A Quiet Place Part II Review: In Emily Blunt & Cillian Murphy's terrifying movie, silence is golden once again

Updated on Oct 07, 2021 12:39 AM IST  |  85.6K
   
A Quiet Place Part II releases in India on October 8.
A Quiet Place Part II sees Emily Blunt reprising her role as Evelyn Abbott.
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A Quiet Place Part II

A Quiet Place Part II Cast: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Joah Nupe

A Quiet Place Part II Director: John Krasinski

A Quiet Place Part II Stars: 3.5/5

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With the riveting success of A Quiet Place, a sequel seemed like an obvious choice but questionable at best; How do you top the original? John Krasinski, who the second time around takes solo writing credits along with a return to the director's chair, is inspired by what made the original tick and increases the silenced scares in multi-folds. This time around, A Quiet Place Part II sees Regan (Millicent Simmonds) leading the way as she rightfully takes over from her deceased father, Lee (John Krasinski).

The terrifying opening sequence takes us back to the beginning, Day 1 of the alien invasion, as John's Lee and Dean Woodward's Beau make a cameo. It's during a considerably blissful baseball game when the blind creatures with hypersensitive hearing wreak irreversible havoc by laying waste to anyone making the tiniest of sounds. I won't spoil this one particular roller coaster moment that will most definitely leave you in nervous sweats! The Abbott family is caught up in the ruckus, as they fight to remain silent, and as we know, remain survivors well up to the sequel. Well, not all of them! On Day 474, taking place immediately after where A Quiet Place left us, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), now a single mother, has her incredibly efficient 'deaf' daughter Regan, son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and a toddler, to take care of. Barefooted, moving away physically (though not mentally!) from their burning farmhouse, they find a temporary safe haven in an abandoned steel foundry with a reluctant Emmett (Cillian Murphy) taking them in as an airless bunker plays an equal ally and foe.

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As shown in the prelude, Emmett is a good friend of Lee's, who also lost his entire family, owing to the alien invasion. Wanting to help others, who are isolated like herself, Regan wants to play the hero like her deceased dad and goes on an adventure to find potential survivors and let them weaponise the "high-frequency audio feedback" which are the aliens' kryptonite. Evelyn uses Emmett's vulnerability by convincing him to play sidekick to Regan as the duo battles through screeching aliens and vengeful humans to help save what little humanity is left. Side by side, we have Marcus, who is enlisted, against his will, to take care of his baby brother while Evelyn braves the dead of the night to stock up on supplies including oxygen tanks to stop her newborn baby from crying.

This time around, Millicent is the one in charge and unsurprisingly, the young actress delivers in spades. It's her noise-free sequences in particular, with complete silence, that leave you haunted, as you hear them from her point of view. As for Emily, Evelyn's storyline takes a backshift as not enough time is compartmentalized for the grieving single mother trying to cope with the loss of her husband and son. Nevertheless, when she's given single focus, Blunt is, as expected from the fine performer, truly astounding to watch on screen. Noah's Marcus seems the most real character that you can relate to, amongst the Abbotts, because as his family is hardened by the alien invasion, he still has his innocence brewing but given the danger looming, Marcus has no choice but, for the lack of a better word, man up. And Jupe does a fine job of balancing the two. Also, his bloodcurdling scream during a hellish sequence will haunt you.

As for the new addition, Cillian manages to leave you divided over his character's motives throughout and masterfully displays the staunch alludes of isolation with immeasurable grief in tow. It's particularly his camaraderie with Millicent that's the heart of A Quiet Place Part II as the two unlikely people become allies. Djimon Hounsou, who plays a role I won't spoil for you, doesn't have much of a key part and is rather a filler character to explain the plot twist towards the ending few sequences.

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Krasinski, with A Quiet Place Part II, relies emphatically on the silence vs noise ratio, in equal parts, and stems away from the emotional quotient which for many is what made the original memorable. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the aftermath of the post-apocalyptic invasion was given preference over the Abbots' individual stories, which in the original was riveting. By generalising the invasion, you can't help but compare it (and baulk at the irony!) to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had the world on standstill mode and continues to do so in many countries (Interestingly, A Quiet Place Part II was amongst the first releases in US theatres in the COVID era after swishing past several delays).

The bone-chilling aspects, as silence parallels noise, and as we're taken through three different trysts with the aliens, it's Michael P. Shawver's remarkable editing that leaves you at the edge of your seat, as you criss-cross between the characters and their common enemy, while the jump scares with excellent POV cinematography by Polly Morgan will surely incite a few screams inside the theatre.

ALSO READ: John Krasinski recalls filming Quiet Place 2 scene that risked marriage to Emily Blunt: Could’ve gone badly

John knows how to ignite the right conflicting emotions in the hearts of the audience, especially when the cherished characters are in grave danger which in this case is all the time, and A Quiet Place Part II isn't any different, no matter how inspired it may seem. Marco Beltrami's score is anything but subtle and in between the silent sequences, which is what made the A Quiet Place franchise such a trailblazer that fans gobbled up as hungrily as the aliens did humans, to begin with, the shrilling blares which follow are sure to excite intimate horror movies enthusiasts. The claustrophobic action sequences, this time around, are chaotically executed with finesse as the aliens turn more menacing than deemed imaginable in our wildest dreams. 

In parting, I'd affirm, A Quiet Place Part II proves silence is golden, the second time around as well.

 

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