John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place from 2018 was a surprise hit with audiences and critics alike. It was a nail-bitingly tense exercise in crafting horror and suspense and one that worked perfectly well on its own, but of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, a sequel was almost inevitable. A Quiet Place Part II got caught up in the pandemic and was delayed for over a year and ended up being one of the first films to be released on the big screen after months of lockdowns and closures. In that sense, A Quiet Place Part II will always be remembered with a certain fondness and it’s now associated with our love for the big screen.
The film kicks off with an exciting, action-packed flashback that shows us how the creatures that ended up killing most of the population, arrived on Earth and wreaked havoc on that fateful first day. The film then jumps forward to after the events of the first film and Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) along with a newborn set out to leave their destroyed home. They encounter another survivor (Cillian Murphy) and find out that there are more survivors through a radio transmission that prompts Regan to want to seek them out.
A Quiet Place Part II does a lot right. It rightfully and smartly builds the story around Regan, who is still reeling from the loss of her dad and gaining more independence. However, this means other actors are badly sidelined. Noah Jupe, one of the most talented child actors working, is mostly wasted and left to walk in circles underground and Emily Blunt, while bringing a lot of warmth and star power into the film, has very little to do as well. Cillian Murphy is a great addition and a few other familiar faces show up, but the heart and soul of the film is Simmonds and she excels in it. Her performance is compelling, brave and nuanced.
Krasinski’s direction is yet again assured and he crafts a competent film, but narratively, A Quiet Place Part II is all over the place. The story is too fractured and while it’s fun to see the film’s scale and scope get bigger, it comes at a cost as there isn’t a strong enough emotional connection to the characters. The first film was the perfect mix of scares and character development, which resulted in a big pay off that was both frightening and emotional, but that is lacking from Part II.
The film lacks iconic moments that the first film seemed to be littered with. The opening sequence of the monsters arriving is energetic and the CGI on the monsters is satisfying enough, but the rest of the film is a tad forgettable and at worst, frustrating when characters make stupid choices or are just careless with their own safety. At 97 minutes, it doesn’t exactly outstay its welcome, but everything in Part II feels rushed and superficial.
The Blu-Ray comes with five featurettes that show off Krasinki’s filmmaking, the focus on Regan and the film’s visual effects and sound design. They, much like the film, are superficial and filled with generic talking head interviews rather than dig into the actual craft of filmmaking, apart from the sound and visual effects featurette which showcases the effort put into crafting the monsters, which are seen from up close in the sequel.
A Quiet Place: Part II is available to Download & Keep now and on 4K Ultra HD+Blu-ray™, Blu-ray™ & DVD from the 30th August.