A QUIET PLACE PART II REVIEW: SILENCE IS (ALMOST) GOLDEN
Silence is the secret to screams. Summer’s first blockbuster release, A Quiet Place Part II, thrives within its own thrilling tension and heightened stakes. Thankfully, there’s no overkill of flashbacks nor over-explanation of lore. New faces (Cillian Murphy / Djimon Hounsou) help sculpt a style of world-building unique to this terrifying franchise.
Actress Millicent Simmonds, an advocate for the Deaf community, was THE scene-stealer amid a stellar cast in A Quiet Place. Her second turn as the clever Regan further exemplifies the film’s most seasoned stars as her equals. Noah Jupe is also a rising star, delivering a memorable scene that conveys traumatizing pain.
Despite references to the first movie littered throughout, A Quiet Place Part II has a considerable change in tone. This sequel opts for straight thrills with larger action sequences. It’s easy to miss the intimacy that kept us invested in the Abbot family to begin with. Regardless, Emily Blunt’s return as determined mother Evelyn is a driving force of the feature.
One element emphasized this time around is the family’s ingenuity as it becomes clear that the Abbots have survived due to their wits rather than the chance that they happened to be able to communicate through American Sign Language together.
Diversity appears to be an afterthought here, with people of color relegated to side roles...that die. No, seriously, every Black character that speaks ends up dying. Most frustrating is the use of the dated “sacrificial Black person” trope. In 2021, the bare minimum should be more.
Thankfully, most of the film still works beautifully together to create something undeniably riveting that transcends genre. Sound mixing and editing takes center stage in this movie, so look out for recognition come awards season. According to Rotten Tomatoes, over 90% of critics and audiences enjoyed their time revisiting this universe, so hopes are high that a third Quiet Place film makes it to theaters. Next time around, let’s be sure to develop our POC characters, please.