A mother protects her children from deadly rogue creatures in A Quiet Place Part II.
After the tragic loss of her husband to otherworldly predators, Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) must find the will to carry on and protect what remains of her shattered family. Survival depends on their ability to avoid the detection of a race of blind, alien-like creatures with exceptionally sensitive hearing. The slightest misplaced step may very well mean the difference between life and death. Her challenge is complicated by the realities of her own children. Her oldest child Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf. Her son Marcus (Noah Jupe) is still young enough to be unintentionally careless, while her youngest child is an infant and, thus, entirely unpredictable. It’s anything but a stress-free environment.
Evelyn decides to take a chance and head for the potential safety of another camp that she’s identified off in the distance. Perhaps their plight will be aided by the safety of numbers, or is she just exposing her family to new, unanticipated problems?
This is the sequel to 2018’s innovative horror film A Quiet Place. Apart from an opening prequel of sorts, the bulk of the story picks up just after the events of the original film. Writer/director John Krasinski sets out to rekindle the magic of the first installment, but instead gives us a sequel that feels lazy and bland.
The primary appeal of the first installment was its novelty. Few other films of recent memory so effortlessly and effectively connected the audience to its characters’ plight. That was an ingenious byproduct of the need for the characters to remain silent, which makes viewers blatantly aware of their own surroundings. This time around, we know the trick, and it just doesn’t have the same impact. It doesn’t help that the score, though similar to the one in the original film, now feels overdone. We can feel it pulling our strings, and that’s never a good thing.
One of the biggest problems of the first film was the story’s inability to follow its own rules. The same is true here — possibly even more so. We’re told that the slightest sound will draw the creatures to its source almost instantly, yet the creatures seem entirely oblivious to many other sounds to which humans would easily be drawn. For example, why have the creatures not connected the crackling sounds of night fires to those starting them? We also watch the Abbotts go about barefoot to aid in their silence, but a new character (played by Cillian Murphy) tromps around in work boots without any concern or trouble. There’s also a minor disconnect regarding Evelyn’s family. Her two older children are clearly bigger than in the last film, but her infant is still an infant. It’s not as if they could get the child actors to stop growing in the period between the two films, but it’s still a point worth noting. I also had major problems with the last act and its entire setup. It’s just too unbelievable to be taken seriously.
There are a few bright spots. The film is tense here and there and does give a nice scare or two along the way. The performances of the children, especially that of Simmonds, are remarkable. Krasinski also seems to have a solid mind’s eye. The visuals overall are quite immersive and convincing. I just wish that his vision was clear enough to see plot holes that stand out like craters in the middle of a major highway.