Back in 2017, when it was announced that John Krasinski was directing a horror film written by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, many scratched their head in wonderment. Was he a horror fan? What would the guy from “The Office” bring to the genre? By the time A Quiet Place came out in theaters, it had already amassed massive acclaim which was eventually followed by the announcement that Krasinski would direct and write a sequel. Though many were excited, some wondered if the sequel would be able to live up to its predecessor. And in the case of this critic, A QUIET PLACE PART II more than delivers.
A QUIET PLACE PART II takes place following the deadly events that took place at the Abbott family’s home but this time they must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
What makes these films work so well is the genuine chemistry between the characters but especially the Abbott family, played by John Krasinski (Lee Abbott), Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott), Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott), and Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott). Of course, A QUIET PLACE PART II is a horror film, and believe me, the scares are there, but the film really centers on the family dynamics and how to continue forward after the death of Lee Abbott while also trying to survive in a world of horror and uncertainty.
Krasinski, who also wrote the sequel, gives the viewer a snapshot of what life was like before the creatures arrived and changed the world forever. As a whole, A QUIET PLACE PART II is phenomenal, but the beginning scene really stands out above the rest. In the 10 minutes or so leading up to the title block, the audience experiences absolute chaos and confusion alongside the characters as the unthinkable takes place.
One of the best parts of the film is the focus on Millicent’s character, Regan. Of course, the entire cast is phenomenal but Millicent really stands out with her performance. After the events of the previous film, audiences are now seeing how those have shaped Regan. After the family is rescued by Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who was an old friend of Lee’s, and takes them to his bunker, Regan ends up leaving after hearing a radio station signal that may be communicated by another group of survivors. It’s here we see Regan stepping into the shoes of her late father, a moment that oddly, I could relate to. And just like in the previous film, her hearing aid still plays an important role in fighting against these creatures.
Having been a fan of Cillian Murphy since 28 Days Later, I found him to be a great addition to the cast as well as an anti-hero of sorts. His character, Emmett, is unraveling and sinking into his own grief but finds himself begrudgingly looking for Regan after she takes off in search of survivors. I wasn’t sure how pivotal he was going to be to the film but it becomes apparent that Emmett is just as crucial to Regan’s story as Regan is to his. It’s not an easy friendship that forms between the two but one that will have a long-lasting impact on them, and most likely the audience. Eventually, they work together in search of more survivors which is when they find a small settlement located on an island. Without giving anything away, my one critique would be that I wished we could have spent more time with these survivors, especially Djimon Hounsou‘s character.
A QUIET PLACE PART II is not without its scares and just like with its predecessor, they are just as tension-filled. One scene in particular that made me want to jump out a window due to the uncertainty of the situation was when Regan found herself in a train car up against some of the creatures in a life or death standoff. Additionally, there is a scene with Marcus and the baby that finds them in a precarious situation after locking themselves in the bunker. Those who are claustrophobic, be prepared. That said, it’s not just the creatures that the Abbotts find themselves fighting against, as it’s not always the creatures they need to be watching out for…
Overall, A QUIET PLACE PART II is one of the best films of the year. Funny enough, this was the last film I saw before COVID shut everything down and even though it’s been over a year since then, I still feel a strong connection with these characters that Beck and Woods created and Krasinski brought to life. A QUIET PLACE PART II will satisfy horror fans that are looking for the scares, while also giving us a heartfelt story about the lengths people will go to protect others from the unimaginable.
A QUIET PLACE PART II is now in theaters nationwide.