This review contains spoilers for A Quiet Place.
With Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) dead, the family home burning, a newborn to provide for and a world where making any noise can have fatal consequences, where do the Abbotts go next? Rarely does a film as fresh and well-made burst onto the horror scene as A Quiet Place did in 2018. Not only did it thrill audiences with its expertly crafted suspense, performances and horrifying aliens, but it also made cinemagoers think before crunching on their expensive popcorn. It is even more extraordinary then, that its much delayed but much anticipated sequel is just as excellent as its predecessor. A Quiet Place Part II joins that rare club, perhaps among The Godfather Part II and Blade Runner 2049, of an excellent sequel to an excellent film.
Directed and written by Krasinski, with a runtime of 96 minutes, A Quiet Place Part II picks up immediately where its predecessor left off. The returning ensemble includes Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds as well as newcomers Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. Murphy and Hounsou are welcome additions, fitting in effortlessly, expanding the world in which Krasinski, Scott Beck and Bryan Woods have created.
Throughout, the film is littered with brilliant performances, most noticeably from Simmonds and Murphy. Simmonds really comes of age, attempting to fill the void that her father’s death left behind. Murphy’s character fills a similar role, though reluctantly, becoming a sort of patriarch for the patriarch less Abbotts. His introduction in a riveting prologue is breathtaking and suspense film making at its very best. Blunt also gives a brilliant supporting performance. Whilst she appears to have less screen time this time around, she nonetheless is a captivating screen presence in full control of her craft.
What seemed to be the case with A Quiet Place is affirmed with its sequel. Krasinski is a director with an amazing command of the medium. His ability to create suspense that leaves the audience on the edge of their seat does not fade with the sequel; it is on par with its predecessor. As was also true with A Quiet Place, Marco Beltrami’s music continues to hit all the right emotional beats. When combined with Michael P. Shawver’s editing and Krasinski’s assured direction, Beltrami’s music achieves and succeeds in producing the intended emotional response from its audience.
Perhaps a critique of the film could be its slim 96-minute runtime and its abrupt ending however as was the case with its predecessor, the build-up of suspense is so expertly handled that it leaves the viewer in anticipation for the continuation of the story, rather than in disappointment. To critique the runtime therefore would be to nitpick.
All in all then, A Quiet Place Part II is not only an excellent sequel which expands on the world established in its predecessor, but also a film designed for cinemagoers on a theatrical scale and one which despite the delay did not disappoint.