A Quiet Place Part II is a little better than the first film, and a little worse


A Quiet Place Part II is kind of like what you’d get if the alien hunter from the Predator franchise stopped It’s us for a few episodes. The film is a horror story at the heart of a family drama, and for the most part it works very well. But just like Real Families, it’s pretty consistent in its strengths and flaws – in other words, it’s the perfect sequel for fans of the original film, while still not being so bad at welcoming viewers who could have missed the first round. .

second part begins with a lengthy prequel set before the first film, depicting the arrival of the deadly, nigh-indestructible aliens who wiped out much of the population at the time A silent place begin. Writer-director John Krasinski reintroduces the Abbott family: parents Lee (Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt), as well as children Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Regan (Millicent Simmonds). As the family gathers to watch a Little League game, we’re also reminded that the Abbotts are exceptionally well-equipped to deal with what’s to come: Lee is the survivalist type (as shown by the big knife in hunter which he uses to slice an orange), and the whole family speaks ASL to communicate with Regan, who is deaf.

In addition to giving second part the opportunity to bring back Lee, who died in A silent place, the prologue also helps introduce viewers who haven’t seen the first film to the rules of this particular apocalypse, and reminds returning fans who need a refresher. The sequence – set in the small town of the Abbotts in upstate New York in the final moments before the world goes to hell – is a great disaster flick, a terrifying reintroduction of the sightless creatures that brutally stalk humans by sound while rampaging through small-town America.

After, A Quiet Place Part II picks up immediately after the end of the first film, with the survivors of Abbott in their destroyed farm, having managed to kill an alien creature for the first time. Finding the trick to fighting them gives the Abbotts a fighting chance as they are forced to find a new home, but it’s far from enough to make them feel safe.

For one thing, they now have to take care of a baby, born during the incredibly stressful climax of the first movie. Babies aren’t known for being quiet or understanding threats, and this one puts the whole family at risk. On the other hand, the Abbotts have largely survived in isolation and don’t know what the world looks like now that society has collapsed. As they begin to search for a new haven, they soon discover it.

A silent place was, according to Krasinski, about parenthood. With that in mind, its sequel is about parents who abandon their children and trust them to fend for themselves. Before long, the Abbotts must split up and go on separate adventures, and the kids must step in and face the monsters on their own. Regan in particular carries most of the film’s dramatic weight, and a phenomenal performance by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds overcomes a script that veers into sickening territory in its portrayal of disability as a superpower.

For the most part, the sequel takes the first movie’s highs a bit higher, while its lows are about the same. A Quiet Place Part II continues to go a long way in playing with horror’s deep relationship to sound, using wonderfully blended sound to redirect the audience’s sense of danger to all things auditory, and using that threat to heighten the tension . Through sound, staging and performance, scares are wrung out of silence, and the slightest jolt can shock viewers with the terror of a gunshot. Plus, while the thrills are the main draw, the film’s actors do a terrific job with dramatic scenes communicated in ASL. The care taken in these more intimate scenes does much to soften the way disability is factored into the vanity of the genre. second part, like the film that preceded it, runs the risk of being overbearing in constructing a finale where a hearing aid saves the world, but it does at least do the job of rooting this moment in the arc of independence of Regan.

Regan, Marcus and Evelyn walking through the woods in A Quiet Place Part II

Photo: Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place Part II often succumbs to a conservatism that holds him back. It’s worth pointing out that the Abbotts embody a white, traditional view of family, and her paternalistic view almost completely ignores Evelyn, who has a lot to do but no real story. Krasinski wants to celebrate his deaf hero for his differences, but also blames him for his character’s death and makes his main fight the need to prove she can care for people the way he could. None of that makes it a bad movie – just a smaller one than it could be.

A Quiet Place Part II falters the most in the way it tries to go further than the original film, either thematically or in scope. The film is at its most clunky as it reaches its climax. The Abbotts and their former neighbor Emmett (Cillian Murphy) have split into three groups, and in a crossover finale, they each attempt to accomplish the impossible at the same time. It’s the kind of show that’s pretty effective the first time around, but might not play as well on repeat viewings. Yet, in the end, it’s forgivable, because A Quiet Place Part II is not really a horror film, but rather an unusually stressful family film, with all the learning required accompanied by horrific violence.

It’s hard to hold a grudge A Quiet Place Part II a lot, though. At a quick 97 minutes, it’s a lean, wicked thriller with plenty of heart, if a tad skimpy. It’s the kind of sequel that feels like it was conceived as an in-between chapter, with its dangerous road-trip structure that strives to establish a new status quo for its characters. In the end, he’s playing his story a little too safely: he’s doing enough to set up another potentially engaging movie, if Krasinski has another story to tell, but not enough to convince viewers they’re going to. ‘will like. For all these movies are concerned with silence, they need to have a little more to say.

A Quiet Place Part II is playing in theaters now and is set to make its streaming debut on Paramount Plus on July 12.

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