Finally the cinemas are open again! With lockdowns and restrictions easing (fingers crossed) and more and more people getting jabbed everyday life is slowly returning to normal. So I ventured out to the pictures last month for the first time since Tenet in September 2020 to see A Quiet Place Part II.
After an attention grabbing opening set before part one – where an idyllic American afternoon at the baseball descends into chaotic, edge of your seat terror – the film starts proper. We are re-introduced to the Abbott family, who are trying to survive and find safety with Cillian Murphy’s hardened survivor Emmett – a friend of the late Lee Abbott (John Krasinki) and a bit of a lone wolf. The Abbots are desperately trying to find a safe haven in this dangerous and fractured society, with Evelyn’s (Emily Blunt) deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmons) in particular holding on to a glimmer of hope that it may end.
Part II is a tense, nerve jangling horror with a refreshingly small scale focus – on the aftermath of the destruction, the toll it takes on society, people and their families. It is enjoyable, with some visceral jump scares, a dark sense of foreboding and a wince-inducing injury akin to THAT nail scene in the first one. The cinema will be silent, so heads will turn if you start scoffing nachos. Alas it is a bit predictable, with dramatic events signposted and characters making obligatory silly decisions that endanger themselves and everyone else – I am looking at you Marcus (Noah Jupe).
Cillian Murphy is a great, brooding presence and Emily Blunt does not put a foot wrong. The star of the show though is Millicent Simmons, who is terrific as the brave and determined youngster Regan on a sometimes foolhardy mission to save everyone. The sound editing really helps us see things from her perspective by reducing the sound to a whistle or cutting it completely, turning off one of your senses. It is the great acting and the anxiety riddled, pin drop sound that engrosses you – helping you gloss over the annoying but ultimately minor faults.
Directed and written, like the first one, by John Krasinki – A Quiet Place Part II is a tense, nerve destroying sci-fi horror with a strong emotional core. Definitely worth a watch.