“A Quiet Place II” (2021) is the sequel to the blockbuster “A Quiet Place”. We pick up right at the end of the last movie and see the main character family trying to make their way out into the world without getting killed by the aliens who turned it into a apocalyptic hell hole in the first place.
I didn’t see the first movie. Thankfully the beginning of the sequel is about 10 minutes of the first day of the first movie. Think of it like one of those “on our last episode of Dallas” type sequences but only concentrating on the very beginning of the alien invasion crisis. It was just enough to bring me up to speed on the creatures and the state of mind of the people trying to escape death and dismemberment at the hands of these very gruesome creatures. We then jump to present day, over 400 days later according to the cue card. We pick up the story of the Abbott family, Evelyn the mother (Emily Blunt), Regan the daughter (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus the son (Noah Jupe), and a newborn baby. They are leaving their farm after killing the alien that was terrorizing them at the end of the last movie. That unfortunately has left their farm in shambles and therefore their supplies. Where they are going they do not know. They are simply walking down the train tracks to wherever it takes them.
It isn’t too long before they run into trouble at an abandoned factory. Evelyn runs into a noise trap which hails the aliens. In their sprint to run away Marcus accidentally steps into a bear trap. We discover that they’ve come up with a way to kill the aliens: a combination of screeching sound which causes the aliens to become nearly paralyzed but their armored heads to open up in an attempt to get directionality to the sound. That combination provides enough of a target to blow their heads off. The man who set these traps watches with wonder. He goes down to intercept them which is when we find out they were all good friends before the invasion. Emmett (Cillian Murphy) has lost his whole family and created this little sanctuary for himself in the basement of this abandoned factory. The problem is that he barely has enough resources for himself much less for a whole family. He offers them a brief rest but they have to go the next day.
It is that evening that Regan and Marcus hear a radio broadcast they never heard before. Emmett tells them it’s been playing for weeks. They were all in a valley on the other side of the mountain range so it didn’t get to them before. So it’s not new. Whether there were people on the other side of that remains to be seen. Regan sees it as their only chance so heads out on her own to find it. The remainder of the movie, most of it, is the saga of Regan trying to find the radio station which she believes is on an island just off the coast, Emmett going after her, and Evelyn and Marcus dealing with their own alien struggles back in the abandoned factory.
This movie really drew me in. I could feel how tense I was right up until the very end. There is no “Independence Day”-like super happy ending where humans are the ultimate victors. However our characters win their own individual battles and the Abbotts left behind in the factor are aware that Regan made it to the radio station. They know that because the alien confusion technique they heard is one she broadcast over the airwaves. It’ll be a great potential place to pick up a third sequel. Although there was no great wrap up ending I could feel how much more relaxed I was in the last few minutes of the film.
They were very good at hiding some extra tension building elements to scenes that were already gripping. It wasn’t just about gore and bodies although there is plenty of that to go around too. The aliens have a bit of a plausible weakness story. It’s not “water is like acid to them” like Signs. This has some legit good ideas although it isn’t completely consistent either. Their hearing is so sensitive that it can get confused by falling water yet they can’t hear people breathing heavily or pitter patter footsteps? I can rationalize some of this away with the sensitivity being high meaning they have a signal to noise problem on background noise. So I’ll give it to them. The characters themselves are gruesome and horrifying looking. I’m not sure how good the CGI will hold up over time but for now it is well done.
The fact I got so drawn into the movie that I was myself tense is a huge plus. Usually these types of movies I’m like “yeah yeah yeah”, of course maybe it is because most of the movies I’ve watched before this month were movies I’ve seen millions of times. The pacing was great. The characters were well developed and each got their turn. Kudos to the production for casting a hearing impaired actress to play a hearing impaired character. I’d definitely look forward to seeing a sequel to this if it was ever released even if my first run movie challenge was over. I rate it 8/10