Sometimes the best review of a film comes from the feeling in the cinema when the credits roll. Either there’s a buzz or there isn’t. At the end of A Quiet Place Part 2 the audience in the screening I attended had the look and sound of a crowd thoroughly entertained. The film delivered thrills aplenty, suspense, skilful storytelling, and characters you cared about to boot. And make no mistake it worked as a horror movie: more than one seat rest or arm were squeezed as a well timed shock hit the screen.
The biggest plus is the story. It barrels along, keeping to the tone and heart of the first film while encompassing new settings and characters. At the end of Part 1, film, the Abbott family was torn asunder by alien creatures which were blind but hunted their prey by sound. Father and husband Lee (John Krasinski) sacrificed himself to save his family. But eldest daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) had stumbled on a way to fight the creatures. The frequency in her hearing aid, when amplified, played merry hell with the aliens’ well-being. At the same time, mum Evelyn (Emily Blunt) became the family’s defender, a family which included a newborn baby.
After a cracking and clever opening sequence, Part 2 then picks up exactly where Part 1 ends. The family’s home is now compromised, so Regan, Evelyn and younger brother Marcus (Noah Jupe) set off, baby in tow, hoping to find another refuge. They meet a former neighbour Emmett (Cillian Murphy) and so the story heads off in two directions – one thread follows the need to keep the family safe, and the other follows the desire to defeat the invaders.
That’s enough story to give away, other than to say that the Abbott kids, especially Regan, take centre stage and the film becomes more theirs than anyone else’s, and to good effect. Millicent Simmonds as Regan has a Sigourney Weaver/Ripley like strength to her character. Noah Jupe, as the anxiety ridden Marcus, has a harder job to win over the audience than does Simmonds, but his character’s weakness is important to the story. Emily Blunt’s Evelyn is as skilful as you would expect, but as noted, it’s her kids who take our attention. And Cillian Murphy’s Emmett gives us a satisfying foil to the Abbott family.
Director and writer Krasinski uses Regan’s deafness to expert effect in the film, both in sound and picture editing. Some of the sequencing between different scenes is very nicely done. And while you mostly know where the film is heading, it never lets you relax, and it’s a genuinely good scary thriller.
If you enjoyed Part 1, I reckon you’ll be just as entertained by Part 2. Four stars.