Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A Quiet Place Part II Review: A Quietly Good Sequel

Emily Blunt	...	Evelyn Abbott John Krasinski	John Krasinski	...	Lee Abbott Millicent Simmonds	Millicent Simmonds	...	Regan Abbott Noah Jupe	Noah Jupe	...	Marcus Abbott Cillian Murphy	Cillian Murphy	...	Emmett Djimon Hounsou	Djimon Hounsou	...	Man on Island Okieriete Onaodowan	Okieriete Onaodowan	...	Police Officer Scoot McNairy	Scoot McNairy	...	Marina Man Zachary Golinger	Zachary Golinger	...	Emmett's Son Blake DeLong	Blake DeLong	...	Umpire Gary Sundown	Gary Sundown	...	Island Person Stefania Warwick	Stefania Warwick	...	Woman at Game (as Stefanie Warnick) Alycia Ripley	Alycia Ripley	...	Server Cristalis Bonilla	Cristalis Bonilla	...	Teen in Bar Domonic Taggart	Domonic Taggart	...	Teen in Bar Silas Pereira-Olson	Silas Pereira-Olson	...	Boy on Island Alice Sophie Malyukova	Alice Sophie Malyukova	...	Girl at Marina (as Alice Malyukova)

Release date: May 28, 2021
Running time: 92 minutes
Starring: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou
Directed By: John Krasinski

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

Ashley Dyke	...	Woman on Island Dean Woodward	Dean Woodward	...	Beau Abbott Barbara Singer	Barbara Singer	...	Woman in Store David Lundy	David Lundy	...	Marina Person Michaela Pace	Michaela Pace	...	Oliver's Mom (as Michaela Juliann Pace)
A Quiet Place was a surprisingly good film from well known actor John Krasinski.  It was such an imaginative horror / thriller where the most noticeable feature was the sound (or absence of it).  However, that film ended on a sort of cliffhanger, letting everyone know that a sequel was coming.  Enter A Quiet Place Part II, which returns much of the same cast but has them venturing outside their well crafted farm.  A Quiet Place was noticeable for its amazing sound design, where it made the silence all the more deafening, and the sequel has a similarly well crafted soundscape.  The film is an auditory treat with great positional audio and some amazingly detailed and quiet panic scenes.  I loved that A Quiet Place forced the characters to imagine running for their lives without making a sound and this one is similar.  Nothing quite matches seeing people sprinting across a dangerous area with muffled footsteps and care in where they step.  It really is something to behold.  Additionally, the film plays with sound throughout.  Millicent Simmonds character is deaf and occasionally the movie will jump to her perspective.  Having the sound around you suddenly cut off is an interesting tactic that amplifies the tension all the more. 

And A Quiet Place Part II also does an amazing job of world building.  The locales look deserted and destroyed, with a worn, dilapidated sense to many of the locations.  And the places and practices that must be observed to live in this world help to flesh out this apocalyptic setting.  There are some imaginative locations and clever tricks that these people use to stay quiet.  This film has a lot more of a sense of tension because you see the creatures that much more.  It often has a Jurassic Park type feel, with characters trying to stay quiet as a murderous death machine slowly tries to determine where they are.  A Quiet Place Part II also returns much of the same cast as the first film, but adds a few new key characters.  Most notable is Cillian Murphy, who plays Emmett who is trying to survive by staying isolated from the world.  I really liked seeing the family back again and I love Emily Blunt's strong character in this world.  She has to do a lot to survive, and some of the activities she is forced to do while silent are really amazing to see.  The film also gives a Millicent Simmonds more of a lead role here as she is starting to become more headstrong and venture out on her own.

However, the film continues the story of the first movie, and the story does progress at a relatively good pace, but the motivations for the story seem to be lost in this sequel.  In the first A Quiet Place, you had a great period of world building and then you had the main conflict.  The motivation was survival and staying safe.  But A Quiet Place Part II has the family thrust into conflict pretty early on and it is sometimes unclear why.  The characters also take some pretty risky actions (which is not unusual in a horror film) for seemingly no reason.  And despite the film having amazing sound and generally good effects, the creatures themselves just look a little off.  They are noticeably CG, and although it is a very well done CG, the film was better when you didn't know exactly what they looked like.  Similar to Cloverfield, the absence of the monsters is much more unsettling than seeing them.  Finally, I found the ending to be a little unsatisfying.  However, the world of A Quiet Place is such an interesting place and that you'll want to stick around and listen to take it all in.

A Quiet Place Part II continues the Abbott's story with the same amazing sound effects and trademark muffled horror that made the first movie such an auditory treat.

Watch it.

Michael Bay	...	producer (produced by) Andrew Form	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Brad Fuller	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) John Krasinski	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) JoAnn Perritano	...	executive producer Allyson Seeger	...	executive producer  Sound design horror quiet shhh silent monster creature feature creatures
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A Quiet Place Part II is in theaters on May 28, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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