Krasinski rectifies this in his much superior Part II, crafting an action-horror movie experience that’s bigger, bolder, and scarier than its predecessor. It makes the lauded Part I look like a scene-setting prologue.
Part II brings the world front-and-centre while enigmatically avoiding the origins of the alien apocalypse. You start at Day 1 of the invasion. The ill-fated Abbott father, Lee (Krasinski), is alive at this point and attends a kid’s baseball game. An idyllic start.
Then, naturally, that equilibrium turns to bloody mayhem in one of this year’s most frightening and thrilling openings. Despite being in a familiar environment, Krasinski (taking sole credit as writer and director) proficiently sets up an expanded landscape with new and unexpected levels of terror.
Cillian Murphy plays the rugged and traumatised Emmett. Photo: Getty/Paramount Pictures/Jonny Cournoyer
Moving forward to Day 474, the remaining Abbott family – the resourceful mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt), the anxious son Marcus (Noah Jupe), the independent hearing-impaired daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and a newborn son – abandon their former quiet place for another. It’s a dilapidating trainyard, populated only by Emmett (a rugged and traumatised Cillian Murphy) who's an old friend of Evelyn’s.
Whereas the Abbots know little of other survivors, who’ve found their own quiet places, Emmett knows of them too well. From what he says, the country has descended into tribal systems; revealing the primal darkness of humanity (classic!). But that doesn’t stop Regan’s forward-thinking curiosity. Armed with a sound device that weakens the monsters, she ventures out on her own to investigate these other groups of people.
That silent air of mystery seeps into these more adventurous scenes. Long stretches of hush inevitably collapse into violent, screeching pandaemonium. With Regan’s promotion to a more central character, the suspense is heightened by the inability to hear the monster that’s creeping up behind her.
Regan’s played by Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds, who crafts a genuine and exciting presence on screen. In a culture where disabled main characters are rare and their portrayals by disabled actors are even rarer, Simmonds' absorbing performance is evidence to the industry that these steps aren’t impossible to facilitate.
Millicent Simmonds plays the Abbott daughter, Regan (Photo: Getty/Paramount Pictures/Jonny Cournoyer)
The film bears some resemblance to the poignant video-game series The Last of Us, which is also set in a post-apocalyptic America. Emmett is tasked with looking for Regan and, despite the hostile introductions, they begin to understand each other. At one point, you see his frustration when trying to talk to her, but then he learns to enunciate and their trust grows from there. It's a fascinating, heart-warming, and beautifully written scene
Krasinski rushes a bit as new survivors are discovered. The interactions are more like meet-and-greets; little pauses before the monsters return. But for the most part, this works with the acceleration of the writing – Emmet and Regan’s journey running in parallel to Evelyn and Marcus's struggles in the trainyard.
Part II is a more substantial film. Krasinski builds from his extensive character work in Part I and throws the Abbotts into a better-constructed world, in which he clearly loves to play.
A Quiet Place Part II is in cinemas from Thursday 3 June.
|What||A Quiet Place Part II review|
03 Jun 21 – 03 Jun 22, IN CINEMAS
|Price||£determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|