I beg that you see the first Quiet Place before this movie if you haven’t already, which is the logical thing to do, after all. The only thing stupider would be a mariachi band in the middle of the emergency shutdown these characters are enduring, that’s about 50 times worse than ours.
The first Quiet Place introduced us to a world that over a year ago, was met with a species where too many people were killed off by them for the world to try and go around and give them a common name. They’re skinny eight-foot-tall slimy Venom-style creatures with no sight or smell but the best ears ever, the sharpest knives as claws, and they run at about 120 miles an hour. There’s now enough of them out there that nowhere is safe to make a sound, unless you’ve managed to build a soundproof place with your imagination. The Abbott family managed to survive with sign language and wits, in a farm with handmade tracks of sand to step on in bare feet to avoid sound as much as possible.
The family consists of mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt), father Lee (John Krasinski), deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), son Marcus (Noah Jupe), and a new baby after their youngest son Beau died. At least, it did until Day 473 of the big apocalypse, when the creatures got an advantage over them and Lee sacrificed himself so his children could escape. The one thing that has given the family hope? Lee was working on a disruptive frequency, trying to pinpoint the weakness of the creatures, and they found one out. They may have that now, but with a freshly born baby, the first thing they have to do is stay safe, and when their home isn’t able to be that way anymore, they must venture out, and with that we have a sequel that got several delays due to the pandemic but is now finally here for fans of the original (so, in other words, lots of us.)
I saw the first Quiet Place in anticipation of this movie and at first thought it may be overrated. After the first 30 minutes, I was actually kind of bored. I couldn’t help it. I just wasn’t that invested in the family enough right away to not mind all the total silence. Plus, there’s a noticeable logical flaw that comes up. Lee takes Marcus over to a waterfall that he’s never been to, so it’s safe to assume he has never taken Regan or Evelyn there either. I just have to ask; why not? You find out that because it’s a loud sound the creatures can’t get rid of, they’ve learned to adapt to it and hear it as not a place with prey. If this is a safe place to actually talk, to speak, then why not go there more often? Why not, I don’t know, carve a cave within the rock and try to establish a place you can do more things? That was the biggest flaw of the film. But when it was revealed Evelyn was going into labour for their baby, things got so instantly intense I couldn’t look away. I ended up loving the movie in the end with its many surprises, many terrifying close calls, and this silo quicksand scene had me biting my nails like a three-year-old.
Now, like its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II has some flaws in the first act that make it not completely digestible right away. I mean, don’t get me wrong. It was a treat having Krasinski’s character back for a little bit, and it was even more of a treat seeing what it was like when the nightmare first began, not to mention we get to see how the neighbourhood was when it was in better shape. What I mean is after that. The last movie ended with at least two of the creatures arriving after the sound of a gunshot in the farmhouse, and I was excited to see them taken down, but instead the movie begins just a day later…and okay, a lot can happen in one day. An entire basement can get flooded, for instance. But the tone felt off. The last movie ended with the family feeling hope and this movie begins with the feeling gone even though they realize they can now fight them.
When a new character gets introduced named Emmett however, (Cillian Murphy) it’s not long in the slightest before we see a new main goal for the protagonists, and from then on it’s non-stop horror movie perfection. There ends up being a huge disagreement on if this goal should be made, primarily because one of the characters is injured (and the actor’s scream when their foot gets caught in a very deadly trap is harrowingly amazing, who I won’t say to avoid spoilers) and with a baby still in need of proper care not everyone feels fit to go out there and find out if something’s true. At least not yet. As a result, I bought how the movie plays out with a big separation, and I was pretty much equally on board with what was happening in both stories.
As sequels should be, A Quiet Place Part II explores even further the universe formed by this horror. We learn about other survivors and how they’ve worked around the creatures, but it also sticks to its own roots from the first one, not turning itself into something unrecognizable. There’s still a ton of moments where someone makes an accidental noise, foretelling an attack, the characters still feel mortal and not bound to survive by plot armour, and there’s some real creativity about the disasters, especially when Marcus ends up in a situation similar to the silo drowning scene in the first one only even more inventive.
A Quiet Place Part II has some very nice jump scares, but it also has scares where you can imagine the claustrophobia and sense of probable death which often scare better, and it in the end does leap on the cliffhanger of hope set by its predecessor. And apart from the sense the movie doesn’t completely properly transition over from the first film, once the movie tells us indirectly what kind of adventure is going to take place, it takes a serious effort to feign disinterest.