Everything that John Krasinski gets right in A Quiet Place is pushed even further in A Quiet Place Part Two. Even with his absence on screen, Krasinski’s character’s presence is felt in every other character that appears in the sequel. At least as far as the Abbott family is concerned. All the intensity, suspense and anxiety from the first film that are built from scene to scene is even more tense and suspenseful here – the perfect making for a horror film sequel. Whats brilliant about Krasinski’s films is the pure fact that the creatures aren’t the main source for the scares and the fear, although terrifying in their own right, it’s the environment that the characters are surviving in that the viewer needs to be hyper aware about, doing their best to not make a peep.
Sequels will forever be a tricky road to navigate, few do the job they are supposed to and elevate the story from their predecessor’s and build upon the foundation the first film sets up. The few that immediately come to mind that do that excellent job in expansion are Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens and even The Empire Strikes Back. A Quiet Place Part Two is the perfect successor to the original film in every avenue possible.
Probably the most successful aspect of A Quiet Place Part Two revolves around the engagement with the audience. As a viewer, you’re in tune with the environment and what could potentially make a sound. These moments find a way to get under your skin and make it crawl with uneasiness. Krasinski achieved this in the first film, and he amplifies that feeling here in the sequel. And if you’ve seen the first one (highly recommended), trust doesn’t come easy. Now that Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and Marcus (Noah Jupe) have left the house immediately following the events of the first film, the Abbott’s encounter something even worse than the creatures: unfamiliar territory. They’re careful enough but when the sand ends, anything is possible and Krasinski is at his most comfortable with his screenplay.
Every moment is filled with anxiety and panic, every sound is like a monitor at a stadium concert during a heavy metal solo. And every built-up tense moment is succeeded with a moment that will end with a wince with pain and a sharp exhale of breath.
A Quiet Place Part Two, like it’s predessor uses foreshadowing to its advantage. As soon as Krasinski frames a shot on his characters feet, the red flags are raised, and you want to look away in horror but at the same time your eyes are glued to the screen because of how well Krasinski captures the viewers attention. And once that moment hits, you can feel that same, excruciating pain. Sorry Tarentino – there’s a new foot obsessed guy in town. But I don’t think Krasinski is obsessed in the sense that Tarentino is, I think Krasinski uses feet to make his characters tougher by adapting to the unfortunate circumstances. To be honest, I don’t know which one is worse, it’s got to be Marcus’s right? His was predictable in a way since Evelyn stepped on the nail in the first one and we were somehow prepared for it.
What comes out of Marcus’s injury is a powerful reaction and performance. That’s exactly how a person would react – screaming at the top of your lungs not caring about the deadly alien creatures that could tear you limb from limb. Both Noah and Millicent give incredibly powerful performances this go-round. Yes, they were fantastic in A Quiet Place but here they steal the show. It’s their movie and they each put their characters and Krasinski’s script on their backs.
That’s the beauty of these two brilliant films. It’s all about family and protecting the ones you love the most while shouldering the responsibility. The most important thing to Lee (John Krasinski) is family and both Marcus and Regan do everything in their power to preserve that legacy. Everything they do, you can feel Lee’s spirit driving them to exploit a weakness or save someone.
With most franchises the sequel is almost always bigger and bolder and with a bigger budget. A Quiet Place Part Two is just as self-contained as the first film but with more variables added to the mix. There is way more dialogue than the first which had a total of 25 lines spoken equating to 5 total minutes of the film. Majority of the dialogue can be credited to Emmett (Cillian Murphy). With Lee’s absence, Murphy fills the shoes with ease, especially in his scenes with Regan, their chemistry is just as palpable together. That father/daughter relationship is exactly what Krasinski was going for with Murphy’s character. But honestly, when isn’t Murphy excellent in a role he takes on? The Abbott’s are still operating with American Sign Language as their primary mode of dialogue with Regan being a Deaf character and the way Krasinski implements Regan’s ability into the story is so unique to a story like this.
A Quiet Place Part Two is a worthy sequel to one of the best films of the last decade. As much as the story progresses, its more natural and organic compared to other franchise sequels that adds more world building. There’s even a colony of people, living in harmony, making noise and living life carefree (it reminds me of the global pandemic we are currently in now and working to get back to normalcy). Even though we still don’t know where they come from and how these creatures got here, the opening sequence fills in a lot of gaps. Maybe Part three if it gets made will show that. I just wish there was more of Djimon Hounsou in this film – that’s my only negative critique.
See A Quiet Place Part Two in theaters on the biggest screen. Krasinski made this film for the theater experience, and it was well worth the wait of a year to see it.
A Quiet Place Part Two is written & directed by John Krasinski is Rated R and has an 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. A Quiet Place Part Two was released on May 28, 2021 in the United States and has a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. A Quiet Place Part Two is currently in theaters and will premiere on Paramount + 45 days after release. 5 out of 5.