A Quiet Place Part II is once again written and directed by John Krasinski and stars Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe as the same family from 2018’s A Quiet Place, picking up right where the last film left off. Cillian Murphy is also introduced as another survivor the family encounters in the post-apocalyptic world occupied by monsters with hyper-sensitive hearing. The film manages to improve upon its effective predecessor, although ultimately feeling somewhat inconsequential. In terms of visual storytelling, Krasinski has only gotten better, proving himself a truly talented director. The way in which he handles directing the horror set-pieces in the film is masterful, and he chooses to focus the action more on the characters instead of the monsters to build tension. Suspense really was the star of the show in A Quiet Place Part II, and there were a number of genuinely thrilling, memorable sequences that are in no way derivative of the first film and are inventive in their own right. It is the type of film that demands to be seen in a theater, more than any recent release. The absolutely deafening silence, only part of the all-around incredible sound design in the film, that fills many key scenes was certainly enhanced by the theater experience. As far as the story, it chooses to split up the cast of characters into smaller groups, making many set-pieces all the more tense for it. The film is scarce on dialogue (understandably so, considering the premise), but all of the performances fill in to make the story emotionally resonant. The standouts are both actors playing the children, Simmonds and Jupe, and the new addition of Murphy, all of whom lend a lot of emotion and strong character work to the film. The tight runtime of 97 minutes both aids and ails the film, as although it never lets tension ease up, even for a scene, it also makes it feel as though not much happens overall. The characters have a clear mission, and, once it’s accomplished, the film quickly ends, leaving room for a likely sequel.
Lean, surprising, and most of all, suspenseful, A Quiet Place II tops the first, with its expertly directed horror sequences standing out, but a shorter runtime makes the ending and overall plot progression come across as abrupt.