The cinemas are back! What better way to get used to being surrounded by strangers again than a movie where it’s best to just shut up? A Quiet Place Part II is n’t the same claustrophobic experience as the first film , but it remains an interesting world with room for even more stories.
If A Quiet Place was a movie about a father who wanted to protect his children, then the sequel is the chance for his children to continue his work. Our world has changed, but so has Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her children. At the end of A Quiet Place , daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) found a way to temporarily hurt the aliens with her cochlear implants and an amplifier, allowing them to distract and disable them. After the attack on their home and the death of Father Lee (John Krasinski), the family realizes they can’t stay there anymore.
They find an abandoned factory with blast furnaces nearby, but it turns out that a man is already hiding there who strongly defends his new territory. Marcus (Noah Jupe) is injured, but the man helps them anyway. And there’s a reason for that: Emmett (Cillian Murphy) used to be a friend of theirs. He’s gotten really hard since they last saw him, but Regan and Evelyn, in particular, are actually forcing him to help them. After all, Regan has a plan to help more people with her cochlear implants.
The Ghost of Krasinski
This sequel is generally a lot more gloomy than the first film. The loss piles up, and now that the Abbotts are no longer complete, so is their relative peaceful existence. The film starts with a flashback to the first day of the alien invasion. That is both an added value and a tricky point. We get to know the characters and the world in a different context, but that makes it even more noticeable that John Krasinki was actually the heart of the first film. The spirit of his character hangs over the entire sequel, so to speak, and at times it made me feel like something was missing. Also because strangely enough Emily Blunt has the least memorable role here. The image of her with that gun, all badass and determined, naturally weakens whatever now she has a baby to take care of.
Through the flashback, the latest acquisition is quite organically included in the history of the Abbott family. And you can hardly get a better addition to a cast than Cillian Murphy. He spends most of his screen time with the wonderful Millicent Simmonds, and there’s something fragile about their chemistry.
Reagan just wants someone who believes she can help the world. But Emmett wonders if the people who are left deserve it. He quickly feels familiar and like someone you want to stick up for. Together they look for a radio station, where there may be other survivors to broaden her deterrent, while Evelyn wants to protect her two other children. This gives the production even more locations to work with, and that results in a number of impressive sets that are beautifully portrayed.
Two films in a row in which hardly any people speak, that was of course impossible. There are many more dialogues, but also music by Marco Beltrami. The film does play with sound in an original way. Every now and then we re-perceive how Reagan experiences the world. The sound goes away and comes back. It remains an original angle, and besides, it is not thanks to some plot twist but simply by casting different types of people. Let it be a lesson to casting directors everywhere.
Because the silence aspect is partly lost, A Quiet Place Part II resembles a heist thriller more than a horror film. As a result, certain parts of the story are more predictable than you’d like. And yet this remains an exciting world. Can life still be peaceful? Who is really left? And can Reagan help the world to recover? A third movie is planned in this universe, but with Jeff Nichols at the helm. Will the Abbotts return? Maybe not, but I hope so.
A Quiet Place Part II largely lacks the original angle of the first film, but gains in recognizability and sympathy for the characters. The young Millicent Simmonds remains the star of this franchise, but Cillian Murphy is an excellent addition to the cast. We certainly won’t say no to a third film.