“It’s in my nature to be kind, gentle, and loving, but know this: When it comes to matters of protecting my friend, my family, and my heart, do not trifle with me. For I am also the most powerful and relentless creature you will ever know.” – Unknown
It’s rare that such an impact is felt from a film. A Quiet Place is a prime example of story and ingenuity coming together in a perfect concoction of horror and family drama. If ever there was a reason to appreciate sound in film, A Quiet Place and now Part II are absolute champions of such appreciation. You can hear a pin drop, a gulp of panicked breath, and a shutter of excited discomfort as the sound drifts away leaving your imagination raging with anticipation. Now with Part II, from the very beginning you as the audience are immediately invested in the story and its characters who last we saw fighting for their lives after a great tragedy. A benefit of this being the second chapter is the already established characters. While there is definitely character development both old and new, the importance of the main characters, in this case the Abbott family, is already there and grabs a hold from the very first frame. We already care for these people and the story absolutely runs with this fact as fast and frantically as it possibly can.
Part II has its moments of peace and calm but is rarely without its moments of maximum tension. Even in the scenes without danger your mind is plagued by the thought of something, some… thing is going to happen any second. You can never relax and again, the story knows this. Sound drops in and out as if someone is pressing mute over and over but always at the most heightened moments of impending terror. And when the horror explodes so too does the sound as you’re immersed in a world of massive, thundering stomping from otherworldly creatures as they chase down any sound they discover smashing and colliding with its surroundings along the way.
Emily Blunt is an absolute force and true delight to watch as she always is in any role she embodies. She returns as the formidable mother lioness now without her husband by her side and three kids depending on her strength and prowess to survive. The true purpose of Part II, beyond the simple, terrifying pleasure of watching monsters do monster things, it’s all about the growth of the children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) to be specific. As much as they turn to their mother they also begin to see the strength of survival within themselves. They start to realize that mother isn’t always going to be there and these creatures are nothing if not merciless. They must become a force all their own if they hope to survive and it’s a thing of beauty to watch them do so.
As many moments of pure heroism that Blunt puts on display, this story truly belongs to the daughter, Regan. So much like her father, still reeling from the suddenness and brutality of his death, she must find her own way in the world as she realizes that as strong as her mother is, she can’t do it on her own. Using her father as a guiding force she journeys into an unknown and treacherous world to find some semblance of home, a place that is safe for her and her family. As the mother discovers her daughter missing, she reaches out for help from familiar faces known long before the world was turned upside down and sideways. But a familiar and kind face then can mean a foe in this version of life and she must tread carefully, and quietly of course.
Much like the first, Part II features sound design that is a character all its own. So much of what makes this such a fun but scary experience is the attention to sound; what to take away, what to enhance and what to explode with urgency and frequently without warning. From crunchy leaves under heavy footsteps to breathless running, the sound immerses the audience in such a profound way that it’s nothing short of brilliant work.
If any doubts about John Krasinski’s work as a director still existed after Part I, he silences them in Part II in a commanding of the ship normally reserved for veteran filmmakers not still in their infancy as directors. If the first was a demonstration of what he knows he can do, Part II is an example of what he’s learned since and where he can go as a creator behind the camera. His work is confident and purposeful as is his ability as a storyteller.
A Quiet Place Part II is a sequel done the right way. It’s exhilarating without losing the identity established in the first film. It never forgets the focus of the story needing to stay on the family and their growth as both a family and as individuals. It strides from scene to scene knowing how and why it should go there. The characters are in peril constantly leaving us nervous but always excited to see what happens next, even if it is behind frightened fingers covering your eyes. Hold your breath, and your butts, this is one hell of a ride. A Quiet Place Part II leaves itself open to the possibility of more stories with this family in this panicked world and I for one can’t wait to see what happens next.
Rated PG-13 For: terror, violence and bloody/disturbing images
Runtime: 97 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Starring: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, John Krasinski, Cillian Murphy
Directed By: John Krasinski
Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 8/ Acting: 9/ Directing: 9/ Visuals: 9
OVERALL: 10 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes. In theaters May 28th.
Check out the trailer below:
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