Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Cillian Murphy
Directed and Written by John Krasinski
Looking back on what made John Krasinski’s debut film so great, it’s easy to highlight the tension built through the lack of sound, the ambiguity of the monsters appearance, and the way in which ordinary people would hide from such things. Going into the second film in any series it can be difficult to provide an exciting new story whilst once again capturing what made the original so great, but the new ‘A Quiet Place’ film does it brilliantly.
Answering many questions audiences may have had about the beginnings of such an apocalypse, we begin the film with a prologue which takes us all the way back to ‘Day 1’. The dramatic opening sets the tone for the rest of the film, with tension hidden within every moment of silence, and horrors around every corner. By starting the film in such a way, Krasinski builds the world of ‘A Quiet Place’ up even further, effectively drawing the audience in more and more, and familiarising us with how many attempted to survive whilst still leaving enough ambiguity for the audience to fantasise about their own role in such a hypothetical world.
Visually, the film continues to be just as imaginative with it’s cinematography as the first. Earlier sequences lend themselves more to the adventure side of things, with stunning landscapes contrasting the devastation caused by the monsters, beautifully capturing a world caught in disarray. Moments of tension are also benefited by a careful consideration of how best to show the action, with alternating angles and camera placements working to emphasise the threat posed by the creatures. Whilst not important to the story, this consideration for colour and aesthetic work to make ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ more than just another horror.
From a narrative perspective, the film remains fairly simple, yet tells its story well. Utilising parallelism and recurring ideas to heighten moments of emotion and tension, we begin to care a greater amount for the characters we’re watching. Cillian Murphy also makes a great addition to the weary and downtrodden cast who populate the film, bringing exciting storylines and perspectives of his own which lead to a further exploration into the apocalyptic landscape.
Of course, I’d do well to review such a film and not comment on the sound design. Paying attention to every minute detail, you can’t help but hold your breath anytime a twig snaps or a door closes too hard. The silence of it all draws you to the edge of your seat, only to make you jump even further back anytime a loud bang or an unexpected cry is let out. Paced precisely throughout the film, there are some great jump-scare moments, but they also tie in well with the tension of the scene and don’t ever become overused or predictable.
‘A Quiet Place Part II’ is one you should definitely give a watch if you were a fan of the first film, building on everything established in the original, whilst also bringing some great new ideas and characters to the table. Whilst popcorn might not be the best snack to go for on your way into the theatre, I’d definitely recommend seeing this film on the biggest screen you can.