Full disclaimer- I hated A Quiet Place. Hated it! I have gone on many a rant on why that movie was awful. It was slow, dragged on way too long, and had too many plot holes that totally ruined the entire viewing experience for me. I’m all for suspension of disbelief, but the first movie had far too many issues.
However, A Quiet Place Part II was much better and lacked many of the same problems that plagued the first movie. While there were still issues with the film, I found myself enjoying it way more than the first installment.
A Quiet Place Part II begins with a flashback to the very first day of the alien invasion. Honestly, if you’ve seen the preview for the movie, you’ve already seen the most of the first few minutes of the film. What I originally expected to be more of a ‘prequel’ basically turned out to be a lame excuse to give John Krasinski some screen time. Nothing against Krasinski and his character, but this opening sequence did nothing to further or develop the overarching plot of the movie.
While the initial alien attacks are jarring and gets your heart rate going a little quicker, that’s essentially all that it does. The attacks work, but I would have preferred to see more of the aftermath before flash forwarding to “Day 474”.
We pick up almost immediately where the first film ended- with the hinted at battle already over. We see dead creatures everywhere and the Abbott family home still burning and flooded as the Abbotts set off to a distant fire signal that they hope will lead them to more human survivors. Soon, the Abbotts arrive at an abandoned steel mill that is inhabited by Emmett- who we were briefly introduced to in the first few moments of the film. Emmett (Cillian Murphy) allows the Abbotts to stay overnight, but warns them that the wants them gone in the morning.
However, before he can kick them out, Regan (the strong-willed and deaf Abbott daughter) ventures out on her own to follow a strong radio signal. Emmett soon follows at behest of Emily Blunt’s Evelyn. If the Abbotts should have learned anything from the first movie is that they should always remain together, and yet here we are already making the questionable decision to split up. With Regan and Emmett already separated, Evelyn soon leaves her oldest son Marcus alone to watch his newly born baby brother.
This is really when things start to fall apart. One could argue that Regan’s decision to leave to follow the radio signal is brave and almost a necessity. One could also argue that Evelyn’s decision to leave to gather medical supplies (baby boy is running out of oxygen for his makeshift crib and Marcus’ foot was caught in a bear trap earlier in the film) for her children is also needed. But the same thing cannot be said about Marcus’ decisions.
While the story at the point started to take some very predictable turns, every actor acted the hell out of these circumstances. The final act of the film was effortlessly watchable. Even though I knew exactly where the movie was going, I still found myself jumping at every jump scare and gripping the armrests in the theater. My friend and I even laughed at ourselves for being as invested as we were. Predictable or not, we were hooked. The music, camera angles, the creature’s appearance, and the movement from complete silence back to noise all added to the tension of the film.
John Krasinski is really starting to grow as a director and writer. While the story may have been unique, Krasinski still found himself using many of the traditional horror movie tropes. The narrative and world-building may be weak, but there was enough added in this film that can possibly be explored later. I am very interested in seeing how the, for the lack of a better term, ‘boat people’ can be explored further especially after we learned the creatures cannot swim. I do think I’d rather see a legit prequel to the first film verses another sequel, however. There’s so much untapped potential there that I think can really deliver.
Overall, amongst the flaws in narrative and standard horror movie storytelling, A Quiet Place Part II is still an enjoyable experience. As theaters across the country are starting to open up, A Quiet Place Part II would be a nice reintroduction for many.
A Quiet Place Part II opens in theaters on May 28th and Paramount + for 45 days.
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