A Quiet Place Part II

Gives us the strongest motivation yet to finally return to communal film watching, offering cinema at its most primal.

The same heightened sense of alertness that viewers employed while discovering 2018’s sleeper hit A Quiet Place is essential for enjoying its sequel as well. This is a film that demands that you respect silence. In the world that it creates, the threats are heard before they are seen and even whispers carry a sense of foreboding fear. This is a combination of cinema at its most primal – aural and visual, yet wisely understanding of how to use them both perfectly in the service of good storytelling.

The events here are a literal continuation of where we left things off at the end of the first. We get a flashback during the opening scene to the moments just before the catastrophe that led to worldwide chaos. It starts off in the most ordinary of ways – with a baseball game. This scene is thankfully brief, without feeling like unnecessary exposition, and with just enough context provided for both familiar themes to be recognized and new ones to emerge. The rest of the film is a tale that mixes the elements that made the original work so well (don’t worry, no rehash here) as well as genuine attempts to move the story forward, with new characters and plenty of unique, tightly constructed situations involving confrontations we wish didn’t happen because they snowball almost unbearably before popping like an overblow balloon with ferocious intensity.

Thematically, the film also expands upon its promises and potential. Where the first was about the parental acts of protecting our children, even if personal sacrifices needed to be made, the sequel is about watching them, almost letting them, grow and go out into the world and be what they need to be. In that sense, it is both braver and expansive, even if it feels some of this is a retread and the human drama lacks some of the profundity we expect (no father here, though there is a weak father figure who remains strangely ambiguous in his motives, right till the end).

Make no mistake – sacrifices will still have to be made to watch this. Either munch that popcorn very slowly, in near silence, or ditch the snacks (we recommend the latter). Parents in the audience will also be reminded about how they’ve tip-toed around sleeping babies while teenagers may find familiarity in their quest to sneak outside the house after hours. Whoever you are, the diversity of sound effects employed with the narrative tension wound to near anxiety level breaking point are almost guaranteed to keep you riveted.

Several recent releases, all now finding a cinematic home after some form of delayed, have claimed to be the reason viewers will finally return to the congregational act of communal film watching. Beyond hyperbole, none of them have really given us a real purpose for doing so until now. A Quiet Place 2 gives us the strongest motivation yet by stripping cinema down to its most essential elements.

Rating: ★★★★☆

About Faizan Rashid

A veteran Dubai based film critic, Faizan has been reviewing movies for nearly a decade. His work has been published in local newspapers such as 7days and on prestigious online websites such as MSN Arabia and wearethemovies.com