It’s not often I actually look forward to a sequel. But more than just the next part in a story, A Quiet Place Part II also offered me, and many movie-goers, the chance to return back to the theater after a long absence. The follow-up to the 2018 film, also directed by the original’s John Krasinski, doesn’t fail to disappoint.
If it seems like the cast is unaffected by aging, it is because the sequel has actually sat in limbo for over a year after having its world premiere in March of 2020. Krasinski shows he was perfectly suited for the sequel after laying down some incredible groundwork for the original. The intercutting of silence with loud sound effects is masterfully done, and only occasionally thrown in for a good jump-scare.
Instead of picking up where we left off, the film resets to just before the mysterious creatures arrived on our planet. We find the Abbott family and their friends and neighbors at Marcus’s (Noah Jupe) Little League game. During the game, we get a little foreshadowing when family friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy) asks Regan (Millicent Simmonds ) how to sign a particular word that will come in handy towards the end of the film.
We then see the entire neighborhood running for their lives with plenty of afore-mentioned jump-scares as we try to make sense of what is happening through the eyes of Lee Abbot (John Krasinski) and Regan. After a bunch of carnage and mayhem, we finally catch up with our family shortly after the time period of the first film. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and the family are lying low but eventually venture out to find others.
They meet up again with Emmett, who at first wants nothing to do with them, but hides them in an abandoned foundry, placing them in an airtight and sound-restrictive enclosure to shield both the baby’s crying and Marcus’s whimpering after a horrendous accident. Regan decides to go follow a hunch and leaves with Emmett following close behind. They find more survivors only to face several more battles both against other aliens and perhaps even scarier humans determined to conquer.
After the success of the first film, it was a given this sequel would contain a great many jump-scares, but knowing they are coming is part of the magic. It would be easy to assume they would come during or immediately after a period of perfect silence but that was not always the case. Instead, Krasinski carefully and meticulously leads us along with Regan – this is her story, as she sets out on her various missions.
We also don’t have nearly the number of “hushed” conversations in this film. Instead, we are led to believe the foundry is a good-enough place to have normal conversations, and the location later in the film is assumed completely safe.
The performances are outstanding as Simmonds shows determination and an internal drive while Jupe’s almost-silent pain during an accident exceeds the empathy we felt wincing during the amputation performance of Max Pirkis in Master and Commander. Blunt’s strong character never lets up as she fights to protect her children.
As for the aliens – well, we still don’t know that much about them other than they seem to have a similar weakness as the forgettable aliens in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. I say almost, because here at least they can’t be taken out with a glass of water on the nightstand.
I wasn’t the only one returning to theaters this week. The film reportedly grossed over $57 million during the Memorial Day Holiday. If you are looking to see the film, I highly recommend seeing it in the theater, even if you have to, as I did, hear scenes of Cruella through the walls during the silent portions. For those still timid to go out, it should be streaming on Paramount+ sometime in July.
- Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott
- John Krasinksi as Lee Abbott
- Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abboutt
- Noah Jupe as Marcus Abbott
- Cillian Murphy as Emmett