A Quiet Place Part II: Film Review

A Quiet Place Part II

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

I loved the first A Quiet Place, I gave it a full five stars and thought it was a terrific horror, so I was cautious about this sequel because I didn’t think it was necessary and I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the standard of the first one.

Following a cool prequel-style prologue, the main action takes place right where the first film ended and it is now day 474 in their new world, which is dominated by monsters with an acute sense of hearing so everybody has to be as quiet as possible to survive. The Abbotts – Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her children Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Regan (Millicent Simmonds) (plus baby) – must find somewhere new to live and come across a warehouse which their old friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy) calls home. While there, Regan comes across a radio channel that only plays Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin and becomes convinced the song is a signal so sets off to find the location of the transmission on an island a couple of days’ walk away.

What I loved about 2018’s A Quiet Place was that it was taut, focused and concentrated on one family and their experience of the monster apocalypse. It was inevitable that the sequel would expand and explore the world surrounding them more, but as a result, it becomes more sprawling, the pace is slower and the film has to cut back and forth between different characters and storylines and it just lacks that special magic that made the first film so awesome.

And number two, once again directed by John Krasinski, essentially feels like a bridge between number one and number three. A third hasn’t been announced yet but it is inevitably going to happen since this one basically has no ending. Outside of the incredible, thrilling opening flashback, the action just continues on from the first film and then stops after 90+ minutes even though it felt like it should carry on – there is so much more story left to tell. It didn’t feel like a satisfying conclusion. This sequel is basically just the one that gets them from point A to B and sets up the next storyline, which is apparent from this “ending”.

All this criticism makes it seem like I didn’t like it but that’s not the case. I just wanted it to be better because I liked the first one so much. I found this one less scary in a horror sense, even though there were a couple of good jumps, and more of an unsettling thriller, which was very effective at getting my heart pumping and making me feel tense every time they slowly tried to avoid making any noise is a potentially loud situation.

Simmonds was the emotional heart of the first film and she’s the star of the show here, without a doubt. She has the most exciting storyline, the one that pushes the narrative forwards, and she has such a compelling presence. I liked Regan’s partnership with Emmett and how they learned to communicate without him knowing sign language. Blunt felt side-lined somewhat. She really didn’t have much to do, which is a shame because she had the central role last time. Jupe is a very talented young actor and he does well with what he’s given, while Murphy is ace as what is essentially the kids’ new father figure. Also, Djimon Hounsou makes a small but important appearance and keep an eye out for Scoot McNairy, who looks barely recognisable in his role.

I had a great time watching A Quiet Place Part II but it failed to live up to the standard of its predecessor and I felt disappointed that it wasn’t enough of a standalone story.

In cinemas from Thursday 3rd June

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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