‘A Quiet Place Part II’ – Silencing the Horror Sequel Scaries

My opinion: A MUST SEE
Grade: A+

By BluRayAngel

The horror genre, although my favorite, has a frightening track record for horrendous sequels. When comparing these films to their predecessors: Jaws 2, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Exorcist II, Psycho II, and Poltergeist II, it’s understandable that a viewer deem them as unwatchable. As a matter of fact, the majority of horror franchises continue to keep the “bad sequel curse” alive as they include several disappointing installments. For example, the quality of sequels for the franchises for Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Saw, etc., haunt me to this day. 

I can’t believe I’m writing this into existence, but John Krasinski, yes-Jim from The Office, has one of the brightest voices in the horror genre as he has crafted TWO classic masterpieces with A Quiet Place Part I and Part II. The full potential of the horror genre is on display as it contains mesmerizing performances, unforgettable thrills, effective use of sound, and universal themes of the human condition like the terror of losing a loved one. A Quiet Place Part II is one of the greatest horror sequels ever made, therefore, silencing the horror sequel scaries.

Undoubtedly, the performances are masterclass, especially with the addition of Cillian Murphy who absolutely kills it. I regard Cillian as the most underrated and underappreciated actor working today. He elevates every project he contributes to, which could explain why Christopher Nolan loves collaborating with him continuously. For example, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Dunkirk, and Inception showcase his brilliant range. Hopefully the next Nolan film is a horror movie starring Cillian Murphy.

I’m sure John Krasinski is well aware of Cillian’s talent as well because he knew exactly what he was doing when utilizing him for this story. This film operates as a spiritual successor to Cillian’s previous science fiction horror films such as 28 Days Later and Sunshine. In those two films, Cillian’s characters share the similarity of putting others over oneself in an apocalyptic setting. 

On the contrary, A Quiet Place Part II subverts Cillian’s role as his character claims “there’s nothing left and the people that are left are not the kind of people worth saving.” He’s the complete antithesis to his other protagonists and Krasinski’s

warm character from the first film. Cillian’s character in this movie is the epitome of self-doubt and self-loathing as he is ashamed of what he’s transformed into. A significant portion of this movie is all about whether or not he can find the voice within his heart again after suffering from a traumatic event. The entire cast, lead by Millicent Simmonds, breathes life into the story and allow his arc to thrive.

In addition, I love that this story starts right where the last one ended. This choice allows Kransinski to focus on the new center of the narrative, which is the children and how they embody the best aspects of their father beyond his passing. I know this because Cillian’s character tells the daughter, “I’m nothing like him,” regarding her dad, “you are.” This powerful moment proves how compelling the relationships are as I feel moved by her conviction to be the kind of person her father was. 

We even feel his presence through music as “Beyond the Sea” plays from a radio signal. Not only is this song used as a plot device to move the story forward, but the lyrics can be interpreted as her father’s words calling out to her. For example, “We’ll meet beyond the shore, we’ll kiss just as

before, happy we’ll be beyond the sea and never again I’ll go sailing.” TO ME THAT IS CINEMA! 

If the first film is about unconditional love and protecting your children, this sequel signals to all to retain hope in a quiet bleak world, save others, and take care of our parents. I was attached to the main character because she had determination to do what she could to help anyone, despite the obstacles. Not only was she dealing with the monsters, but she also had someone tagging along out of necessity to stop her and ensure she returns. 

This film was more emotionally intimate than I was anticipating due to their vulnerable dynamic. Cillian’s quiet calmness and Millicent’s strength offered cinematic moments throughout. Seriously, the energy of scenes and the framing of the shots had the same affect that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Jurassic Park had on me. It’s one thing for a director to have the ability to control the emotions of the audience while telling a story, it’s another to actually immerse them in the experience as well and that is what Krasinski has achieved here through visual and sound.

Furthermore, the use of sound and emotional music is meticulously incorporated to heighten the experience. To illustrate my point, I’ll talk about the sound effects and how

they aid the first-person point of view effect on the audience. Whenever we’re following the daughter, who is deaf, the audio cuts out and we’re forced to just witness the carnage unfold. The silence is isolating and anxiety inducing. Once another character interacts with her, every sound returns, specifically when they touch her. It’s an excellent way of conveying to the audience which character perspective they need to be following.

A criticism for this film could be that it ends abruptly, but for me, that wasn’t an issue at all. Would I have loved to have seen more, absolutely! The fact that I never wanted it to end is a testament to how great the film was. Another example of a tension-filmed horror film with a short run time is REC, clocking in at 1 hour and 18 mins. The shortness does not take away from the quality of the movie as the ending is satisfactory. For A Quiet Place Part II, I love the decision to end the film where it was intended because it doesn’t leave too much to the imagination of what comes next, as the viewer can come to a logical conclusion. 

The potential ideas for the next installment are exciting, as there are burning questions to be answered regarding the mysterious mad people with blood shot eyes and red skin that we meet. It felt like they had the rage virus from 28 Days Later,

except they were well aware of their actions. It’s a great example of world building upon what was originally conceived as a standalone thriller.

When handled with the right amount of care, the fear of horror sequels can be diminished. All things considered, John Krasinski dives into the movie sequel hall of fame with a bang! It’s integral for us to always look out for one another, especially when we face global crisis. We keep hope within humanity alive if we’re willing to heal from our own traumas and act upon the belief that there are always people worth saving besides ourselves.


Lessons I learned from A Quiet Place Part II

Communication and love is key to live. Always do what you can to help when you have the chance. Never give up hope.

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