"A Quiet Place: Part II" stars Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, and John Krasinski. Released on May 28, 2021, the film has the Abbott family continuing to fight for survival.
The film is written and directed by John Krasinski, who also directed "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" and "The Hollars". It is a sequel to the 2018 horror film, "A Quiet Place", which was also directed by Krasinski. Just when you thought it was safe to make a sound again. It wasn't that long ago when John Krasinski introduced us to a post-apocalyptic world where making a single peep can lead to your demise. What seemed to be another mediocre addition to the horror genre turned out to be one of the biggest and scariest surprises of 2018. In addition to being a box office juggernaut, "A Quiet Place" has earned plenty of praise from critics and audiences for its superb execution. I was one of the people who immensely enjoyed the first film, primarily for its combination of storytelling and tension. It had me at the edge of my seat the entire time, at least from what I remembered. It showed that there's always room for a proper narrative amid its constant use of jump scares, paranormal activities, and frightening monsters. The problem is that most of the filmmakers choose not to capitalize on it. Of course, with every success, a follow-up is soon to follow, especially in the horror genre. I was pretty skeptical about it at first, but after reading some more info on it and watching its first trailer, I started to warm up to the sequel's idea of expanding its universe a bit. Although my skepticism still lingers in my head despite Krasinski's return to the director's chair. If you have read my reviews for the other horror sequels from the past, you'll understand why. After a few weeks of mid-budget, adult-rated thrillers, can this sequel become the first true blockbuster of the summer movie season since 2019? More importantly, does it live up to the hype?
The story begins with the Abbott family surviving a home invasion by a group of blind alien creatures that attack anything that makes noise. After their home is destroyed, Evelyn (Blunt), along with her kids, Regan (Simmonds) and Marcus (Jupe), and her newborn baby, leave the comfort of their only sanctuary to search for any remaining human communities. They eventually ran into Emmett (Murphy), another survivor who's a family friend of Evelyn's deceased husband Lee (Krasinski). The survivors will have to trust one another to survive the outside world and the aliens. What made "A Quiet Place" one of the best horror films of the last decade was its mixture of suspense and storytelling. The tension came from staying silent to survive against the sound-sensitive aliens who are swift and deadly. The element that made the tension-filled moments memorable was the characters themselves, particularly the Abbott family. John Krasinski crafted a story-driven horror film that thoughtfully depicts parenthood in which Evelyn and Lee tried to prepare their children for the outside world filled with danger and uncertainty. Not only was this story highly relatable in my eyes, but it was also surprisingly emotional. Something that you don't usually see in the genre nowadays. "Part II" continued where its predecessor left off with Evelyn and the kids discovering the creatures's weakness (which is ironically high-pitched sounds) and journeying beyond their comfort zone. It expands the post-apocalyptic world created for "A Quiet Place" while introducing new obstacles for the Abbotts to encounter besides the blind, armored aliens. There was a lot riding on this sequel, folks. It needed to maintain the essential qualities that made the first film a success, such as the storytelling and scares, and make the additions, including the new characters, just as effective as its concept to justify its existence. Was this sequel able to accomplish this task? Absolutely. This is another horror sequel that managed to be just as intense and heartfelt as the original, and it's all thanks to writer/director John Krasinski. The story in "Part II" was benefitted greatly by successfully applying the same rules from its predecessor to the outside world and providing an engaging plot that's more focused on suspense and character moments rather than random jump scares. Although, I prefer the first film's storyline more because of its emotional depth and the small-scale environment. This film felt more like any other post-apocalyptic survival film we've seen in the past. The difference between "Part II" and those films was that the former had a tremendous amount of suspense and storytelling. The film continued its themes of parenthood while introducing another theme in the process, which is hope. This comes from its new character Emmett, who became isolated and distrustful because of what happened in the past. As a screenwriter, Krasinski did an excellent job at developing Emmett as a broken-hearted survivor, and Cillian Murphy was a brilliant choice in bringing this character to life. Emily Blunt also delivered another stellar performance as Evelyn, both during the drama and suspenseful scenes. Millicent Simmonds, who is once again front and center in the sequel, continued to deliver her incredible talent onscreen in terms of her acting and the representation of the deaf and hard of hearing. Things like this genuinely make people with disabilities feel special, and I'm happy to see this film carry on with that approach. Another element that I loved was its sound editing. It played a vital role in the first film's storytelling, especially during the scenes where they put the audience in the shoes of Simmonds's character Regan. "Part II" sustained that pivotal role to provide another unique story-driven experience that's better suited with the right sound system. The film also impressed me with its tension-filled sequences, including that intense long-take scene that we've seen in the first trailer and its third act. Especially the third act. Its clean editing and Krasinski's direction helped create a nail-biting finale that's consistently frightening as it was riveting. I would even say that it was my favorite part of the film. The only issue I had with "Part II" was how it ended. I had a similar problem with the first film's ending when I first reviewed it, but after rewatching it recently in preparation for the sequel, I got used to it because it had that "stand-alone" feel to it. The ending in "Part II" had more of a "sequel-bait" vibe to it compared to the original's conclusion, which might be a bit of a problem if another follow-up isn't happening.
Overall, "A Quiet Place Part II" is a worthy continuation that once again showcases John Krasinski as a promising filmmaker and the master of suspense and horror. Aside from its ending, this is a horror sequel done right thanks to its cast, sound editing, storytelling, and Krasinski's tight direction. So to all of the fans of "A Quiet Place", you can sigh in relief. Even though I thought the story in the original was more emotional than "Part II", I couldn't help but give this film credit for actually attempting and succeeding in crafting a soulful plot that warrants its existence. I would not mind recommending it to fans of the first film as well as some Krasinski and Blunt fans.