Rafael Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
Despite loving the first installment of this movie, I never saw the trailers for this sequel despite wanting to see it. Therefore, you could argue that I watched this film with a fresh mindset not knowing what to expect, and I believe that it was of benefit to me in many ways.
As expected, the sequel does a fantastic job at playing not so much on sound but on tension and expectation. Many would classify this film as a horror film, but I consider it more of a suspense movie, since the blood is minimal and the mystery is prominent. Though I have yet to play "The Last of Us," up to this point it has seemed that the movie borrowed heavily from the sequel, and rather than feeling offended as many have, instead I felt more excited to play the game and see the next HBO series.
As far as directing is concerned, John does an excellent job building both the action set pieces that keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as the tense scenes. On the other hand, I liked that we could see more of the monsters and better appreciate their designs, although there are a few moments where the CGI fails and is distracting, but not enough to totally throw me off. Aside from having a well-constructed and developed narrative, the script also leaves many questions that it never answers and leaves me in the dark, in a negative way. SPOILER: What was the reason for showing the corpse of the dead wife? Was he working with the unhinged?
As many have already noted in their reviews, this movie focuses more on the kids than the adults. This is not to say that Murphy as Emmett and Emily as Evelyn don't have their moments, especially the first one, who manages to capture the fragile mentality of his character, as well as the affection that has been ripped away from him by this invasion. Noah Jupe also has his moments to shine, such as the oxygen scene. But the real star is Simmonds, who steals the show and goes on to become one of the best heroes within the genre.
All in all, this is a great example of a sequel that builds its universe and lore successfully, answering interesting questions at the same time as creating new ones. I highly recommend it.