John Krasinski‘s A Quiet Place was a breakout hit in 2018. A low-budget, self-contained thriller that hit the big time at box office and a sequel seemed inevitable, regardless of whether it was justified or not. Delayed at the cinema for a year since its original release, and now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD, A Quiet Place Part II feels very much like an attempt to make lightning strike twice and thankfully Krasinski has pulled it off: A Quiet Place Part II is a worthy successor to the original, and a strong horror film all of its own right.
Avoiding wider spoilers, the film opens with an exciting flashback prologue, and then places us back with the Abbott family as they’re packing up and attempting to find a new place to live. On their wanderings they encounter Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a fellow survivor of the mysterious attack who begrudgingly agrees to help them evade the creatures and find a new home.
The first 30 minutes of A Quiet Place Part II is a spectacular set-up, dripping with atmosphere and cloaked with a constant tension that rarely lets up over the movie’s 97-minute run time. This may not be a gory bloodbath sort of horror film, but the suspense is far more effective. Small sounds reverberate like an explosion, and the sudden movements of the creatures makes them particularly effective at classic jump-scares.
Although, as the film continues, some things do occasionally feel a little clichéd: Murphy’s character is the gruff, loner survivor with a heart of gold; and the sequences involving the boat and the island feel very familiar in the post-apocalyptic genre. Thankfully when your film is called A Quiet Place Part II, the screenplay avoids an overabundance of expository dialogue but this does mean some predictability, which feels a little disappointing after the shocks and scares of the first film.
While the cast are uniformly excellent, the stars are undoubtedly the younger cast members. Millicent Simmonds delivers a heartbreakingly believable performance that completely sells the emotional weight of the film, whilst Noah Jupe is shaping up to be an incredibly talented actor. Both are superb, and hold their own against the always-excellent Emily Blunt and Cillian Murphy. Krasinski makes a welcome, if brief, return in the prologue, as well as handling the film’s direction very well. I love some classic match cuts, or cutting on action, and A Quiet Place Part II is full of them; the way the film cuts between the three leads as they’re hunted by the creatures is terrific, and helps to keep the pace up.
Overall, this is an incredibly strong follow-up to the original. It may not feel quite as fresh, and the slightly clichéd story beats in the second half are a little frustrating but it remains a great watch, and especially worth watching on 4K UHD or Blu-ray, if you’ve got the option. And, if truth be told, I wouldn’t be too surprised if we’re sitting down to watch A Quiet Place Part III in two or three years’ time…
There are only a couple of extras on the DVD, including the always insightful Krasinski with his Director’s Diary, and also the featurette Detectable Disturbance, on Visual Effects and Sound Design.
For the full range of Special Features, you’ll need to pick up the 4K UHD or Blu-ray, which gives you the whole selection:
- Feature film in high def
- Director’s Diary: Filming with John Krasinski
- Pulling Back the Curtain
- Regan’s Journey
- Surviving the Marina
- Detectable Disturbance: Visual Effects and Sound Design