A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Review
DIRECTOR John Krasinki has once again proven himself to be a filmmaker to keep an eye on as the sequel to his 2018 surprise horror hit, A Quiet Place, improves on everything the original stood for; just like any good sequel should.
After losing everything at their home, including their safety, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus Abbott (Noah Jupe) are forced to continue their never-ending travels along the sand path to avoid the creatures that lie beyond. However, after running into an old friend, the Abbott family find themselves on a new quest to transmit a message that will potentially rid the world of the ultra-sensitive hearing monsters.
The big draw of the original Quiet Place was its unique premise of featuring creatures that possess ultra-sensitive hearing, resulting in majority of the feature film taking place in complete silence. Part II expands on this idea, literally amping the intensity up to 11 as much of this film utilises screeching sound as the family realise they can no longer hide in the shadows and must fight off the other-worldly threats using high-pitch frequency. While much of the subtle sound has been taken out, the extreme contrast introduced presents a nice change of pace for an otherwise mute movie, making the moments where little-to-no sound is used much more thrilling and startling.
Each family member, including newly-introduced character Emmett (Cillian Murphy), are further developed in the sequel, making their continual journey that more perilous as each of the four leads are relatable in their own, unique ways.
Evelyn takes a much-needed back seat role as the first movie followed her struggles with maintaining silence during pregnancy, but her inclusion in Part II doesn't feel completely useless as she interacts with the supporting cast, allowing them to step into the limelight. Although Marcus isn't a necessary character, his lack of screen presence is implemented in a meaningful and understandable manner where he is still able to interact with his newly-born sibling to learn about the importance of responsibility. Perhaps the biggest and most welcome surprise was Regan, who does a terrific job as the leading character despite having to contend with Blunt and Murphy. Simmonds, along with everyone else in the film, does a fantastic job expressing her emotions through facials and sign language due to her legitimate deafness, translating her emotional standpoint through the pace of which her hand gestures change.
Murphy's new character of Emmett was a hesitant but welcome inclusion to the series as now that the family is left without the guidance of Lee (John Krasinski), the Abbotts begin to cling onto Emmett as they experience their darkest hour. But despite their positive history, Emmett refuses to help as he doesn't want to witness the death of anymore loved ones; a bold decision which ultimately paid off in the end through meticulous, engaging storytelling courtesy of Krasinski.
With the first film being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing, it is safe to say that Part II had a lot to live up to in the sound department, but thankfully, the second instalment surpasses the original with its eerie silence and vivid commotion, culminating into a movie that can only be truly experienced inside the comfort of a theatre as the sound editing never becomes gimmicky or over-the-top.
A Quiet Place Part II is a testament to what a good sequel should do: expand on the original's world while also introducing new, fresh ideas to keep viewer's interest. The introduction of Cillian Murphy, as well as the expansion on the Abbott's family history, made for a wonderful viewing experience that kept me on the edge of my seat thanks to the film's harrowing atmosphere and profoundly-muted character interactions.