Rarely have I sat in a movie theater where the audience is 100% invested into the film on screen.
Whether it be a small screening like Jojo Rabbit or the most-anticipated film of all-time in Avengers: Endgame, there’s at least one person that gets up to go to the restroom or is obnoxiously loud.
This was not the case when I saw A Quiet Place Part II last Saturday night.
When you have the undivided attention of the entire theatre, you know that your movie is quite remarkable and that’s exactly what this sequel is.
This film picks up right where we left off with the first film as the Abbott family escapes from their isolated home following an attack from a handful of aliens after learning how to deter and kill them with one shot.
Their goal is to find more survivors and they eventually come across a family friend in Emmett, portrayed by Cillian Murphy, and we continue our fight for survival once again.
While we are following the story of the Abbott’s, Emmett’s story and Murphy’s performance are the driving forces of what puts the sequel on-par or even better than the original. Emmett has given hope on everything. He doesn’t trust anyone and refuses to go outside unless it is absolutely necessary.
In their first interaction, Emmett has a shotgun aimed and ready to fire at Regan, played by Millicent Simmonds, but as the movie goes along, we see these two bond and see shades of Lee (John Krasinski) in Emmett.
Even though he remains physically stagnant for most of the film, Marcus, the eldest son of the family has the most growth in the film as the movie’s intro goes back a year before the events of A Quiet Place begin.
For some reason, almost the entire town is at a baseball game that Marcus is participating in and you notice that he has some anxiety before he goes up to bat. Without spoiling major points, Marcus does pull off one of the most-satisfying moments of growth in a film even though he doesn’t make the smartest of decisions in the second act.
Speaking of the second act, I think we get pure director brilliance from Krasinski. With no dialogue and backed by a goosebump-inducing score from Marco Beltrami, we get what feels to be 10-15 minutes of pure movie magic. We see Evelyn (Emily Blunt), Emmett and Regan, and Marcus all in three separate locations fighting for their lives and it’s one of those scenes that you have to witness for yourself to understand just how awesome it is. It’s film at its very best and Krasinski understands how to extract pure fight-or-flight out of the audience, who are just watching the film in a safe environment.
Every scene, whether it be our protagonists walking outside so steadily as to not make a single outside or a couple of minutes of exposition, just leave you on the edge of your seat and sweating because every decision made in the film is a game of inches. It’s pure mind games and it’s hard to top that for pure horror. It may not be your average horror film, but it excels in what drives pure, raw fear.
Granted, living in a pandemic may make this film all too real for audiences because many of us were scared of walking outside and not knowing what could happen, but goes to show there is some basis in reality here.
I don’t want to get too ahead of myself yet, but with the likelihood of a trilogy happening, this franchise is heading toward competing for the best trilogy ever.
Now, the best trilogy of all-time is the most recent Planet of the Apes films, but it’s clear-cut that the original A Quiet Place film is much better than Rise of the Planet of the Apes. A Quiet Place Part II is that transition from Rise to Dawn, but if Rise was already a masterpiece in its own right. It’s a solid film, don’t get me wrong, but nowhere near the quality of A Quiet Place.
This franchise was made for the theatre and I could feel that just watching the original in my living room. Seeing part two in theatres just makes me appreciate this franchise even more and without a doubt, I can say A Quiet Place Part II is a masterpiece and improves upon what was already a near-perfect film in the original.