The Quiet Place, John Krasinski’s 2018 film about a family trying to find a way to live amongst hideous monster-like bugs that’ll kill you if you make noise, was one of the rare horror films I saw in the theater. It was smart, had a point of view and wasn’t overly gory. His follow up, A Quiet Place Part 2, is a worthy sequel. There’s nothing that says it’s a money grab and it feels completely organic to the original story.
In fact, one of the smartest things that he did as both the writer and director was to keep the focus on the Abbott family’s daughter, Regan, (the incredible Millicent Simmonds) and to a lesser point, their younger son, Marcus (Noah Jupe). Simmonds was one of the true highlights of the first film and man, she’s even better here.
The film opens with a flashback showing how the creepy bug creatures came to earth. It’s a small town in New York where everyone seems to know each other. Krasinski is back as the father, Lee, and we follow him to Marcus’ baseball game, where seemingly the whole town has gathered. Mom (Emily Blunt) is there and we also meet Emmet (Cillian Murphy) who’s there watching his son. Pretty soon, big huge balls of flame come hurdling from the sky and minutes later, all hell breaks loose.
Cut to soon after the first film ends and what’s left of the Abbott family is trying to find shelter. They come upon an abandoned mill where Emmett has been hiding. He’s a different person than who we met in the beginning. Hard, weary and sad. And he’s got no time to deal with his old friends – he wants them gone. They convince him that Regan knows a way to safety and reluctantly – very reluctantly – he leaves with her in search of a mysterious messenger as mom, Marcus and the baby stay behind. The film then follows the separate journeys of each character as they struggle to find safety and shelter.
Krasinski knows how to lay on the tension in a scene, never going in for a cheap scare. Blunt and Murphy are great, as is Jupe, but it’s really Simmonds who is the heart – and hero – of the film.