“Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.”

Director: John Krasinski
Writers: John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Staring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe
Streaming: Rental
Release Date: May 28, 2021

We have returned to the land of the still and quiet. After the critical and box office and box office success of A Quiet Place (2018), this sequel has been highly anticipated. Luckily for the fans and for all involved in the soon to be franchise, A Quiet Place Part II (2021) brushes off doubts and trots forward with exhilarating thrills and top-notch performances.

The opening to A Quiet Place Part II takes place just prior to the monster invasion. Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) is going about town and arrives at his sons baseball game, but the community feel is soon torn to shreds with the arrival of terror. In an incredibly well staged sequence, the town in upstate New York is ripped apart and era of chilling silence commences.

The first 10 minutes of the movie was hinted at a lot in the trailers but still managed to pack a punch to the audience. There is something to seeing how terrified everyone was at the start rather than the caution the Abbott family always operate with.

Following the title sequence, we get to the main story. We pick right at the end of A Quiet Place with Evelyn (Emily Blunt) holding a shotgun and gathering her family. The Abbott family, which is now Evelyn, Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and the newborn leave their farm and take to the trails in the search for something better.

We will suspend disbelieve here as to why they needed to leave the farm. It is not explicitly said.

There is a specific shot that Krasinksi frames during their exodus that is both a great call back but also a bit of foreshadowing. The rubicon on “not going back” is the edge of the sand along the hiking path and we see every family member’s feet cross over the threshold. Then later in the movie their is a survival clue over the radio that plays La Mer (Beyond the Sea) by Bobby Darin. Let me ask you readers; when you step off sand at the beach, what’s the next texture you often touch? The sea. They need to step off the beach of relative comfort they’ve been living on and embrace the unknown, also known as the sea.

The Abbott family runs into an old friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy) and the family without a father finds themselves knotted in the preverbal sheets with this known male presence. Evelyn is worried about the heath of her newborn and son but Regan is worried about the possibility of peace. She hears the radio broadcast and puts together the clues that there is an island near where they are hiding, and so the fellowship is broken. Evelyn goes to hunt for air tanks for the baby, Regan hunts for hope on the island, Emmett trails Regan out of obligation and Marcus is nursing the baby while danger swarms all around.

Where a Quiet Place Part II thrives is in how effective the parallel plot lines is meshed together. The tension in each story is matched by its counterpart, and the final resolution for the main characters is intertwined. The lesson learned by both is shown but through each characters eyes. Of the dangling story vines in the movie, Regan’s with Emmett is the strongest. Their shared scenes have the most tension and the best non-verbal story telling moments.

Alright, let’s nitpick a little.

The abrupt ending to the original A Quiet Place was sublime and unexpected. The same such ending in A Quiet Place Part II, did not have the same punctuation effect. Yes, it left the audience hanging again and didn’t hold the viewers’ hand, but the wrap up was not as finite. Maybe it is because the suspense at the end of the original is superior to that of the sequel, but even I found myself asking, “Is that it?”.

A Quiet Place Part II opened theaters when it came to theaters and it was a smashing success. Surpassing the original lowered expectations of its box office draw, there is without a doubt going to be a Quiet Place Part III. The ending to A Quiet Place Part II follows the same as A Quiet Place; an abrupt end with character climaxes peaking and not unwinding. Questions are left as to what is going to happen the the movie’s characters and more curiosity about the creatures is furnished as the world outside the community engulfing the Abbot’s farm is slowly unveiled.

Major credit has to be given to John Krasinki for bucking all the trends and making two very strong movies in his first directorial bouts. Audiences across the world should be excited to see what he can do to make the inevitable third film as original as the first first and as reassuring as the second.

STANKO RATING: B+ (3.5/5 Stars)

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