It's sequel time! After stumbling into a genre film while setting out to make a love letter to his children and a tale of family survival, writer/director/actor John Krasinski is now well aware of what he created back in 2018 and has gone guns blazing into a part two. Leaving behind a minimal dialogue love story between a man and wife, a father and daughter and a brother and sister in the midst of a violent invasion, 'Part II' packs in more action, more jump scares and yes, more dialogue into this cranked-to-11 sequel - all with a deaf teenage girl as its protagonist and hero. This now-franchise really is something special.
After a brief trip down memory lane back to Day 1 when we learn how all this shit started (and to appease the Krasinski fans who want to see his face and not just his handiwork), we're sent hurtling to the present - mere seconds since the end of the first film, in fact. The alien from the basement is dead, Lee (Krasinski) is dead, they have a new tool to fight the creatures in the way of Regan's (Millicent Simmonds) hearing aid causing feedback against a speaker that incapacitates the creatures. They have a newborn, and their home is currently burning to the ground. It's time to go out into the world to see what they can find. There they run into Emmett (Cillian Murphy, 'Dunkirk', 'Batman Begins') who himself has suffered great loss. He also has knowledge of what's become of most survivors and that they're not worth saving, only being saved from. Thanks to being her father's daughter, Regan believes she's discovered a way to salvation. Armed with her brains, determination and her new "weapon", she sets out to see if she's right - leaving the rest of her family to fend for themselves, on foreign ground, while still battling their grief and a slew of physical and practical obstacles.
When it comes to sequels, comedies take a simple yet effective copy-and-paste approach. For anything with action, the goal is to go bigger. Audiences want more, so let's give 'em more. And that's exactly what 'A Quiet Place Part II' does. Leaving behind the careful, artistic approach of the first film and equipped with more experience, familiarity with the world and cast, John Krasinski is keen to get out and play. That stunning family dynamic that shone in the first film is a little lacking in this follow-up in favour of thrills and spills - but we've had that film. Now, it's time to party. And party we shall... but quietly because of the you-know-what. Thanks to his insanely talented cast who he clearly trusts implicitly, this film is able to deliver in exactly the way a sequel should. Noah Jupe and the truly exceptional Millicent Simmonds make this film. Their juxtaposing characters make for some great storytelling, and they carry said story beautifully and with grace. No longer confined to a single setting or even a singular story, 'A Quiet Place II' splits the film into two tales (and even briefly three), meaning twice the action, twice the suspense and twice the opportunities for me to crap my pants. As a Level 7 Scaredy Cat, not a second was wasted, and I wore my flop sweat proudly.
As a Level 7 Scaredy Cat, not a second was wasted and I wore my flop sweat proudly.
'A Quiet Place Part II' is tailor-made for the cinema experience, with its incredible sound design delivered in Dolby Atmos. Without this setting, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the collective and comic inhales as 300 strangers beg (not so silently) for the onscreen characters not to make a sound. Or as one viewer whispered (yet echoed around the cinema) "Nonononononono!" which elicited a much-welcome chuckle after an hour curled up with our shoulders and hands pressed up to our ears, peeking through slits in our fingers. Cinemas are back! So let's start enjoying them again.