A QUIET PLACE PART II Review: John Krasinski Delivers A Worthy Follow-Up With Nerve-Shredding Sequel

After a lengthy delay, A Quiet Place Part II is finally playing in theaters (in most locations, anyway), and you can find out what we made of John Krasinski's horror sequel here. Minor spoilers ahead...

Reviews Opinion

A Quiet Place Part II was one of the first major studio features to postpone its theatrical debut as a result of the pandemic. Though a streaming release was reportedly considered, writer/director John Krasinski was adamant that he wanted audiences to have the opportunity to experience the sequel on the big screen. Now, over a year later, we know why.

The film opens with a "Day 1" flashback to the calm before the storm, giving Krasinski the chance to reprise the role of deceased Abbott patriarch Lee. Here, we find out how the lethal creatures - now confirmed to be extraterrestrial in origin - made their way to Earth to begin what we assume to be a full-scale invasion.

Following a surprisingly tense (we know the main players make it out in one piece, after all) sequence, we catch up with the surviving Abbotts immediately after Evelyn's (Emily Blunt) climactic shotgun pump. After venturing beyond the sand-track, the family encounter an old friend of Lee's named Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who offers them shelter. But is the cagey loner acting out of altruism, or is he more interested in Regan's (Millicent Simmonds) new-found ability to incapacitate the monsters?

A Quiet Place 2 Ending & Future Explained | Screen Rant

Like its predecessor, AQPPII is nail-biting stuff, and Krasinski outdoes himself with several nerve-shredding set-pieces. The creatures are still just as terrifying even with their weakness exposed, but arguably the most suspenseful sequence involves a group of feral humans. Emmett makes reference to most of the remaining population not being worth saving, but this is our only glimpse into the depths to which they've sunk.

While some filmmakers might have been tempted to expand the scope of the story (more on the aliens, the military response etc), Krasinski wisely chooses to keep his focus on the characters and their individual struggles. This does sometimes mean we tread over familiar ground, but it also allows the impressive cast more time to shine. Following her standout performance in Part 1, Millicent Simmonds is given an expanded role, and emerges as the beating heart of the film. Regan's dynamic with Murphy's damaged Emmett winds up being one of the most compelling aspects of the movie, overshadowing Evelyn and Marcus' (Noah Jupe) side-story. Blunt delivers another solid, teary-eyed turn, but her character is somewhat sidelined with a final act "fetch quest." Jupe is also fine, although his character does make one "because the plot demands it" decision too many.

If we have one major criticism, it's the treatment of Djimon Hounsou's unnamed "Man on the Island." How the Academy Award-winner was convinced to take such a thankless role is anyone's guess, but surely there was a better way to utilize such a talented actor?

The ending may also prove to be divisive, but should serve as a satisfying conclusion if you're invested in the characters - and keep in mind that Part II was conceived as the middle chapter of a trilogy.

A Quiet Place Part II is not without its problems, but John Krasinski has crafted a genuinely scary, emotionally satisfying follow-up to one of the best horror films of the past few years.

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