‘Quiet Place’ whispers a refreshing sequel

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After keeping us all on the edge of our seats in the hauntingly innovative “A Quiet Place” in 2016, the film is back for a second act in “A Quiet Place Part II.”

In case you need a refresher, much of Earth’s population has been destroyed by blind alien creatures with hypersensitive hearing, attacking anything and everything that makes a noise. Fortunately for the Abbott family, daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf, enabling the entire family to communicate via sign language. 

Evelyn (Emily Blunt), now a widow in charge of three children in a post-apocalyptic world, lives in constant fear, but knows she has to be strong for Regan, Marcus (Noah Jupe) and a newborn baby boy. The family is more prepared and knowledgeable now, though: Regan has a portable radio that never leaves her side, as the combination of the radio and her hearing aid appear to be a frequency kryptonite for these creatures.

While much of the outside world is either dead or better off dead, the family does meet up with an old friend named Emmett (Cillian Murphy). He’s become a recluse (rightfully so) and spends his days hidden in an abandoned steel factory. He lets the family stay for a night, but that’s it. Already losing his entire family himself, Emmett won’t witness losing another.

As the family struggles what to do next, especially with a newborn to take care of, strong-willed Regan always has a plan. Using her map and tracking the alien species, she discovers an island the creatures aren’t able to reach — they aren’t able to swim. If she can find a boat to reach the island, she can save her family and live a life of relative normality free from the alien creatures.

The originality of “A Quiet Place” was always going to be a difficult feat to match. A limited dialogue and constant whispering is precisely the opposite of most Hollywood productions of superheroes and explosions galore. But against all odds, “A Quiet Place Part II” truly has another interesting story to follow-up on here.

Perhaps some of that has to do with the fact that we care about the Abbott family so much. The opening scene is a flashback to Day 1 before the creatures took over Earth. For a brief few moments, the family is at a Little League baseball game cheering on Marcus. It’s at that moment that we realize this is the family next door — they’re just like us — and we root desperately for them to survive this thing.

Emily Blunt has proven time and time again to be one of the most diverse actresses around. Whether it’s a musical, comedy or action-flick, there’s never an off note to be found, and she’s brilliant once again. With an even larger role, Millicent Simmonds also impresses in her wise-beyond-years role as a daughter, sister, caretaker and leader for her family.

In an age where Hollywood seems to be running out of new things to say, “A Quiet Place Part II” has plenty to say despite the fact that the munching of your popcorn is oftentimes louder than anything you’re watching unfold on the enlarged screen.

Remarkably, we have a sequel that comes within inches of reaching the heights of its predecessor with a captivatingly enticing formula: less is indeed more.

Grade: A-



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