The wait is over, now we can all rendezvous in the always terrifying world John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place" exists in. As we return to the nail-biting anxiety of living as silent as possible, at risk of alien creatures ripping you to shreds, we settle into a story that picks up right where we left off.
After Lee Abbott's (Krasinski) sacrifice for his children, (Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) is the mother of 3 moving through their nearby town with a new form of defense. When amplified, the frequency from the daughter's cochlear implants disorients the creatures, providing any desperate survivor a clear headshot and the slightest chance at putting them down for good. Building upon this is the main plotline of the movie.
We all knew this was coming, hell we knew and were excited in January of 2020, yet it still feels like such a reward now that it's here. This sequel packed the punches that continue the story of a kickass family. Speaking no falsities here, it's truly a showcase of each member of the Abbott family and how far they are willing to withstand pain and push on to keep their family safe.
In this followup, joining the cast are Cillian Murphy (from "Inception", "Peaky Blinders", and "28 Days Later") and Djimon Hounsou (seen in "Guardians of the Galaxy", "Blood Diamond", and "Push) who breathe fresh perspectives into the simple story we had before. This is more than one family being affected by the invasion, and the new cast list reflects the impact this would have on a city.
If we take a second and remember the original, the story could be understood in one sentence: A family lives as quietly as possible, while alien creatures stalk the area and attack anything that makes a whisper. It was enough to make our ears perk, with a bonus of Jim Halpert and Mary Poppins taking the screen as husband and wife (as they are in real life), fans were stoked to get new creature horror from a Hollywood star couple.
The sequel wastes no time with a digestible 97 minute runtime, kicking the fun right off the bat with a flashback to how life was before the invasion. Watchers will be rejoicing with an entertaining dose of storytelling without it eating up over two hours since we've grown used to settling in for the 2 plus hours of recent releases. Between each scene, I never wanted to rush what the family was trying to achieve, and that's a major sign of clear pacing throughout their journey. The memory of their haven is just that, something in the past that they march on to leave behind, seeking refuge in their nearby city. There, they come face to face with an old friend (Murphy) who becomes involved in the family's activity and a new mission to save more than just who's around them.
Comparing sequels to their original is a natural question, but one we all can answer rhetorically. Instead, I want to recognize the dynamic qualities of the family. We return to them after a major tragedy and revelation that brings a fraction of hope. The first time we witnessed the Abbott family surviving in "A Quiet Place" we got a glimpse at the independent struggles each member faced, either trying to outthink the aliens, live to see the morning, or biting our nails as Evelyn delivers a baby with a creature right outside! It made for a tense movie, to say the least.
This movie is different. Dreadful tension is replaced with exciting action and faster engagements with the creatures. We have more faith in the character's power, their thinking is that of survivors willing to do what's necessary to stay together and stay safe. When we see the creatures again, we aren't as afraid, knowing how they can hold their own. Replacing jump scares and terrifying creature flashes with more fights make this entry more revealing than the last for the creatures. We get clear shots of them moving through the wasteland they've left us with. That leaves the thrill in every last minute decision, often life saving, that we know the family is capable of. Although that can change any moment, and accepting that is a real horror.
I saw "A Quiet Place Part 2" in theaters and ironically didn't experience the same atmosphere of silence as I did in the first in this movie. I recall the audience sitting like statues from beginning to end, with few noises in between because of that claustrophobic appeal of the first. Nonetheless, the theater adopted distanced limited seating and mask wearing and I was happy to be back in front of a big screen. That's what it deserves.
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