Friday 18 June 2021

Film Review: A Quiet Place Part II

Creep into cinemas to check out A Quiet Place Part II – a horror/sci-fi mash-up that demands to be seen on the big screen. 

Wind the clock back to 2018, and the release of a little film called A Quiet Place took audiences by surprise; by all accounts, an original horror film directed by Jim from The Office had no rights being this good or this scary. 

A compelling and gruesome creature feature that enthralled genre fans and general audiences alike, director John Krasinski took a simple concept – a family find themselves stalked by man-eating monsters who hunt via sound – and served up a sharp, scary 90-minute thriller that never deviated from its human characters and their nail-biting plight. It was taut and tight – and bolstered by a clever conceit that may not make much sense if you think about it, but damn does it provide fertile territory for terror. 

This sequel picks up mere seconds after the end of the first film; Emily Blunt's shotgun-wielding mother, Evelyn, is faced with the task of relocating her family of four after their secluded farmhouse burnt down in the climax of part one. 

With deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and son Marcus (Noah Jupe) in tow, plus her newborn baby in a sling across her chest, Evelyn sets off in search of sanctuary – but it isn't long before the family finds themselves in another perilous predicament. With every step through open ground putting them at risk of making a sound that spells death, they soon cross paths with Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a no-nonsense survivor who harbours a tragic past. 

Part II excels in part because it sticks to the key ingredients that made Part I so damn effective. Nerve-wracking tiptoeing tees up frenetic action, where whispered words make way for breathless panic and sudden desperation. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't have to, not when the formula that worked before continues to work so well. 

Krasinski confirms his credentials as a confident filmmaker who is able to switch gears and up the ante when it calls for it; there's a couple of great crosscutting sequences in Part II, where the increasing energy, pace and stakes are neatly spliced together, before the inevitable climax and catharsis. 

Blunt's character is sidelined somewhat this time, which shouldn't come as a surprise given that she's just given birth mere days ago in the film's continuity; instead, it's Simmonds as eldest daughter Regan who takes charge and teams up with Murphy for a compelling duo with their pseudo-father/daughter relationship.

For many, A Quiet Place Part II is the first major blockbuster to open exclusively in cinemas in months – and there couldn't be a more fitting film to see on the big screen that this.

The Verdict: 8/10

A first-class continuation that complements the themes and screams of the original, what A Quiet Place Part II lacks in surprise, it more than makes up for in scares. Slick direction and a smart screenplay ensures Krasinski doesn't stuff up this sequel. 

A Quiet Place Part II is in cinemas across Australia now.

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