A Look into A Quiet Place Part II (REVIEW)
John Krasinski’s long-delayed sequel to the widely popular and acclaimed film, A Quiet Place (2018) gives us an insight into life before the apocalypse and the events following the end of the first movie. Cillian Murphy joins the cast as a former friend of the Abbot’s and gives a strong performance as paranoid bunker-dweller Emmett. Interestingly, Krasinski and co-star/ wife Emily Blunt wanted Murphy to join the cast after watching him in the acclaimed BBC drama, Peaky Blinders (2014-).
[some SPOILERS ahead]
Survival of the Fittest
The mystery of the first film is partially untangled in this sequel as we see a flashback sequence at the beginning. A normal sports game turns into an abnormal afternoon once the sky darkens and anarchy ensues. This opener also introduces us to Murphy’s character, Emmett who plays a major role in the story. Murphy’s post-apocalyptic character provides hope in that there are more survivors left in the world but his warning of those who have become savages and lost their way reverts back to the hostile atmosphere of the first film and forebodes future events.
The sequel shows and explains to us that the greater evil that surpasses the apparent alien threat lies in ourselves, in the hearts of man where survival of the fittest occupies minds. This is evident in Emmett’s reluctance to take the family in as supplies dwindle. Here, we see the slim pickings and rations left in this overrun, ruined world to heighten the dog-eat-dog dynamic and raise the stakes even higher. This dynamic is a classic trope in more or less every post-apocalyptic feature or drama and is executed well by the writers and director. We see four factions of people in this universe: the lone family, the lone survivor, the community, and the savages. This encapsulates the genre and makes for a sequel which builds upon the first and gives us a wider knowledge of the breadth and peril the creatures possess.
Great Direction and Editing
From a technical and creative standpoint this film was excellent through directing, sound editing, visual effects and production. The gore and violence this time around was certainly more prevalent. From the very beginning there is an innate terror and desperation and when Marcus’s leg is clenched by the bear trap we are forced to feel the pain with him. This is all thanks to Krasinski’s direction and the acting as the incident invokes a tense chase given the audiophilic opposition and Marcus’s woeful cries. Here, as is the essence of the franchise, ‘quietness’ is remarkably curtailed when a character makes the slightest of sounds which is an ingenious technique for a horror-thriller.
This genre is dependent on slowly building tension or drama and then bombarding the viewer with action or jump-scares. Thus, the movie focuses on such moments that make us hang in the balance teetering between terror, excitement, and curiosity. Krasinski implements this in just the right places unlike many horror films nowadays. The scenes of Regan which envelop us in her hearing disability through silent point of view moments are a genius addition and her finding the frequency to disrupt the creatures is another clever touch – she is their polar opposite and repels them as a result. These sound editing techniques are reminiscent of another film that came out this year, Sound of Metal (2021) whose protagonist Ruben abruptly loses his hearing.
Will there be Part III?
A third instalment is probably in bound as reports suggest and Krasinski teases, but it also depends on how the film does at the box office. The ending suggests there is more to tell in this odd universe with the ever-improving, strengthening Abbot family and their resilience and survival instinct proving formidable and gripping. With the backing of Emmett who fills the void of Krasinski’s character there is definitely a lot of potential for future films. It is also rumoured that the third in the franchise will be a spin-off which piques my interest even more but only time will tell.
The visuals and special effects in the film were eye-catching and thrilling and as always the unsettling quietude is filled by intriguing music to keep us hooked. Krasinski delivers with this film and his directing skills are simply getting better and better. Part two upheld the same threat and tone as the first and builds upon its narrative foundations to thrust us into the world of deadly beasts and even deadlier humans. Emily Blunt gives another great performance as the steely, protective matriarch, but Murphy took centre stage in scenes such as the pier ambush. His presence and character brings about an uneasiness and uncertainty which the film promotes as nobody outside of your bubble should be considered safe now that sounds oddly familiar doesn’t it?