Film review by Jason Day of A Quiet Place II (2020), the horror movie about a family surviving in a world rendered silent because of sound-sensitive monsters that hunt humans. Starring Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy and directed by John Krasinski.
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After their farm is ransacked by the monsters that have left humanity struggling to survive in a silent world, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) leads her children to what she hopes is another suitably quiet place. They reach an abandoned factory where former friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy) is hiding and they prepare to settle. But deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is convinced a radio station playing a song on a loop is a coded message about a human settlement. She leaves her family, determined to use the radio station to kill the sound-sensitive beasts at their door.
Review, by @Reelreviewer
What is it with lower limb injuries in the Quiet Place movies?
In the excellent first installment, audiences winced in sympathy after Evelyn skewered her foot on a rusty nail, I dare say most of us let out some noise even though she could not. Silent skewering by household items being preferable over a noisy skewering from an alien menace.
(By the way, for those who haven’t seen part II yet, slight spoiler alert there. We now know the monsters were shuttled to Earth on the back of a meteor).
In the sequel, Evelyn’s foot hasn’t had chance to heal properly when, running through an abandoned factory strewn with booby traps, poor soon Marcus (Noah Jupe) ends up leg end in a bear trap.
“It hasn’t gone to the bone” Evelyn tells Emmett (the brilliant Cillian Murphy). Good news – I think – because there is never an orthopaedic surgeon around when you want one, but it does necessitate another trip out to find a convenient convenience store with a conveniently full stock of pharmaceuticals.
The father character played by writer-director John Krasinski (Blunt’s hubby in real-life) was killed off in the first movie but makes a brief reappearance here, so Blunt handles the loving parent bits on her own and with a smooth, comfortable aplomb.
Krasinski has said that he wants these movies to be a kind of love letter to his children – obviously when they’ve reached 15! – but you can see clearly how that extends to his wife.
Even with her too-perfect hair and skin – in great condition for a woman more than a year without cosmetics – he positions her as the ultimate nuturing, capable and competent mother and she responds by giving him a perfectly judged performance of courage and fortitude.
Murphy is a great addition to this series (a third movie is in development); few male actors do quiet, pained torture on the screen so well. This is a man who has suffered; you can also tell this because he has an admirable beard, although not quite as epic as John Krasinski’s mighty, manly face topiary in the first movie.
The star turn is still Millicent Simmonds, now two years older but with bags of extra confidence. There is something beautiful about watching deaf/hard of hearing actors on screen. As any of my regular readers will know, I love silent cinema and signing is quite similar It’s such a visual, filmic thing and Simmonds such a spiky, precocious talent it is a joy to see her leading the way by using it. She has become the hero, so roll on part three when, writing permitting, she will be let loose a bit more to fire on all cylinders.
There are more scares in this movie than part one which create a taut atmosphere with stealth and quiets and was technically a family survival drama rather than a horror. The unique, aurally pristine atmosphere in the first film – with sign used as the primary form of communication – is, sadly, lost in the sequel.
But at least Krasinski hasn’t just given us more of the same, replacing the mute activities with thrills and extra, well-developed characters. He also paves the way for the third part when, it is to be assumed, humanity will use sound to fight back and Simmonds will take up the reins.
Cast & credits
Director: John Krasinski. 1hr 37 min/97 min. Buffalo FilmWorks/Paramount Pictures/Platinum Dunes/Sunday Night. (15).
Producers: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, John Krasinski.
Writer: John Krasinski.
Camera: Polly Morgan.
Music: Marco Beltrami.
Sets: Jess Gonchor.
Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Okieriete Onaodowan, Scoot McNairy.