I’ll never forget the day I was supposed to see A Quiet Place Part II at a press screening in March of last year, as it was also the same day everything in the country shutdown due to the pandemic that slowly grew. The pushing back of Part II to an unknown date began the bumming of other things getting inevitably delayed or cancelled altogether for movies in general. It was a sad time for millions of moviegoers and one that stretched much longer than anyone ever imagined it would. However, things now are returning to normal, slowly, thanks to the flattening of the curve and millions of people getting the vaccine. And the first sign of an actual return to normalcy of sorts at the movies was this being the first press screening I have attended in over 14 months. It made me smile, yes, and I also was excited to finally see the sequel to a movie that’s among one of my favorites from the past few years. Thankfully, Part II is a worthy sequel that’s more than just another horror movie labeled as a cash-grab hot off the heels of its predecessor that was universally praised and a smashing success at the box office. While it doesn’t reach the crescendo of its predecessor, Part II is still very much an enjoyable moviegoing experience that demands your time in a theater.
Aside from the thrilling opening 10-minute sequence, Part II takes place moments after its predecessor. Going beyond the boundaries of the farm into surrounding areas, the Abbotts, now survived by mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt), teenage kids Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) and their newborn infant, seek refuge elsewhere. Once they leave the area they’ve been familiar with since the monsters arrived, things could’ve gone sideways for writer and director John Krasinski in opening up more of this ravaged world. Thankfully, however, Krasinski adds a few new locations and characters that make this world as engrossing and intriguing as what we saw back in 2018. My only big complaint with Part II is that there’s nothing quite memorable here like its predecessor had. Remember the imagery with the red light bulbs or the bathtub scene? Those are cinematic pieces/moments that Hollywood will remember for years to come. Unfortunately, there’s nothing quite like that in Part II. It’s as if something is just…..missing.
However, the two-pronged story presented in Part II helps change up things a bit, thanks mostly to the additional screen time for the teenage kids, played by Simmonds and Jupe; this is especially true regarding Simmonds. In addition to that, Cillian Murphy is the newest (and biggest) addition to the cast here and is every bit as good as what you’ve seen him in on television (Peaky Blinders) and in other movies (Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy). If only Emily Blunt’s character had more to work with in Part II; but you get an idea of what Krasinski was going for this time around. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Grade-A sound design and thrills that will make you jump like you did during the first movie are back too. Those moments alone will make you feel right at home when it comes to being back in a theater, whether it’s your first time at the theater in over a year or just in general.
A Quiet Place Part II may not be the type of movie that will end up on the best or favorite movie of the year lists like its predecessor did, but it’s still a thrilling and fascinating sequel that commands your attention from start to finish. And clocking in at 90 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. In fact it’s just the kind of juice the summer box office needs to start off the season. Do you need to see Part II in theaters this weekend? Yes. Will it have your heart racing at times? Absolutely. Will you want to see a sequel to this once the credits roll on Part II? You betcha.