Back in 2018 genre film fans were shocked when real-life husband and wife team John Krasinski (the American NBC version of The Office) and Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) brought their passion project, titled A Quiet Place, to the big screen. The film itself was a virtual cinematic masterpiece and fans began asking for a sequel almost straight away. Now that sequel has landed with A Quiet Place Part II and once again those fans are going to be enthralled.
Part II picks up exactly where the original film left off. The subsequent fire, thanks to the finale of Part 1, sees Evelyn Abbott (Blunt) and her kids, Regan (Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck) and Marcus (Noah Jupe – Honey Boy), seeking shelter elsewhere while the creatures still hunt them down whenever they make a noise.
They soon find shelter in an old mill alongside family friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy – Inception), but when Regan finds a radio transmission on her father’s radio she becomes insistent that the group travel to where the feed is being transmitted from. She soon makes it known that if the others don’t follow her she is willing to go it alone.
It becomes very obvious early on with Part II that as a filmmaker Krasinki wanted to make this film bigger and better than the original but without losing that ‘indie’ feel that was so obvious in the first film – and to his credit he manages to do that. The opening sequence which is a short prequel to the event is mind-blowing – brilliantly directed and still has a small town feel to it which makes it perfect fodder for those that love shows like Stranger Things.
From there though the film returns to the almost slower pace that made the first film so special. The film focuses on characterisation whether it be the audience being frustrated at behaviour of Marcus that often puts his family at risk or the emotional growth that we see from Regan this time around. The fact that the people behind the camera also had the sense to risk a large portion of this film being carried by young Millicent Simmonds pays off as well.
Simmonds is brilliant in this film and often steals scenes from her more experienced co-stars like Emily Blunt. She uses her deafness to her advantage in her portrayal of her character on screen and some of the film’s most important and memorable moments are played out with her alongside Cillian Murphy. Both Murphy and Simmonds are also made look even better by Krasinski and his cinematographer, Polly Morgan (Lucy in the Sky), who frequently give small nods to cult classics like Alien throughout the film.
The real key to A Quiet Place Part II working so well as a film though is the fact that Krasinski never allows this film to give in to the cheesiness that Hollywood so often feels these films need. There are no tacky, throw-away lines placed into the film to try and get a cheap life and there are certainly none of those laughable jump scares that seem to litter horror and sci-fi films these days. It is obvious that Krasinski has learnt his craft by watching the films of the masters – directors like Spielberg, Carpenter and Scott, and thankfully for fans of the genre their work is mirrored in his.
The Quiet Place Part II is better suited to those that have already seen the original film. While the flashback at the start of the film does do enough to give newcomers a bit of back-story once the film comes back to the current day there are things that happen that would only be understood by those who have seen the original. The great news is that for fans of the original this is a more than worthy watch and it reveals Millicent Simmonds as a future star in a role that is now truly memorable.
A Quiet Place Part II is now showing in cinemas in Phuket.
David Griffiths has been working as a film and music reviewer for over 20 years. That time has seen him work in radio, television and in print. You can follow him at www.facebook.com/subcultureentertainmentaus