A Quiet Place was a film that was impressive thanks to technique, but more impressive because the technique was good enough to silence your brain pointing out how incredibly stupid the whole premise was. John Krasinski has followed it up with a sequel that takes the Abbott family on a desperate journey without father Lee to protect them.
Starting with a stunning flashback to life before the apocalypse and then following on directly from the last film, the Abbotts (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) have defeated the creatures that attacked their home, but with Lee dead, their home torn apart and their barn on fire, they need to move quickly to survive. They meet Emmett (Cillian Murphy), an old friend who has lost his entire family, living a meagre existence in an abandoned factory. When the kids find an active radio signal they are forced to split up to recover from injuries and find permanent shelter from the monsters.
Despite the first film feeling essentially complete, this film still functions as a highly satisfactory continuation of its events. It mines the same tension through enforced silence that made that film so enthralling, but adds a lot of changing locations this time around. Once again, even though the plot-holes are so vast they might as well be in flashing neon lights, the direction is so masterful that it simply doesn’t affect one’s enjoyment of the film. Some of this is probably due to the film being forced to tell the story with minimal dialogue, relying on visual cues rather than exposition, but it’s also due to some absolutely stunning sound design. The sheer dynamic range of the soundtrack absolutely requires a theatre to appreciate, with silence erupting into shrieks and bangs that absolutely rattle you. The theatrical experience is also great fun due to the shared hush of the audience – this is a film where the phrase “bated breath” literally applies.
If you enjoyed the first film, you’ll enjoy this one. You can call it a typical pointless sequel if you want, but the craftsmanship here and the feeling of the world expanding with more stories is a pleasure it’s hard to deny. Go and see this in a good cinema with powerful sound, and you’re going to have a great time.