In March 2020, mere days before A Quiet Place Part II was due to arrive in cinemas, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and the movie’s theatrical release was scrapped. Over a year later, and following a couple of revised release dates, the film finally hits cinema screens.
Yes, it looked like it was never going to happen, but A Quiet Place Part II is here! The film opened in the US over the weekend, is previewing in the UK today, and goes on general release on June 3rd.
Directed by John Krasinski, A Quiet Place Part II stars Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe. The film picks up directly after the events of 2018’s A Quiet Place, and sees the Abbott family search for a new home, while still battling alien creatures with hypersensitive hearing.
In the movie, Evelyn Abbott and her children leave their home in the hope they will find a new, and safe place to live. The Abbott family have been living an isolated existence since terrifying creatures took over the world, but following the death of Evelyn’s husband, Lee, it is now time to move forward and reconnect with other people.
Shortly into their journey, the Abbotts meet Emmett – a former friend of the family, who has been doing his best to survive on his own. Emmett has suffered great tragedy, but has managed to keep going, while holed up inside a disused warehouse.
While staying in the warehouse with Emmett, the Abbotts hear a song playing on their radio – a song which Emmett says has been continuously playing for some time. Daughter, Regan, believes this isn’t any old tune, but rather a message to other survivors that a safe haven exists somewhere close by.
Believing she has decoded the message, Regan sets out to find the origins of the signal. But the path to a new life is fraught with danger, leading to a series of nail-biting situations that could spell the end for the Abbotts.
As is quite clear from its title, A Quiet Place Part II is a sequel; but it’s not just a bog-standard sequel – this is an equal, which is on par with its predecessor. It takes everything that worked well in the first movie, expands and explores the ideas and themes, and creates a film which effectively acts as a continuation of everything that has come before. And it doesn’t drop the ball. Not once.
Remember how tense the original movie was? This is equally as tense.
A Quiet Place Part II is a masterclass in sheer terror and suspense. Throughout the whole of the movie, it continually finds ways to introduce nerve-shredding situations out of the simplest moments, and then scare the audience witless.
An injury, a hearing aid, an oxygen canister, a door, a boat – without giving any spoilers, these little things provide the catalyst for some of the most gripping scenes in the movie. And it doesn’t just stop there, because once each scene is set in motion, director John Krasinski digs deep to ensure every last drop of tension is wrung out.
One of the key elements of the A Quiet Place mythology is that the creatures in the film react to noise, which means all of the characters must remain silent. They know this, we the audience know this, and Krasinski knows that he can really cause a lot of drama from something as minor as a squeaky hinge or some really crunchy leaves.
The teeniest, tiniest sound in this movie can create all kinds of havoc, and boy, it is so much fun to watch when things really kick off. I found myself holding my breath during silent scenes; clenching my fists when all hell broke loose; and going on an emotional rollercoaster as each character found themselves trying desperately to stay alive.
This film doesn’t let up. From the opening scene, to the final moments, this movie moves at pace, with barely any room to breathe.
The prologue in particular – a flashback sequence, which details the day that creatures arrived on Earth, is incredibly effective. The sequence isn’t particularly long, but it packs in enough drama to provide a little backstory, a few jump scares, and most important of all, it introduces a new character.
Joining the established cast is Cillian Murphy, who takes on the role of Emmett for this new entry. Murphy’s character is slipped into the prologue, as a friend to the Abbott’s, and this neat little intro makes it feel as if he has always been a part of this world.
Emmett becomes an interesting character, and with Murphy bringing him to life, he becomes a strong new addition. His inclusion doesn’t detract from the other characters, in fact, far from it, but it does help to balance out the family dynamic, following the death of Lee Abbott in the previous movie.
As mentioned above, Emmett has experienced tragedy himself, so knows exactly what the Abbotts have been going through. This plays an important factor into his character journey, which helps to drive the story forward.
But as much as Murphy is good in this movie, this is an ensemble piece and returning actors, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe, are all superb. Simmonds in particular is fantastic, and becomes the true focal point of the film.
If there is a Part III, and I really hope there will be, then I expect Simmonds to take an even bigger slice of the screen time. This film feels as if it is moving the younger actors into position to take the reins of the franchise, and I’m all for it – they have proved themselves more than capable.
It may have taken a while to make it to screens, but A Quiet Place Part II has been worth the wait. This movie really delivers.
In terms of the cinematography, this picture boasts some great shots; in terms of the lighting, it nails the mood and ambience perfectly; and in terms of the way it captures the audience’s attention, it never falters.
The film pushes things along just enough to help expand the world, but never too much to overstep the mark. It leaves plenty of wiggle room for future stories, it sets up some interesting ideas about where humanity finds itself following a global crisis, and by the end of the movie it leaves you wanting more.
This is a good film. A really good film. I urge you to check it out, as soon as you can, because big screen entertainment is back, and A Quiet Place Part II is a perfect example of what cinema is made for.