Part I fans, get your tickets as soon as you can, this sequel delivers and then some.
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I still remember when I saw the first trailer for 2018’s A Quiet Place. At the time I honestly thought the concept of not making a sound was very silly premise sure to be filled with cheap scares and terrible moments to highlight the gimmick. Then I watched the movie, and what director/writer/actor John Krasinski pulled off made me a believer. The tension was high, the concept of sound hunting aliens was used effectively, but most importantly the film told a great story. I felt for the Abbott family, I wanted them to make it. I wanted them to forgive themselves for the death of one of their children, something that clearly damaged the entire family unit parents and children alike. It’s all to say I loved the first film.
Now typically in a sequel to what felt like a pretty contained story to an original idea, usually goes completely off the rails awful. Part II doesn’t do that; Part II is just as good if not a tad better than our first days with the Abbot family. Part II picks up immediately after the climatic and destructive ending to Part I. The family can no longer stay at what was once their home, it’s defensives destroyed and the farm in flames, they make a desperate journey to find refuge elsewhere. From there the movie takes off showcasing some of the dark elements of human survivors left with nothing but savagery and desperation. It felt somewhat like the popular AMC show The Walking Dead, where after you understand the literal monsters, the heroes begin to see that humanity can equally live up to the same evil standards as blood thirsty aliens or zombies. That said while the movie is billed on getting a heavy dose of terrible people, this movie continues to stick to the much more significant threat of alien creatures. While the Abbott’s may have found a weakness to the creatures, it doesn’t mean the deadly things can’t still rip them to shreds if they aren’t careful.
All of this bleakness would probably be a bit too much if it wasn’t for the main driving force of Part II. Where Part I seemed focus on forgiveness and learning to move on from tragedy, Part II ultimately is a story of hope and fighting for it. It passes the torch from being a story about the parents Evelyn and Lee (played by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski) and instead on their children, Regan and Marcus (played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe). These two young actors stepped up to the plate and really delivered carrying this movie’s heart and soul. To counter this hope was Cillian Murphy’s Emmett. A man who has lost everything, he is devoid of hope, and it’s his pairing with Regan that makes for the most powerful moments of the film. None of this is to say that Blunt doesn’t have some strong moments herself. It’s all to say this film has a great cast, and a story that focuses on them.
I could gush on the acting and story all day, but I have to give some major credit to the editors of Part II. The way moments are cut together dancing between several storylines while ratcheting up the terror or triumph in several parts of the film was so satisfying. I’m not one who tends to notice editing unless it’s bad, but this was a film where I couldn’t help but appreciate how they were layering things together. And finally, how could I not mention the sound editing / mixing? Just like the first film they effectively use the absence of sound as an effective tool to illustrate tension, as well as emotional beats for characters too. One moment with Simmonds was especially moving.
It’s crazy to me how much I can say about a slightly under hour and forty-minute film, but that’s just how good it is. Just like the first, every element is well crafted and built to elevate a story about people in an extraordinary situation. I know Krasinski was apprehensive of making a sequel to begin with but after watching this one, all I can think about is is how much I hope he convinces himself to make a Part III. Part I fans, get your tickets as soon as you can, this sequel delivers and then some.