A Quiet Place Part II | Movie Review

I was a bit embarrassed when I realized I had not seen A Quiet Place, the film that silently screamed its way into becoming a huge hit in 2018. I remembered hearing a bit about it, but for some reason was unable to see it and paid little attention. As I said, I’m embarrassed.  

So, knowing I’d be viewing the sequel, I hurried up and watched the original. My only regret is that I did not see it on the big screen.  

I am now hooked. It’s a story I will follow to the end.

It is both my hope and prediction that these films will keep going, giving us an exquisite franchise that will create legions of fans. The story is too good, the casts too wonderful, and the premise too addicting to keep us from not wanting things to go on and on. The possibilities seem endless.

The first film told the story of a midwestern family, led by Lee Abbott and his wife Evelyn (real-life spouses John Krasinski and Emily Blunt). The first film opens with the family moving carefully and silently through an abandoned drug store. If that weren’t enough to make us uneasy, we soon discover the family is returning to their home on foot, walking carefully and meticulously over a sand trail to make things quieter. On this crisp autumn day, their breath visible in the air, we see that their feet are bare. As the story unfolds, we discover that some type of monster army prowls the countryside, ready to strike anything and anyone who makes a noise loud enough to be detected: and detect and strike, they do. 

Every step, every movement, and every task is planned and painstakingly carried out in order to stay as quiet as possible.  

The film chronicles the family’s struggles, their desire to find a way to fight against this alien foe, and of course, edge of your seat encounters with the beasts themselves.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you must. Stream the original before heading out this weekend to see this next one. See it on the largest screen possible.

A Quiet Place Part ll begins where the first one left off – although we are first given a heartbreaking and uneasy glimpse into what life was like before the monsters arrived. At times, knowing what we already know, we ache and fret as if we must warn these poor folks of what is yet to come.  

The characters are people we care about, almost from the get-go. That’s good writing and good directing, and something obviously intended by Krasinski (did I mention he also directs?). The horror and thriller elements are not as important as the fact we care; we want their survival. We want them to triumph.

We see less of Krasinski in this new movie, and a tad bit less of Blunt. The film focuses more on the phenomenal Millicent Simmonds as Regan Abbott, the hearing impaired daughter who discovers her cochlear implant and its frequency might be the key to deflecting the creatures. With the fighting, do-gooder spirit of her father, as well as information he kept about radio stations and transmissions, Regan sets out on her own to use this new found knowledge. She is aided by wide-eyed, former family friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who has reluctantly agreed to help her on her quest following a tearful request from mother Evelyn.

While Emmet and Regan go on a journey for the greater good, Blunt keeps the home fires burning, quietly and vigilantly taking care of her newborn baby and asthmatic son Marcus (Noah Jupe). The three have their own challenges setting up new headquarters in an abandoned mill, once inhabited only by the hardened, shell-shocked Emmett.

Any time actors have little dialogue to work with, they must rely on their faces and bodies to convey a variety of emotions.  This cast does not disappoint. They pull us in with every breath and eye blink, causing us to ache and feel as raw and battle worn as they appear. Again, I must mention the exquisite Simmonds as a stand out in these films. Blunt and Krasinski are at their usual best, as is Murphy as the grieving Emmett.

It’s evident these films have an intention: to create a series of sorts. At times, we see this particular film as a segue to more story.  Still, A Quiet Place Part ll is good stuff; well-written, well-presented, and well-packaged. Cinematographer Polly Morgan, editor Mike Shawver, and the team responsible for the monster horde coming alive deserve accolades and recognition.  

Never was tension, suspense, and high-end trauma so addicting and exhilarating. The strategically placed moments of booming, violent noise and soul-crushing silence hold the audience captive from start to finish. You simply can’t stop watching until you have closure, if you can call it closure.

It is somewhat ironic, yet feels right that A Quiet Place Part ll, a movie about staying close to home and being cautious, will be one that gets audiences back in theaters.

And go to the theaters, you must. Take the precautions you need to take, but see this movie in the theater.

A Quiet Place Part ll is rated PG-13 and is in theaters today. Running time is a nail-biting and fast-paced 1 hour and 37 minutes.

My grade: A

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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