Written by Nick McCann
One of my biggest regrets in movie-going was not seeing A Quiet Place in theaters when it was new. I was highly impressed when I did finally watch it and subsequently crushed that I didn’t see it in the best way possible. When the sequel was announced, I I wouldn’t make the same mistake. Then suddenly, a viral outbreak! Hope was dwindling for that dream but now here we are, in a state where it’s okay to go back to the theaters.
Story wise, it does a great job feeling like a direct continuation. John Krasinski returns as director and nicely balances the duties of expanding scope while retaining the elements of the first film. Visual storytelling is still prioritized and when there is direct exposition, it’s not forced. This movie is also more plot driven with a clear end goal. Personally I miss the Western-like atmosphere from before but that’s the most minor of complaints. It feels like a logical choice of direction and you’ll still find yourself plenty immersed in this danger-sensitive world.
And man is it ever dangerous! Tension is still well on-the point. There are more set pieces and they still scare even with added moving parts. The cinematography looks well in line with the first movie’s look, evoking moments of beauty and terror in the world on screen. Editing is also still great, letting shots linger enough to drive you to the breaking point. Visual effects are also great, with a key highlight being to see how more ruthless the creatures are in full rampage mode.
As you would expect though, the sound design is the main asset. Every sound effect and the overall use of sound is brilliant. Just like before, it takes most every opportunity to get clever with what’s heard and not. Marco Beltrami also returns on the score, bringing back old music cues while seamlessly integrating new tracks. There were times where the music was creeping me out as much as the visuals! Always a good sign.
Keeping everything held together is the acting, which is excellent as ever. Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds all return and keep making their characters all the more likable and interesting. Simmonds in particular really shines here, carrying a huge chunk of the story with magnetic screen presence. Cillian Murphy also kills it coming into this series with a damaged and vulnerable protagonist. Djimon Hounsou is reliable as well and even Krasinski does good in the brief time he’s here.
Add this to the list of sequels that stack up to their predecessor. A Quiet Place Part II deftly continues it’s story and ramps up the stakes without forgetting it’s identity. Any nitpicks I have boil down to personal preferences that I can live with not being there. It’s just as scary as it is dramatic, held up by great acting, visuals, and sound design. What a way to come back to the theaters!
A Quiet Place Part II