A Quiet Place Part II

A Quiet Place Part II ★★★½

"There Are People Out There. People Worth Saving."

Once I got accustomed to preposterous the idea of bringing a baby into a post-apocalyptic world where alien creatures attack (and get attacked) by sound in A Quiet Place, the sequel was infinitely more enjoyable and tense. The opening scene, with a Krasinski cameo, is a stunner. It offers context to franchise beginners as well as makes existing fans miss Krasinski's character, Lee, even more. More so, it is a classic example of how to set the tone for the remainder of a (sci-fi horror) movie. The sequel does borrow more from The Last of Us when Cillian Murphy's Emmett and Millicent Simmonds' Regan take centrestage. The others (Emily Blunt as Evelyn and Noah Jupe as Marcus) have their moments too, but the greater adventure here is that of Regan's. She's really the one who pulls all strings to get something substantial done here.

Krasinski once again positions these very curious, very vulnerable characters in uncanny situations. While the novelty of the creatures attacking by sound may have subsided, the set pieces are still solidly crafted and brilliantly edited (by Michael P. Shawver), with the addition of Murphy as a reluctant protector, a perfect casting choice. The cross-cutting between situations comes across as a masterstroke (something that also worked for me in a film like James Wan's The Conjuring). That's also why the pre-climax set-piece is a lot more thrilling. The use (and absence) of sound (by designers Ethan Van Der Ryn and Erik Aadahl) is once again, spot-on. I wish I could have experienced it all in Dolby Atmos or IMAX sound.

As with most sequels, certain original ideas get diluted in the process of inculcating newer ones (the aliens apparently can't swim). In many ways, A Quiet Place Part II only mildly advances in plot, setting up the stage for an even more grandiose sequel. It certainly lacks the sheer intensity of the original, but A Quiet Place Part II is racy, suspenseful, and slickly made. Verbal exposition is kept to a minimum while visual storytelling sits firmly in the driver's seat.

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