Tag Archives: a quiet place

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Review

Theaters are BACK, baby!

“A Quiet Place Part II” is the sequel to the 2018 sleeper hit, again written and directed by John Krasinski. The film follows a woman and her children (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe) one more having to navigate a world where aliens are hunting them based on sound; Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou join the cast.

This was due out in theaters in March 2020 (I had my ticket bought and was a week out from going) but became one of the initial films to be delayed due to the coronavirus shutting down theaters. It has been a long wait, but there is something poetic about “A Quiet Place Part II,” a rare sequel that does its predecessor justice, being the first “big” release of the (almost) post-pandemic era.

“A Quiet Place” took a lot of people by surprise when it came out, and came *this* close getting a Best Picture nomination (it earned top nods at nearly every guild). I like the film and think Krasinski, known for his comedy, did a good job directing the thriller. The sequel ups the stakes (and by default, the budget) but Krasinski manages to keep the film’s heart in-tact. The action sequences are bigger and I really enjoyed the tracking shots and use of background actors to create a sense of chaos, compared to the “hold your breath and look over your shoulder” sequences of the first film. I think he does make the mistake a lot of monster movies (especially sequels) make and shows the creatures a bit too often (the scariest thing is what you can’t see), but it is never overly excessive. I do think that we lose some of the “don’t you dare make a sound” tension since the characters have a way to fight the creatures, but Krasinski is able to play with these new rules.

Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe are both great talents and they’re good here, but the show belongs to Millicent Simmonds and Cillian Murphy. Simmonds takes the reigns as the lead of the film, and she and Murphy, playing a man dealing with being alone in this bold new world, make an interesting team. Their quest is where “Quiet Place 2” thrives, creating some of the tensest sequences of the film.

Much like the first film, I think it takes a bit of time to get the ball rolling, but once Krasinski really gets things moving he doesn’t stop until the credits roll. The film does have some moments of poor sound editing where it is difficult to make out what actors are saying, but for the most part the seamless transition from booming screams, to static, to mute make for an immersive experience.

The film does a great job of building off the lore and rules of the first installment while introducing new challenges and risks, and that isn’t an easy thing for a sequel to do (clearly; name five follow-ups as good as their predecessors). You hear the line “this deserves to be seen in a theater” a lot and usually it’s just code for “this is a big-budget blockbuster that you will forget about almost instantly” but in this case it is actually true: this film deserves to be seen in a theater. From the sound, to the action, to simply giving Krasinski and his team the support they deserve, “A Quiet Place Part II” is a great unofficial start to both the summer movie season and return to normalcy at the cinema.

Critics Rating: 8/10

‘A Quiet Place’ Has a Lot to Say about Horror

I’m excited to see which comedian takes up directing a horror/thriller film next, because it’s worked out so far for Jordan Peele and John Krasinski…

“A Quiet Place” stars John Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt as parents who must quietly survive in a world where aliens that hunt off sound have invaded. Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe star as the couple’s children as Krasinski directs.

Back in 2016 there was a film called “Lights Out” which had a great premise but poor execution. In it, there is a monster that can only survive in the dark; if you shine a light on it then it disappears. It was smart because we all as humans have a natural fear of the dark and “A Quiet Place” feeds off the fact that humans make sound and have an urge to communicate, so what would happen if that was suddenly taken away?

One of the children in the film is hearing-impaired (played by Millicent Simmonds, who is deaf in real life) and the film does a good job of putting us in her shoes. Even though the other characters are trying their best not to make noise, our world still has so much ambient sound in it like the hum of a radiator or the soft whoosh of a quick breeze. Whenever the camera is focused on her, all sound cuts out which creates true terror at points when you just want to shout at her to notice something on screen but can’t. Not only because she cannot hear you but also because the rules the film has established for its universe.

Emily Blunt, Krasinski and Jupe are all solid, each given a scene or two to truly shine. I want to remain as vague as possible regarding how and when they have their moments (and about the plot in general) but they all step it up and give arguably career-best performances (seeing as Jupe’s previous best was in the hysterically awful “Suburbicon” take that for what it’s worth).\

The film’s best moments are when the family is in danger and there are some true heart-pounding sequences. There aren’t too many moments that allow you to fully exhale or catch your breath but that is smart because it puts you in the shoes of the characters, like with Simmonds. There are points that Krasinksi the director could have used a bit of touching up, whether it be falling into genre tropes like the bloody hand slamming up against the window for a jump scare or mishandling how a scene should have been conducted using sound design, but these missteps are rare.

“A Quiet Place” will surely make some noise on social media and at the box office because it isn’t too often that Hollywood puts out an original film (in horror no less) that resonates with you after you’ve left the theater. Typing this review I really took note of how much sound the keys make and when I sneezed how hard it would be to try and stifle the noise, and that shows that Krasinski tapped into something that connects each and every one of us and attacked it, and that’s true horror.

Critic’s Grade: B+