"A Quiet Place Part II" was one of the first cinema victims of COVID-19. After waiting for over a year for the sequel to John Krasinski's breakout 2018 film, it lived up to its high expectations.
"A Quiet Place" is the definition of a movie using sound, or lack thereof, to enhance the theater experience. It felt bone-chilling at times in a packed crowd. The anticipation for "A Quiet Place Part II" was through the roof. Then the pandemic hit.
For every big blockbuster that kept getting pushed back, the anticipation for Krasinski's second dwindled. But I'm here to tell you it's not only worth it, but it's also one of the best movies of the year so far. Now, you should take that statement with a grain of salt because there haven't been many great movies through five months of 2021. But "A Quiet Place Part II" was pretty dang good.
The synopsis states, "If they hear you, they hunt you." Unknown creatures have decimated the planet while only the strongest have survived. When the Abbott family is forced out of their home, they stumble upon an old friend while on the verge of death. It's a continuation of the first saga while adding extreme interpersonal conflicts. Here is my non-spoiler review of "A Quiet Place Part II."
There are so many things that horror sequels do wrong time and time again, and I'm happy to say "A Quiet Place Part II" avoided all the cliches.
First and foremost, I'll never understand why the movie is still hesitant to show you the villain in the second version of the same horror story. There's no mystery behind what's trying to kill the protagonist, so why are we pretending like there is? I could go to the theater to watch "Saw 5," yet the film is still ambiguous about revealing the clown. Why? There are four other movies showing that same clown.
"A Quiet Place Part II" isn't shy about showing you the creatures trying to kill the humans. They gave you every shot imaginable of these things, and it was nice to see Krasinski use a ton of common sense instead of sticking to horror film norms.
Another problem I have with horror sequels is the slow burn. Again. If there's already a whole movie with an established story behind it, the film shouldn't have to drag out the first act. When horror films do this, I feel like it's because they don't have enough substance to make a second movie without reiterating the story. If that's the case, don't make the movie. "A Quiet Place Part II" gets right into the action, and it was very refreshing.
"A Quiet Place Part II" also has one of the more unique structures to a movie I've seen. The first 15-20 minutes is a flashback to the first day of all the madness. It shows you the town the film is set in and what the characters were like before the world ended. The best part is it didn't feel out of place. It's easily my favorite scene of the year so far.
Once the flashback ends, it brings you right back to where the first movie ended. If you cut out the flashback and link the first and second movies, it feels like one longer film. But because it's separate, there are some things to critique.
I didn't think there was enough Emily Blunt, who plays the mom. The first film felt like it was centered around Krasinski, and I was hoping this one would feature one of the best actresses in the world. But where Blunt was absent, Millicent Simmons stole the show. She played the daughter, and in the first movie, I thought she was rather annoying. But her character arc and performance were the highlights of the show.
We really only got about an hour and 10 minutes of the movie after the flashback, so I think it could've been another half hour longer. While I liked how fast-paced the film was and how it did a great job of picking up where it left off, the ending felt rushed. Maybe they cut it where they did to potentially make a third movie. Regardless, it took away from this one.
I'm giving "A Quiet Place Part II" an 86/100. It's not better than the first movie as a stand-alone product, but it's an excellent follow-up.