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A Quiet Place Part II – Review: A Solid Horror Sequel That Features Excellent Performances, and Enough Jump Scares to Give You a Workout.

July 13, 2021

Quick thoughts: A Quiet Place Part II is a solid sequel that expands the universe successfully, but builds its scares in a slightly contrived manner. 

Directed and written by John Krasinksi, A Quiet Place Part II is a rare horror sequel that manages to uphold the good name of its predecessor, and successfully expand the world to include new characters, communities, and locations. The $61 million budget must’ve  helped a lot (the original only had a $17 million budget), as it allowed Krasinski to move beyond the Abbott family farm, and cast actors like Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou and Scoot McNairy who may or may not survive the deadly aliens that rampage the now decimated earth. The 91% Tomatometer rating is deserved, and so is the $270 million worldwide haul (in a pandemic, very impressive), but, some of the plotlines are fueled by contrived happenings that feel completely inorganic and clumsy, and they takes away from the effectiveness of the overall package. 

After a flashback that showcases what happens when the aliens first attack the small New York town that is home to the Abbott family (most everyone is killed), the story quickly moves to the aftermath of the first film that saw Lee Abbott (John Krasinksi) being killed by an alien while protecting his kids Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and Marcus (Noah Jope). When all seems lost, Regan discovers that the feedback from her cochlear implant can be used to disorient the creature, which allows her mom Evelyn (Emily Blunt) to kill it with a shotgun blast to the face. After the alien attack, Marcus, Regan, Evelyn, and her recently born baby travel to the neighboring area, where Emmett (Cillian Murphy) burns fires to let his neighbors know he’s still alive. While entering Emmett’s facility, an alien attacks after Marcus gets his leg stuck in a bear trap (like everyone else would, he understandably lets out some primal screams). The group narrowly survive, and are saved by Emmett, who leads them into an underground bunker, where they hunker down to regroup, and allow Marcus time to heal.

From there, the story splits in two directions. Regan leaves the group to track down a radio signal that is playing Bobby Darin’s Beyond the Sea on repeat. She is followed by Emmett, who instead of bringing her back to the group, decides to guide her to the island where the signal is coming from. The other story focuses on Evelyn trying to find antibiotics for Marcus, whose injuries could become serious. Normally, everything would be fine, but for some reason, Marcus (who knows better) leaves the bunker, makes a bunch of noise, and is attacked by an alien. Both stories feature strong moments of suspense, but they are also driven by contrived moments (Marcus leaving the bunker for no reason other than being a kid), and new characters who seem awfully chill about security measures, and don’t seem worried about death by aliens or ravaging gangs of humans. The final product is a lot of fun, and wonderfully short (the film is only 97 minutes long), but the forced narrative, and new plot wrinkles (why is Djimon Hounsou’s sweater so clean?) keep it from being an A-rated sequel. 

Once again, the sound editing and mixing are excellent. Michael Barosky (sound mixer), Erik Aadahl (supervising sound editor) Brandon Jones (sound designer) and Malte Bieler (sound designer) should be proud of their work as the sound mix bounces between Regan’s soundless perspective, and a world that is mostly silent, and any noise could prove death (which is such a great idea). Also, the cinematography by Polly Morgan (Legion, Lucy in the Sky) is solid, and knows when to go in for closeups of people covering their mouths, and when to go wide and showcase the beautiful New York scenery. Technically, the movie is impressive, as Krasinksi brought in a lot of talent to make a classy horror film the world will appreciate.

Final thoughts:A Quiet Place Part II is a fun horror sequel that features excellent performances, cool sweaters, and enough jumpscares to give you a workout.

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