It’s a lovely family film about deadly aliens, that’s what A Quiet Place 2 is for you.
Pay attention. Although it has more to say in the epidemic period, a Quiet Place 2 is a nearly quiet sequel. The gripping thriller, written and directed by John Krasinski and starring Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy, is loaded with precision-tooled suspense even if it doesn’t expand on 2018 original as much as it might.
A Quiet Place 2 is similar to what you’d get if the alien hunter from the Predator franchise came to visit This Is Us for a few episodes. The film combines a horror narrative with the heart of a family drama, and it works really well for the most part. But, like real families, it’s very constant in both its virtues and weaknesses — in other words, it’s the perfect sequel for lovers of the original film, while also doing a decent job of greeting audiences who may have missed the first time around.
July 27 – featuring a combo bundle that includes both Quiet Place flicks. When COVID blew up cinematic calendars in March 2020, A Quiet Place 2 was only days away from hitting theaters. I eventually saw the film in a theater with social distancing and health screening procedures in place more than a year later. It arrived on streaming platforms fast, as have many other blockbusters this year, and is currently available on Paramount Plus. It is not available on HBO Max, but it is available to rent or buy digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD.
The sequel, packed with tension, returns to a world where aliens are good listeners and the least noise may kill. Emily Blunt returns from the first film, damaged and unsteady, as a postpartum mother struggling to put one foot in front of the other while dealing with loss and suffering. It’s an awful mix of sadness and determination, echoing the terrible agony of watching your children in suffering.
Millicent Simmonds is a powerful lead because the daughter is determined to use her deafness to her advantage. Her determination to go above and above drives the plot, putting her loved ones’ parental caution to the test. Meanwhile, Noah Jupe gets the short end of the stick when it comes to doing things that look a little rash, but the actor sells the sensation of being a terrified boy in a dangerous world.
Cillian Murphy replaces John Krasinski as a new father figure in a, particularly astute casting choice. Perhaps it’s the number of Peaky Blinders I watched during the lockdown. Still, Murphy adds a lot of suspense simply by coming up.
He’s presented as a doting father at a little league game and yet manages to make you break out in a cold sweat. The 28 Days Later, Inception and Dunkirk star add uncertainty and possible instability to any job that he’s the polar antithesis of Krasinski’s fatherly dependability.
Sound design is crucial in this picture, as it was in the first. The picture expertly alternates between deafening carnage and nail-biting stillness from the chaotic start, albeit it isn’t centered around the deaf daughter’s noiseless perspective as much as the previous film.
What was creative and distinctive back then is used sparingly today, though Krasinski isn’t beyond throwing in a cheap jump scare to keep you on your toes?
If anything, this second installment demonstrates that these films are more than simply gimmicky sound designs. Polly Morgan’s cinematography complements the sound design and music well. The camera crawls remorselessly in the most stressful moments, filling the frame with agonizingly slow movement and, at its height, crosscutting between multiple nerve-racking plot strands to ratchet up the suspense.
There’s a fantastic moment in which the camera swirls in from above a scared character. This startling perspective combines the sights and music to immerse you in the character’s bewilderment and terror.
Despite being developed long before the epidemic, the Quiet Place films have gained new relevance in the COVID era. The disaster begins with hazy and widely misconstrued news stories from China before escalating drastically closer to home. Survival is dependent on the tiniest, most basic measures.
After becoming accustomed to being confined within their bubble, the family makes its first hesitant steps outside, when they must sneak through the world without touching anything, since even the most benign of things and desires may kill. And, just as awful as the threat itself, is the continual worry about how others may react.
A Quiet Place 2 moves into more classic post-apocalyptic genre terrain by examining how individuals react to the threat. What does it take to make it? Can empathy and hope survive, or does preserving one’s skin imply abandoning one’s humanity? These are all common questions from zombie films, and A Quiet Place 2 doesn’t put much effort into envisioning what’s occurred in the outside world. Hence, it avoids parallels with other post-apocalyptic cultures.
The Walking Dead, for example, provides enjoyment by depicting multiple groups that cope and reorganize in completely varied ways. However, A Quiet Place 2 fails to capitalize on its own story universe. The sequel enlarges rather than expands on the central concept. It’s a good concept, but it’s only one among many.
A Quiet Place 2 employs a broader spectrum of locations for more nerve-wracking set pieces. However, it eventually fudges the world-building by providing only oblique indications regarding the reasons or effects of the auditory apocalypse. A creature film sequel may be expected to level up a bigger, worse strain of monsters — they fly now! — but this second installment is more of a continuity than an escalation. When you think about it later, once your pulse rate has returned to normal, the tale loops back without any big twists, finishing with a whimper rather than a boom.
In some ways, like the original, this sequel seeks to have its cake and eat it too. The presence of a baby is set up to be a big concern in both films since the little mite may cry uncontrollably at any time. However, while Krasinski is delighted to throw some severe hurdles at the non-infant characters, and safeguarding the baby is a significant motivator of the characters’ activities, the film fails to address the threat posed by a screaming baby. There are flashes of unpleasant macabre horror, but the film ends up skirting around them to appeal to a broad audience.
Part 1’s thrills came from portraying a family who was already prepared to endure this exact calamity. This second post foregoes the potential to explain how others live and communicate without those precise talents. Nonetheless, it builds on the joys of the previous film by seeing individuals coming up with skillful and innovative solutions to the terrible predicament. They make errors, but they never do stupid things merely to progress the story. Sure, people might have had a better chance if they had cleaned up their desks, but why is humanity’s fate tied to some obscure clue?
Okay, so, like with the previous film, the different solutions employed by the protagonists may not stand up to examination. (How come they didn’t just reside near the waterfall?) However, for the time being, it seems fulfilling, clever, and believable. The picture is taut and efficient yet fully realized, with sophisticated setups and punch-the-air pay-offs. Every safe haven has its own risk, every solution has its own set of issues, and every decision comes back to haunt you.
The film appears to believe they both have valid points. Regan and Emmett set out on a dangerous trip in search of survivors. They encounter scenarios that inspire both hope and despair. Some of the humans they encounter are as predatory as the monsters, but others are as brave and kind as Regan. As a result, A Quiet Place 2 is a surprisingly poignant picture for the present time, as our country slowly recovers from a crisis that has shown mankind at its finest and worst, but perhaps less scary than an extraterrestrial apocalypse.
The film concludes on an ambiguous note, leaving the door open for a sequel, disappointing and encouraging. I’m already looking forward to seeing what happens next – ideally in a dark theater, as quietly as possible.