Three years ago, John Krasinski and Co. introduced A Quiet Place, a film founded on the idea that “If they hear you, they hunt you.” A simple and compelling premise within a movie that demanded complete silence from characters and audiences alike. And it proved no one, even those inconsiderate public nuisances who decided to disrupt the theater experience for others, could be heard as the suspense crept along thanks to the film’s exceptional lack of sound. If anything, it ensured no one would take a sip of their fountain drinks or chew their popcorn nonchalantly for the entire duration.
A Quiet Place 2, a hotly anticipated sequel that was delayed several times due to the pandemic, finally lands in theaters, and it (more or less) reaches the bar its predecessor set back in 2018. It is the first theater experience this writer has had in months, and it was worth every penny.
After a potent, tense opening flashback where the family witnesses the first day those monsters arrived, the film jumps to moments right where its predecessor ended (with the Abbott family finally figuring out how to defeat the blind alien creatures with high-frequency audio). John Krasinski, who directed this installment and its predecessor, pushes the presence of the extraterrestrial demons a bit more after shying away from them, mainly in the first one. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her kids, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe), and a recent newborn venture out of their “homeland” sanctuary to an unknown world where the human race is not quite the same. They stumble into Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a refugee who lost his family and cannot provide much for the Abbotts other than a temporary place underground. Regan, along with Emmett, decides to head out and use the high-frequency cochlear implant her deceased father Lee (played by Krasinski himself) gave her to explode its strained noise over the radio system so other parts of the population can use it to fight back themselves.
In the first film, Krasinski’s character was the MVP, pushing so hard to save his family and going the distance to sacrifice himself for them. This time, it is Simmonds’s turn, as her character represents authority and the courage to advance in the face of the enemies. The family’s every move and their intimacy, despite in different settings, drive the tension. Any noise made is a trouble that will inevitably arrive at their feet. Any safehold they attempt to utilize becomes unforgiving. And every single breath taken is one subtle reminder that nowhere is safe.
It is John Krasinski’s world now, and we become invited to live in it. Part 2 is a bone-chilling sensation that does not lose sight of its intention or direction. Perhaps a little noisier than the first, but one continuing the first film’s ingrained emotional structure. These are the horror sequels we deserve to witness (like The Conjuring 2, Evil Dead 2, or Aliens), and A Quiet Place Part 2 delivers on all fronts. The wait is over; witness it quietly.