It may finally be time to return to movie theaters. More than half of all adults in the country are fully vaccinated. Lockdowns have gone into remission. And best of all, there’s a fun summer popcorn movie opening up this weekend.
This film was actually about to be released last year when the pandemic shut everything down. It must have seemed like a terrible break to everyone involved at the time, but in hindsight now really is excellent timing for a film about characters who’ve been cloistered at home because of a deadly menace who are suddenly forced to venture outside again.
None of that would have mattered if the sequel was terrible but according to Rotten Tomatoes, A Quiet Place II has 92% approval based on 96 reviews. The overall conclusion seems to be that this is a movie that’s very entertaining and well made and maybe almost as good as the original. I’ll include some excerpts from different reviews below. There might be some very mild spoilers but nothing too specific. Let’s start with this very positive review from the Washington Post:
Like “A Quiet Place,” “Part II” is a lean, nearly flab- and gristle-free piece of sci-fi steak…
If it all sounds nerve-racking, it is. But Krasinski juggles these balls of suspense without dropping a one. “Stay here, I’ll be right back” could be the mantra of this movie. Watching it in a room with other, socially distanced people feels like a communal holding of the breath…
It’s pretty darn great to be able to have an experience a like that — and the ultimate, communal sigh of relief that follows — in a theater, just when folks are deciding whether it’s even worth it to return to in-person screenings. “A Quiet Place II” might just restore your faith, not only in sequels, or in movies, but in humanity.
The AP reviewer also seemed to like it and makes an interesting point about why this film (and the previous one) works as more than just another horror movie:
The reason these films work is not because of the scares. They work because, at their heart, they are a high concept meditation on parenting. Sure, the surprises keep your heart rate up and all that but the true terror, the one that buries itself in your consciousness, comes from that deep, intractable fear of not being able to protect your kids. Many monster movies boldly claim to be about something bigger and rarely are. These films succeed at that.
After being delayed more than a year, “A Quiet Place Part II” is debuting only in theaters for the first 45 days, until it’s made available on Paramount+, and it might sound cliché, but it’s hard to imagine seeing it anywhere but on the big screen. It’s the kind of movie that demands it.
The AZ Central and several other reviews particularly praise actress Millicent Simmonds who plays Regan, the daughter.
Simmonds, who is deaf in real life, is even better in the second film than she was in the first, with an expanded role she dives into. Like everyone, she has to do a lot with a little when it comes to acting, given the circumstances the characters find themselves in. She nails it, often with nothing more than a glance.
I’ll end with this review from Collider in which the reviewer says he really doubted this admittedly excellent gimmick could sustain a sequel, but he was wrong:
So much of A Quiet Place‘s power comes from its concept, a world overrun with violent extraterrestrials with hearing so super-sensitive that any survivors must live in complete silence. That film remains a singular horror movie theater experience, turning every bozo crinkling their Skittles wrapper into the side-eye enemy of every other terrified moviegoer. So the worry, for me, was that A Quiet Place Part II would operate mostly by doubling down on the gimmick, like “everything is quiet…again!” Instead, A Quiet Place Part II just gave me a shockingly gigantic boost in confidence when it comes to Krasinski as a filmmaker. Directing once again as well as taking over script duties, the former Office star is—very quietly, of course—building a Steven Spielberg-esque survival story here with a sequel that both expands the world and digs deeper into the personal heart at its center. Doubters, like me, are quieted.
In the past 14 months I’ve seen exactly one movie in a theater. This weekend I’m going back and I’m really looking forward to the experience. A Quiet Place Part II seems like a perfect place to start, assuming I can still get a ticket.
Update: Meant to include this for those who haven’t seen it.
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