A Quiet Place Part II – Film Review

Unlike its predecessor, sound is very much of the essence in A Quiet Place Part II. The sound of those early carefree days, the sound of crashing when the world outside of the Abbots’ microcosm is devastated and the sound of the natural environment are amplified in A Quiet Place Part II to thrilling effect. It was uncertain as to whether a sequel to this genre bending science fiction inspired predecessor could re-create that nerve inducing, edge of the seat tension from the first film and thankfully it does with a huge splash and tremendous sound editing quality.

A Quiet Place Part II impresses with its continuity, the film literally picks up from where the first one left off and so Emily Blunt’s character, Evelyn, is still wearing the bandage around her foot as a reminder, in case you had forgotten that excruciating scene! That sense of terror is accentuated in this sequel as we know that the Abbott family is suffering from grief. We know that there are these uncontrollable external terrors to contend with in this worthy sequel and again that desire to survive is paramount.

Each character faces inner turmoil with their inner strength tested and A Quiet Place Part II’s’ strength is equally its ability to invoke those emotional responses in the audience, as we are so invested in the Abbott family. The scenes providing that introduction to the current crisis are heartfelt as they express the turbulence in those events leading up to Day 1. As per the original, the various events are punctuated by title cards providing that countdown and progression as humanity struggles against a new predator.

A Quiet Place Part II
Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds in A Quiet Place Part II

A Quiet Place Part II relies more on horror tropes and embraces the terrors explored in films such as Aliens. Just as we are shown the evolution of the creatures, we are also privy to the evolution of the Abbott family with their fighting spirit ignited but especially that increased sense of courage witnessed in the children. The children essentially attempt to fill the void left behind by their father Lee, played by John Krasinski, who exemplified the father figure, protective and brave. Cillian Murphy’s Emmett does a good job as a replacement father figure but the same emotional impact from the first is not present in those scenes. There are some truly heart stopping moments, however, which are ramped up by the brilliant sound editing but it is that sense of core values and consideration of others that ultimately pervade the film.

A Quiet Place Part II questions what it means to be human and compassionate during perilous situations. It may be easy, when faced with a threat to one’s own existence, to adopt self-preservation mode and sacrifice others. On reflection, would we turn away where an innocent baby is involved to ensure our own survival? How far would we go to assist others when there is a threat to the existence of all of mankind?

A Quiet Place Part II attempts to answer these questions and this is sometimes achieved by plunging the audience into silence. There are stellar performances from the ensemble, particularly Millicent Simmonds as Regan, and Cillian Murphy neatly fits in to the family structure to gripping effect.

Cillian Murphy as Emmett in A Quiet Place  Part II
Cillian Murphy as Emmett in A Quiet Place Part II

Yes, the film is over-reliant on jump scares but these generally fit well into the narrative. That continuous sense of dread is emphasised by the dramatic score which returns from the original film and creates a degree of familiarity for audiences. A Quiet Place Part II is certainly the ideal film to encourage audiences to return to the cinema, where possible, as its impressive sound effects are best enjoyed within a cinema environment where the audience is, again, complicit in remaining silent.

A Quiet Place Part II is certainly on a par with its predecessor, albeit with fewer surprising innovative features. It is also testament to Krasinski’s flair for compelling storytelling, as each character’s arc reveals the extent of their bravery to save themselves and also the future of the world. A Quiet Place Part II positions itself firmly as another exciting entry re-invigorating the horror and thriller genres which ensures that the film will be a talking point amongst audiences.

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