimension of terror.
There is also the opening fifteen minutes of the film. These fifteen minutes are intense, erratic and terrifying. They also reminded me of how impressively frightening these creatures are.
My biggest issue came in the shape of one expansion of this world, other parts of humanity and what they are doing or more precisely what they have become. The film touches on the idea that society has not faired too well after the arrival of these creatures. Apparently, we’ve devolved in morality and if I’m being honest this aspect of the film felt quite generic. Thankfully we don’t stick with this subplot too long and once again it offers fascinating action set pieces.
A Quiet Place Part II is a brilliant film. Between the phenomenal acting from its intimate cast and the once again stellar visual and audio choices by director John Krasinski this is a must-see. A Quiet Place Part II will be out in cinemas next week when they reopen.
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