Released: 27th May
Seen: 21th May (Advance Screening)
In 2018 the film A Quiet Place came out and was an instant hit, along with just generally being one of the best films of the year. A tense instant horror classic that was nothing short of miraculous in how cleverly it played with the audience, turning every sound into the most terrifying thing imaginable. It was a film that taught me how to eat popcorn by slowly dissolving it between my tongue and the roof of my mouth for fear I would make a sound so when I heard there was a sequel coming out, imaginatively titled A Quiet Place Part 2, on March 20 of 2020 (a day after my birthday) you wouldn’t find anyone more excited than me.
…and then the world decided to end and this film got pushed back by well over a year. Was the wait worth it? Hell yes it was!
A Quiet Place Part 2 picks up literally moments after the end of Part One, with the surviving members of the Abbott family taking in the damage caused during their night from hell. Since staying put is no longer an option, they decide to go and try to find somewhere safe. The young daughter, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is still trying to figure out how to use the feedback noise that her cochlear implant makes in order to beat the aliens, while mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is just desperately trying to keep her kids safe… in particular Marcus (Noah Jupe) who is clearly the most shaken from what has just occurred.
During their attempt to find safety the three of them (and baby makes four) happen upon an old friend. Emmett (Cillian Murphy) has also found a way to survive but is adamant that there is no way to save them all, but maybe Reagan will be able to get him to change his mind and find some way to stop the creatures that have destroyed the planet.
A Quiet Place Part 2 wastes absolutely no time in throwing the audience back into the world where sound will kill you with the flashback sequence that showed in all the trailers, one last chance for director John Krasinski to get in front of the camera since his character is very much dead. As far as flashbacks go, this is a banger with little shots that’ll make fans of the original happy and a couple of epic moments that really make it clear just how quickly these alien creatures decimated the planet. It’s also the loudest portion of the film, letting the audience have a moment to settle in before ripping the audio away from us.
For the most part A Quiet Place Part 2 follows the same rules as the first one, no one makes a sound because anything above a whisper would be enough to summon the creature which is used brilliantly at points to really get to the audience, one shot particularly early in the film had the audience I saw this with go from screaming in pure horror to stifling themselves because no one wanted to be the one in the audience who made the sound. This tension held for maybe the first half hour of the film… and then slowly you could hear crunching and slurping as people stopped being so precious about the sounds they made.
See, roughly around the halfway point A Quiet Place Part 2 breaks up the main cast into several miniature plots. Emmett and Regan go off to find a random radio tower they might be able to use, Evelyn goes to get more medicine and supplies from the town and Marcus is left to babysit. It’s around here that the tension that defined the first film started to ease up a little more than it should have. It almost felt like there was room to breathe and while the film did catch itself at the final act and get a lot of it back, that middle part is where this film goes down to great from the lofty heights of the original.
You can still tell that A Quiet Place Part 2, indeed this franchise, is a labour of love for Krasinski who really has some serious talent in making horror films. I genuinely hope he makes more of them, maybe not in this franchise but certainly more of this style. Making a horror film that’s scary in the daylight where we can see everything isn’t easy but this film manages to pull it off. When the tension is at its full potential the film itself is incredibly scary, and damn are there more than a few great shocker moments in this one.
A Quiet Place Part 2 is a worthy follow up to the original. Is it as good as the original? No, but the original film was about as close to perfect as it could get and the chances of this one matching it were already slim. However, this film takes all the threads from the last film and runs with them, expanding the world beyond the limits of the little farm we spent the last movie on. It’s a genuinely great film with a lot of fun scares throughout… just please don’t make a part 3, the story is about as told as it’s going to get and all you can do from here on out is to run this thing into the ground so quit while you’re ahead.