Director John Krasinski tells audiences in a post-screening virtual Q&A that he originally never intended for there to be a sequel to ‘A Quiet Place’. Quite surprising to consider, when its follow-up is so perfectly organic.
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ isn’t a forced effort by any means. Whether he realised it or not, John created a story so open to expansion in the first film, that this next effort feels less like a sequel and more like watching a flower blooming to something much more fully-realised than once thought.
Storyline wise, things kick off exactly where they were left, almost creating the illusion of watching an extended version of the first film – but not before a brief foray into the past and a look at day one of the nightmare this family have found themselves in. This flashback sequence is a cinematic triumph in itself, just in how it’s shot – plus, we’re finally able to witness where it all began.
Eventually, there’s a figurative fork in the road and the plot is split in two. These two plot lines run differently enough that you’re able to remain engaged in both. . . And every now and then they reach parallel peaks of heightened tension, meaning audiences bear witness to two separate – and yet equally terrifying – scenarios at once. This is a clever filmic device, meaning there’s no time to breathe easy for a few minutes, no matter where you look.
Emily Blunt is brilliant the second time around, truly capturing her character Evelyn’s primal instincts and determination to survive.
New cast addition Cillian Murphy plays ‘leading male role’ excellently as Emmett – what’s brilliant about Emmett is that he’s not particularly likeable, and as an audience member you’re just as skeptical as the characters in trusting him. There’s a process in figuring him out, there’s work for the audience to do as the events of the film unfold.
Meanwhile, the gold stars for ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ are undoubtedly to be awarded to Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds, as children Marcus and Regan respectively. What incredible talents these two people are – and in ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ we get to see them flourish into strong, capable people and highly capable actors. A scene involving Marcus and a bear trap is perhaps one of the most harrowing in the film. Meanwhile, Regan’s strength and independence takes a front seat after the discovery involving her hearing aid.
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ is refreshing, organic, and extremely well-acted, making for a fantastic cinematic experience. Seriously, if you’re only just emerging from the COVID shadows and are keen to get back to the movies, make this your first time back. Not only is it wonderful to be in a cinema full of people again, but the fact it’s for a film so conscious and considerate of the art of sound and tension is just an extra treat for the senses.
This is just as good as, if not better than, the first film. Now that’s an achievement!