A Quiet Place Part II is quite frankly the movie to return to theaters for. A follow-up to director John Krasinski’s 2018 hit A Quiet Place, this sequel is a master class in how to produce a standout sequel, that matches beat for beat what the original was. Filled with standout performances, effective sound design, and heart-racing tension, you won’t be able to tear your eyes from the screen.
There’s little to no difference in the quality of the cinematography between A Quiet Place Part II and the original. It draws things out and shows how situations can change in an instance. Every shot is visually stunning and brings you in. Just like the original, I imagine on future viewings I’ll notice more details going on behind the characters. Krasinski is a strong visual director and he puts his talents in every frame.
The sound design is absolutely crucial to the success of this film. It absolutely matches the first film in terms of quality. Without it, there is no tension, and character moments do not resonate. The silent moments in the film are a big part, echoing the deafness of characters like Reagan (Millicent Simmonds). And it absolutely helps to guide you along with the relationship between Reagan and Emmett (Cillian Murphy).
Emmett is an old friend of the Abbotts, and is now a hardened survivor in a world consumed by blind aliens. His addition to the group brings a new perspective; one who understands the world but needs the hope Reagan provides with her cochlear implant. While Emmett could have used 15% more development, Murphy provides every ounce of intensity necessary to bring this character to one of the best in the film.
Reagan is the main female protagonist in A Quiet Place Part II, trying to figure out how to recover from her father’s death. Simmonds does a fantastic job controlling every scene she’s in and she and Murphy have great chemistry. Emily Blunt takes a step back in this film, but that doesn’t mean she’s left in the dust. She pulls forth the same intense emotion to protect her kids as she does in the first film; particularly in one scene with Murphy. Blunt is often underestimated as an actress, but she’s stunning. I hope she continues to keep with these smaller roles as they bring out her best side.
In terms of the story, A Quiet Place Part II has to expand on the incredibly small world presented in the first. Taking a story from a basis of several acres, and expanding that could cause a novice to have issues. Thankfully Krasinski manages to develop things further while retreading minimal ground. It could have benefitted from another fifteen minutes, to help characterize Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Emmett more, but that’s really my biggest gripe.
Krasinski also manages to expand on tension-raising moments from the first one. The first twenty minutes or so answer the question of “how did we get here”, as it covers the first day of the alien invasion. It was something I felt was missing in A Quiet Place, but fits much better here. Doubly because it also helps give us an introduction to Emmett so we can recognize him later on.
A Quiet Place Part II tees off a perfect setup for a greater world from Krasinski’s brain. I can see a place for a Paramount+ television show, and further stories revolving around the Abbott family as they try and take down the aliens, and maybe save the human race? It’s a perfect setup, and staying with a smaller studio allows for greater flexibility in telling a story that’s unique to its studio.
Ultimately A Quiet Place Part II knocks it out of the park. It feels rare and rarer nowadays to get a complex sequel that matches up to the prowess of the original. John Krasinski is a director to watch, and hopefully, he remains one who gets to play in his own sandbox. If you’re waiting for a movie to go back to the theaters for, pick this one. – Katie Rentschler
A Quiet Place Part II is in theaters now.
It stars Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and John Krasinski.