A Quiet Place II, by Cameron J. Czaja

After I saw A Quiet Place back in 2018, I fell in love with it right away. As a movie lover, I enjoyed it for how they played with the horror genre by making a somewhat silent film in a tension filled setting. As a Catholic, however, I enjoyed it for being a pro-life and pro-family film with horror elements, which is a combination not only do I rarely see, but see it done right. I was skeptical but also excited when I heard a sequel titled A Quiet Place Part II was soon to be released because I feel like the world that the first film set up could easily be expanded into further narratives.

For those who aren’t familiar with A Quiet Place, the film follows the Abbott family as they try to survive living a world run by these blind but deadly creatures with incredible hearing. So incredible are their ears that even talking at a normal level could be fatal because these creatures will come find you and kill you.  The only way the family can communicate with each other without the risk of attracting attention is through American sign language. After discovering a weakness to these creatures, the Abbott Family is able to take one out, though it isn’t without the sacrifice of Lee (John Krasinski) who played the father of the family. Despite me spoiling the plot, A Quiet Place is a film I strongly recommend watching due to the positive Christian message in it, and I’m glad it was so popular for a mainstream horror film.

Like most films this past year, A Quiet Place Part II was supposed to be released back in March 2020, but then…well, you know. I apologize if I sound vague, but honestly I’m getting a little tired sounding like a broken record at this point. Anyway, it’s finally here and when I found out it was playing in a theater, I contacted two close friends of mine (one of which saw the first film with me) and we had our first guys night out at the movies since 2019. Was this worth the wait and did it live up to the first film? As usual let’s find out.

Picking up after the events of A Quiet Place, A Quiet Place Part II follows the remaining members of the Abbott family which includes Evelyn (Emily Blunt), her deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), her first born son Marcus (Noah Abbott), and her newborn son. They are forced to leave their home after an attack from theses deadly creatures and along their journey they wander into an abandoned train yard. While walking through it, Marcus gets caught in a bear trap and screams in pain, which leads a creature towards them. Little do they know, they’re being watched by an unknown person and they happen to witness him killing the creature using the knowledge of their weakness from the first film. After dispatching the creature and freeing Marcus, the family is saved and sheltered from others by their rescuer, whose name is Emmett (Cillian Murphy). Emmett is an old friend of the father of the family and despite his heroism, he doesn’t want them to stay long due to supplies being limited. That night both Marcus and Regan discover a radio signal from a nearby island which prompts Regan to go and find it the next day despite Evelyn telling her to stay put. Disobeying her mother’s wishes, Regan ventures out to find a way to the island. When Evelyn discovers her disappearance, she begs Emmett to bring her back as she doesn’t want to lose her soon after she lost her husband.   

Before I watched A Quiet Place Part II, I could tell my initial reaction wasn’t going to be the same as the first one because I somewhat knew what I was getting myself into. After watching it, however, I can confidently say that it is a rare horror sequel that lives up to its predecessor. This was a big relief for me because now I know that the first film wasn’t a gimmick and is something that can be told again in a proper manner, both in a technical and spiritual sense.

What makes A Quiet Place Part II stand out from other mediocre horror sequels is the how they expanded the world that the original film set up. Instead of staying in one location like A Quiet Place, it focuses on other areas that we get to see. I mentioned already an abandoned train yard and an island, and they use those areas to full effect. This allows us to see other survivors of this world and how they have stuck around as long as the Abbott family. Let’s just say they weren’t as lucky as the family that we grew accustomed to in the first movie. This also allows us to experience how silent they have to be in different environments. This really ratchets up the tension because you’re not sure how loud, or which noises will attract more creatures. Of the main characters, I wasn’t sure who was going to live and who was going to die. That’s how tense I was.

Now, if you have seen A Quiet Place, then you know how pro-life the film was because the parents were expecting a child and decide to go through with the pregnancy knowing the risks that they may take. While that message itself wasn’t as amplified in A Quiet Place Part II, it’s still pretty pro-life as you have characters risking their lives for others. The film also mentions how people’s lack of humanity became their downfall when the creatures started to invade, though it’s told via exposition rather than showing us. Usually, I’m a show don’t tell kind of person when it comes to films like these, but the way the scene was set up it would’ve ruined the moment. Those moments are ones I enjoyed because it gave me time to relax a bit. I wasn’t as tense compared to earlier scenes that involves characters in peril. Those moments were short, but also satisfying.

I wish A Quiet Place II was a perfect film, but unfortunately it wasn’t. There were certain scenes that made me go “ok, that was convenient,” or “are they too loud here?” Despite that, though, it is indeed on one of the best films I’ve seen so far in 2021. It is a film I’m hoping to check out again despite the flaws. The jury is still out whether this is better than the first one because the novelty isn’t present compared to the first one, but I’ll let time decide that for me. Odds are they are going to make a Part 3, and I for one can’t wait. Hopefully it won’t be delayed for a full year like this one, but it would be worth the wait (knock on wood).

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