It’s been a minute since I’ve been in the theaters (my first official return this year was for the Demon Slayer movie), but I’m glad that I waited to return. The sun was out and hot, declaring that summer had arrived. With that change in the season, the theaters are finally reopening around the United States and the first film for my Summer season didn’t disappoint as John Krasinski brought audiences back to his post-apocalyptic, monster-infested world in A Quiet Place Part II.
Following the events at home, the Abbott family are forced to venture into the unknown and face the terrors of the outside world beyond the protection of the sand path.
I have to give it up to writer/director John Krasinski for delivering a thrilling, nerve-wracking introduction to the world in the first eight minutes of the film. Taking us back to the first day of the invasion, audiences watched as the aliens who hunt by sound descended to Earth to disrupt the quiet New York town. From there, we jump ahead to the present day after Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) took out the creature that came to the farm.
While I wouldn’t have minded a small time jump, I liked the fact that we picked up immediately after the events of the first film. Knowing their farm is no longer safe, the Abbotts leave the safety of their home and the sand path to see what else is out there. We are given a chilling introduction into Cillian Murphy’s survivor character, Emmett, who knew the Abbotts in the beginning. Emmett is the embodiment of hopelessness in the film as he has lost the feeling that things will get better. He’s a welcome addition and possesses one of the best arcs in the film.
The entire casts puts in great performances, especially Emily Blunt. Despite still reeling from the death of her husband, she also has to protect her children, including her newborn son in a world where the terrors never seem to stop. The emotional range that she puts on is incredible to witness. While I wish she could have gotten a bigger role, I don’t mind Emily being put to the background for the true heart of the movie. Millicient Simmonds, who plays the oldest daughter of the Abbotts, Regan, put on an amazing performance. She’s the beating heart of this movie and the device of hope in a world that seems to grow darker. It could be easily said that this is her movie. If she becomes the focal point of an eventual part III, I’m not mad about it.
The sound design and use of silence is effective as ever, adding to the tension of what could happen next. As you are sitting in your seats and watching the film unfold, you know you are ready to jump at a moment’s notice. The question is just when. The silence is put to great use to build tension throughout the movie as you hope the characters don’t make a sound to attract the monsters to their location. The runtime of the movie works, keeping the film tight enough to keep audiences invested and small moments to let us breathe with these people in this terrifying world. My only complaint is that John Krasinski didn’t take a lot of risks with this sequel as a director. It felt as though he stayed in a safe box that worked with the first film.
Great scares that are well earned, reasonable emotional stakes and solid direction from John Krasinski makes A Quiet Place Part II is a movie meant for the theater experience. Welcome back to the theaters, everyone.
What are your thoughts about A Quiet Place Part II? Is it convincing enough to go back to the theaters to see it? Is this the right movie to start your summer off on the right cinematic foot?
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