This delayed well crafted sequel from lone scribe John Krasinski can be more frightful from a sense of isolation during an ongoing global pandemic. Enough to make a trip to the local cineplex outfitted with giant screens worthwhile during a forty-five day run before streaming on the studio’s streaming service.
A Quiet Place Part II stars Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Cillian Murphy. While it doesn’t possess the kind of awe that made the original a surprise smash three years ago, the attention to a canny premise offers new possibilities for the filmmakers to continue real emotion in unavoidable terror for the Abbot clan. Now, (silence is not enough).
The arrival of blind predators equipped with acute hearing is depicted in a remarkably intense prologue with their now fallen paterfamilias that introduces a neighbor Emmetts (Murphy). He’ll figure in one of the splintered, concurring narrative threads.
Teens Regan (Simmonds) and Marcus (Jupe of HBO’s The Undoing) are brought with a perilously noisy infant (keep safe in a box with oxygen apparatus when regrouping after an attack. It’s Day 474 as the script alternates between sizable scares and near silence almost like an edgy rollercoaster with a few jolting payoffs. Emmett is holed up in a derelict steel mill, one of the early important set-pieces and hesitantly accompanies a precocious Regan who’s off to an island with a broadcasting radio station.
Even if there is more of an episodic nature that limits depth and invites contrivances many sequences still are nuanced in ways that maintain a taut feel are individual distancing leads to noteworthy unsettling encounters. The investment in this family bears rewards as the resolve swirling around mounting turmoil lets the characters blossom into the overall momentum.
Blunt has that maternal warrior quality that fits into the focus her which includes human survivalists and a marina. Jupe may be used more judiciously but can be potent at times, while Murphy has a noteworthy arc when it comes to personal loss and grief that coalesces with an ambivalence he instills in many roles. But, it’s Simmonds who is more of an illuminating, saving presence in the way Regan establishes much more beyond what is hardly disability.
Krasinski makes this Quiet a rather fraught place even using the zinging moments in assured fashion to offer its share of gasps in another manageable run-time. Staging it with seamless digital effects add to a sprawling design and the freakiness amplified in the audio end by a sharp sound mix with thunderous orchestral maneuverings from Marco Beltrami. Another crisply decisive high is attained even if the serene can be short-lives and origins ad certain details left unexplained. For now.