A Quiet Place Part II (2021) - 7/10
I loved A Quiet Place. I know it finished with the suggestion of a follow up, but it really didn’t need one. That’s not the way the film business works though is it, so here we are. Starting with a palette cleanser, everything seems normal for the Abbott family in small town America. Sunny weekends playing ball, no need to keep schtum. Not for long though, it’s just a quick reintroduction before these characters are thrown right back into the action and boy is it action packed. I’ve an issue with this opening scene though. I understand why it’s there, but it feels unnecessary as post opening titles we’re quickly plunged back to where the previous film left off. So back to the dangerously calm post-apocalyptic world we go with all the gripping tension, wince inducing thrills and silent badassary. Where the first film was all about the survival of the self contained family, this broadens their scope… and their hope. Even if family friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy) doesn’t share their enthusiasm. He’s the gloom, too much lost, happy to die alone in his bunker. Clearly destined for a redemptive experience. At his core he’s scared. That’s not the Abbott way though, especially Regan (Millicent Simmonds) who shines again. She’s a source of power both for the family and the film. Regan is not scared. Wary of course, but not scared. Every bit the action hero, but with brains replacing the pithy one liners. It’s simple stuff and the whole thing works. Emily Blunt is totally believable even in this most unbelievable scenario. It looks (and sounds) marvellous too. With several stand out scenes peppered with cool ‘end of the world’ visuals. It does lean a bit heavy on the jump scares, but they’re quite fun and never distract from the ever building tension. A lot has been made of the slow taunting quiet in these films and how refreshing it is. There’s lots of work like this of course, but it is nice to see it in mainstream big budget cinema. It’s not flawless, pretty much all the major plot point are telegraphed well in advance, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t jump, gasp, smile and shake. The plot is very thin though, relying on the action and the actors ability to convey terror without any dialogue. It is good, it is gripping. It doesn’t live up to its predecessor though and I’m not confident what’s to come will either unless they put some more flesh on the bones.