‘A Quiet Place Part II’ finds its footing

“A Quiet Place Part II” is the sequel to 2018’s “A Quiet Place,” a horror film directed by John Krasinski. Unlike most sequels, Krasinski manages to pull off the impossible as this film is better than its predecessor. 

It was originally slated to open in theaters on March 8, 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film’s release was postponed until May 28. 

The film most notably stars Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott, Cillian Murphy as Emmett, and John Krasinski as Lee Abbott.

It is currently available to stream on Paramount+. 

Following the events of “A Quiet Place,” Abbott and her three kids – one of which is a newborn baby – abandoned their farmhouse in search of a safe haven where the monsters won’t be able to find them. After traveling a hefty distance, her son’s foot gets caught in a bear trap causing him to scream out in pain.

Several tense minutes follow, as the family tries to run as quickly as possible, not wanting to alert the monsters any further. Their run abruptly stops when they run into a gruff-looking man, Emmett, who briskly escorts them to his underground bunker as the monsters pursue them.  

Much like the first film, “A Quiet Place Part II” has its fair share of  jump scares and intense, somewhat frightening, action. But while the first film mostly revolved around the scares, the second part incorporates family bonds and love into the mix.

Don’t get me wrong, “A Quiet Place” did have a heart, but the character dynamics weren’t as fleshed out as they should have been. But in the sequel, each character – including Emmett – had really well-defined strengths and weaknesses. In other words, no character felt tacked on or unnecessary.

Due to this, I cared much more about the characters, which contributed to the overall intensity of the film.

Speaking of the intense moments – while there was a dry drought near the middle of the film, once the action started, it practically did not stop. One second, a character would be chased by a monster, and the next second, they would meet up with some out-for-blood crazed townsmen.

Along with the consistent terror and tense moments, there was a fair share of jump scares. But unlike the previous film, I found they were not overused. Of course, they did make me jump out of my seat on more than one occasion, but were used quite scarcely – up until the thrilling finale.

The best aspect of the film was the cinematography. Not only were the landscapes bursting with color and vivid detail, but they also greatly improved the post-apocalyptic theme. 

From overgrown areas, to decaying architecture, the scenery contributed to the mood of the film. Much like “A Quiet Place,” the second part relies on expanding the universe, along with the quite literal destruction of the Earth. 

Since the mood of the film is often somber when it’s not packed with white-knuckled tension, the sight of the world in rubble progresses the serious underlying themes. After all, in a world full of monsters and limited survivors, why would there be the need to make a joke about the demise of Mother Nature?

Furthermore, the film’s lack of comedy increases the tension. Although most horror movies are not funny, they often have the occasional light-hearted moment or subplot.

Not only does “A Quiet Place Part II” take its story seriously, but it also feels more realistic than its predecessor. There are no plot holes, the monsters are surprisingly more vicious, and it’s full of heart.

“A Quiet Place Part II” solidifies Krasinski’s phenomenal directing skills and truly was a theater experience like no other. 

Despite having a mediocre middle, the sequel surpassed my wildest expectations and sets up the possibility of a third film.

A- : This is the experience theaters were made for.