A Quiet Place Part II Review: Silence is Golden

A Quiet Place Part II

In 2018, the world was captivated by John Krasinski’s directorial debut, A Quiet Place. We praised the film for its suspense and its inventive and original premise. Audiences praised it too, to the tune of 341 million dollars worldwide on a 17 million dollar budget. So it’s no surprise that a sequel would be in the works with that much money made. However, in an industry where sequels go massive and more epic, A Quiet Place Part II does not. By no means is that a bad thing. Instead, it focuses on the importance of the little things. As a result, A Quiet Place Part II is visually remarkable, technically solid, maturely written, tense, and brutal.

A Quiet Place Part II follows the Abbott family, who now faces the terrifying unknown of the outside world. They soon realize that the creatures are not the only threats lurking beyond their abandoned home.

Although the Quiet Place world has expanded, it doesn’t grow by much. With the sequel, audiences will finally get to see how the apocalypse came about, and we’ll get to meet other survivors as well. Yet the one constant between the first film and this one is with its themes. A Quiet Place Part II further explores the deep-rooted traits found within the human race: Fight or flight, endure, and survive. Because when times are at their most difficult, that’s when humanity perseveres, and we find ways to keep going. We find ways to adapt.

With the loss of Lee (John Krasinski) in the first film, the rest of the Abbotts must adapt and survive on their own. Yet, the strength of these characters is off the charts in Part II. The way their stories subtly come together really helps connect you to them—even as they interact with the film’s new characters. If you’ve ever played The Last of Us, then you’ll start to notice the similarities between Naughty Dog’s classic video game and A Quiet Place Part II. Regan (Millicent Simmonds), in particular, has a very transformational arc. Like The Last of Us, the fate of the world depends on her, and Simmonds truly shines. Watching her develop from a guilt-ridden child in the first film to a strong and self-sufficient woman in Part II is quite the sight.

A Quiet Place Part II - Millicent Simmonds and Cillian Murphy

Similarly, newcomer Emmett (Cillian Murphy) is a fantastic addition to the film, and his character arc rivals that of Regan’s. Murphy first plays this character with a shred of humanity, a byproduct of the dystopian circumstances he finds himself in. It’s when Emmett leaves to guide Regan to her destination that his journeys, both geographical and personal, begins. His sharp edges begin to fade away the more he spends time with Regan.

Yet, the brilliance found in A Quiet Place Part II is through the film’s visuals. The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, loves to use dramatic space to tell a story in a single shot. Also known as the “Hitchcock Rule,” Hitchcock had the belief that “any object in the frame should be proportional to its importance to the story at that point.” In other words, you should put a crucial story element at the forefront. If something isn’t that important, you put it in the background. However, Krasinski flips this approach upside-down by forcing the audience to focus on the back instead. He frames the actors close to the camera while slowly unveiling the creatures in the background—manipulating the tension in a single shot. With the hour and 37-minute runtime, there is plenty of intensity to go around.

Overall, A Quiet Place Part II doesn’t slow down, doesn’t let up, and thankfully, doesn’t disappoint. John Krasinski crafted a film that impresses in virtually every way. It’s unrivaled in its suspenseful presentation and one of the rare sequels that match the quality of its predecessor. As a matter of fact, it’s also one of the best films of the year so far.

Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

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