The sensation of watching A QUIET PLACE in theaters in 2018 was hard to forget. The atmosphere is so quiet. I feel like the audience and I share a sense of tension with the characters in the film. It was as if no one dared to make a sound of fear when the monster broke through and invaded the cinema. A great achievement from a simple premise, a monster that attacks any sound source, which is executed steadily. Does the ending indicate the characters now know the monsters’ weaknesses and are ready to fight back but is it that easy?
Director John Krasinski had previously refused to make a sequel and was willing to leave it to someone else. However, the actor who is best known for the comedy series THE OFFICE changed his mind when he thought of the premise; how the children of the Abbot family must deal with this new world. Like paralleling how in the real world, children must adapt to face the outside world. This step feels right and quite strengthens the gimmick of the film’s suspense.
After showing the prologue of the beginning of the arrival of the monsters, the story immediately continues a few seconds after the ending of the first film. The Abbot family; Evelyn (Emily Blunt), a baby in a sling, and her two children; Regan (Milicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Juppe) leave their home. Stepping further from the sand road made to seal the sound of their footsteps, into a world that has not been secured by their late father Lee (John Krasinski). The family then faces a desperate survivor, Emmet (Cillian Murphy), and a bunch of other survivalists. At that moment, Regan found hope for their survival.
A QUIET PLACE PART 2 thankfully doesn’t do one of the bad habits of sequel films like trying too hard to explain or digging deep into the source of its horror (monsters here) which usually feels unnecessary and ends up disappointing. The film focuses on how the survivors adapt to the tense situation. Some are afraid and don’t dare to leave their comfort zone. Some do not hesitate to take from other survivors. This seems common in many other films but because of the presence of the monster gimmick, the sensation is a little different. Films can get away from long-winded cliches and focus on using dialogue only when it’s necessary. Emphasizing the acting of the players to sell the tension, despair, and horror without needing much to say. So the film relies heavily on visuals and action where it is a huge hit.
John Krasinski uses many creative ways to maintain tension. Merely whispering characters already describe the horror of their situation. Not to mention having to look for necessities such as oxygen gas cylinders for the baby, Marcus who was left alone, and Regan who went to find the source of the signal from the song on the radio. How they survive and find solutions is very well executed. Problems from various corners, not only from monsters, continue to make the audience afraid and curious. So be aware, the premise is very flexible so that other threats immediately feel fresh and new. Great Krasinski can maximize and develop it.
Surprisingly enough, Emily Blunt’s role is not as much as before and focuses more on children, but from those few crucial moments, she can give the emotion that the film desperately needs. I can’t say the same for Emmet’s character. Indeed, Cillian Murphy looks good, but his character is not as attractive as the Abbot family. The burdens of the past were quickly resolved. Feels less processed in his inner conflict. The story of the characters does not give much new color to this film series.
Overall, although strong in emotion and suspense, A QUIET PLACE PART 2 has some similarities to many other horror films in terms of story. Indeed the execution is better, but this familiar feeling is hard to ignore. The unique and special feel of the first film cannot be matched, but this sequel deserves to be a role model for other horror franchises.