A Quiet Place: Part II Review

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: After the horrors that the Abbott family faced in the first film, Evelyn and her children find that they are not the only survivors. Some of those they discover may mean to help, while others may not have the best intentions. All the while, the beasts that hunted them in the first film are back for more in this impressive sequel.

REVIEW: A Quiet Place was a massive surprise back in 2018. Who would've expected such an emotionally moving, and truly dread and suspense-fueled ride from John Krasinski? From the devastating early moments to the final emotional end, he created something spectacular. And now, with the sequel finally finding its way into theatres – originally scheduled for a 2020 release – the question as to whether he can do it again has been answered. A Quiet Place Part II is a rarity. Imagine a sequel that checks all the boxes by making it bigger, and expanding the body count, but does it in a way that works wonders. Well, you don't need to imagine after seeing Krasinski's thrilling follow-up to an already great first feature. Perhaps one reason it works as well as it does is the way it shifts genres together in such a smart and satisfying way. Part family drama, part sci-fi, with a ton of straight-up horror that will satisfy most fans, the continuation is emotional, scary, and wildly intense.

Continuing with what he started in the first film, the Abbott family is still trying to survive after the tragedies they faced previously. Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) and her children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) have figured out a way to stay alive all while monstrous creatures still lurk in every corner. However, when they discover that there is another person only a slight journey away from the semi-safety of their home, Evelyn and her children, with their baby in tow, head off to find out who is lighting signal fires in the distance. It's on that journey they discover Emmett (Cillian Murphy), an old acquaintance of theirs. Suffering from a loss of his own, Emmett decides to temporarily shelter them. When they hear a song playing on his radio, Regan concludes that there may be other survivors out there, and she may be able to use her hearing aid as she did before – to help kill these murderous beasts. All of which leads to yet another impressive – and truly exciting – feature.

A Quiet Place, Part 2, A Quiet Place Part II, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, horror, sequel, JoBlo.com

One of the many aspects that worked the first time around was the incredible casting. Krasinski – who wrote and directed both features – was terrific as Lee Abbott, a man desperate to keep his family safe. And while he faced his demise the last time around, he does return in the captivating opening sequence, one that reveals the first day that everything went to hell. That gives the main story to Blunt, Simmonds, and Jupe, and they are more than prepared for the task. All three actors deliver shockingly great performances, ones that make it impossible to not believe in their plight. Even more so than the first time, both Simmonds and Jupe are given the chance to truly build their roles, and both are exceptionally strong. Add to that the brilliant Cillian Murphy and you have one of the best ensembles in any feature this year.

Everything is bigger in this film. Sometimes that can be a hindrance, but not here. One of the trickiest things to do in a creature feature is to decide how often and how much do you show the creature itself. The beasts are terrifying, and while we do see them on display more often this time around, they are just as menacing and nightmare-inducing. The visual effects are stunning, and they only add to the frights as these grotesque monsters attack. It's a thrilling sight, one that helps bring this sequel well above most modern monsters movies. Narrowing down one stalk and chase sequence would be a disservice as several scenes will have you squirming in your seat at the sheer intensity of it all. And after that gut-punch of a beginning in the last film, that sense of doom carries perfectly into the sequel.

A Quiet Place, A Quiet Place Part II, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, horror, sequel, JoBlo.com

Krasinski continues to impress with this glorious follow-up. Both as writer and director, John's vision is shockingly good. The world-building is well handled, as he believably expands the story. And while oftentimes the more we learn about the big bad in a horror movie, the less intriguing they become, the filmmaker handles this challenge by giving his villains potency. While we still don't know their history and why these gruesome creatures are terrorizing humanity, we are learning a little more about them as characters. And he does this without taking away from the human element. This is a brilliantly written film, that also happens to be a great modern thriller. Even the haunting score by Marco Beltrami does a good job of maneuvering through genres. And yes, the tension is extremely thick throughout the entire film.

A Quiet Place Part II is a bold, emotional, and terrifying sequel. And forgive the hyperbole, but it's one of the best horror sequels I've had the pleasure of seeing. The impressive shifts between genres, the stellar cast, and a writer/director who seemingly has a very clear understanding of creating suspense, and you have one of the best horror films of the year. The sense of dread never lets up, and the conclusion is more than satisfying. While there is one character that makes a couple of slightly frustrating decisions, it ultimately ends up working as there is an exhilarating payoff. As well, the inclusion of Cillian Murphy was a fantastic choice to bring yet another amazing performer to the cast. This is the very rare sequel that at the very least is equal to what came before. It's also a very rare film that feels like it's damn near perfect in what it attempts to do. So yes, I highly recommend this incredible sequel. Seek out A Quiet Place 2.

A Quiet Place

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.