The sequel to A Quiet Place begins turning the screws instantly, leaving us twisting in our seats, and there’s no relief until the very, very end.
The first film started with our main characters, the Abbott family, already in a world where the smallest sound would get them killed by alien monsters. Part II opens the moment before that, when the world was happy and normal. The Abbotts live in a place where the grocer will let Lee (Krasinski) pay for his produce later, and son Marcus’ (Noah Jupe) Saturday morning little league game is the only thing going on. Norman Rockwell’s idyllic American dream is alive and well here.
Until it’s shredded by something out of H.R. Giger’s darkest nightmare.
Fans will appreciate the subtle callbacks (the toy rocket!), but once the aliens hit it’s total mayhem. After the jaw-dropping prologue, we return to the family moments after the end of the first movie. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) has just delivered her own baby—and killed her first alien, thanks to an accidental discovery by Regan (Millicent Simmonds). Apparently Regan’s hearing implant reacts with a painful screech that makes the monsters vulnerable.
With their home destroyed, the family sets out in search of other survivors. At an old steel mill they find Emmet (Cillian Murphy), last seen at the little league game with his family, now all alone. He doesn’t want the Abbotts’ company and demands they leave the next day. Realizing that she might hold the key to overcoming the aliens, Regan ventures out on her own to find a radio station that can broadcast the terrible sound.
Krasinski has said in interviews that he wanted to make a family drama in the Trojan horse of a horror movie. While the family is separated this time, their bond remains closer than ever. Regan takes some reckless actions, but she never does anything selfish. Every member of the family is ready to sacrifice for others without hesitation. There is no greater love.
The tagline says, “silence is not enough,” even though the risk is great and consequences are fatal. Neither are we without challenges. Remember, Jesus told his disciples that they would be dragged before the authorities. However, “do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you ... what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11,12). There is hope for humanity in what we know, and the gospel message is beautiful. Unlike Regan’s screeching feedback loop.
While not for everyone, the best horror movies are about understanding good and evil, avoiding evil when we can, and righteously confronting it when we must. By that standard, and combined with depictions of selfless love, A Quiet Place and Part II are among the best.
And they’re pretty scary, too. (Paramount Pictures)