Over a year after its original release date, it has opened brilliantly in the United States A QUIET PLACE 2 also in USA cinemas. Unfortunately, the sequel continues the weaknesses with which the first part offended some of the audience. Anyone who wasn’t there should also enjoy the sequel. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: A Quiet Place Part II (USA 2020)
The deadly danger posed by these creatures, which are as cruel as they are sensitive to noise, is still omnipresent. Every sound, no matter how small, could be her last. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is now on her own with her children Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe) and the baby. The family continues to have to go about their everyday lives in absolute silence. When they are forced to set off into the unknown, they quickly realize that more dangers lurk behind every junction. A silent hunt begins…
What happened at the beginning of last year with the horror sequel “A Quiet Place 2” is representative of the fate of many, many films hit by Corona. In addition, John Krasinski’s follow-up to the survival shocker hit from 2018 was one of the first films that showed how the pandemic was shaking up cinema events in this country. In March 2020, the press screening for “A Quiet Place 2” was the last for the author of these lines before the cinema closures during the first lockdown. Shortly afterwards, the cinema release was postponed several times. We are now 15 months later. It won’t be long before the general public gets to see the film. In the USA, his success is just as symptomatic of how film studios’ major productions, which have been postponed for several months, sometimes even for more than a year, are helping to stimulate cinema activity again. With $48 million at its opening and a total of $58 million over the long holiday weekend, “A Quiet Place 2” became the highest-grossing post-pandemic theatrical release in the States to date. Even “The Conjuring 3 – Under the Spell of the Devil,” which admittedly just started overseas, didn’t come close to this phenomenal result on its opening weekend. Whether the film will have the same impact here is anyone’s guess, especially because film distributors are releasing countless large-scale productions in the coming weeks. Parallel to “A Quiet Place 2”, another horror film, “Freaky”, starts, albeit with a different tonal location. But don’t worry: If you were a fan of the first film, you won’t regret going to the cinema to see the sequel. However, this also applies to all those who were bothered by various (logic) gaps in the first part.
The camera work in “A Quiet Place 2” is also first class.
If the first installment of A Quiet Place three years ago had one great virtue, it was its atmosphere. The premise of a dystopian future in which highly acoustically sensitive aliens populate the world and eliminate their opponents (= humans) at every slightest noise was predestined to leave the audience in the cinema silent and barely breathing for an hour and a half. You didn’t even want to touch the popcorn – that’s how intensively the director, screenwriter, second leading actor and Emily Blunt’s husband John Krasinski established himself (“The Hollars – A crazy family”) the basic idea. The genre hybrid of monster horror, sci-fi action and survival drama was able to exploit this strength for a long time, until in the second half not only the noise that could be avoided in terms of content took over, but above all numerous internal logical mistakes. At this point the audience is asked the following question: Does he accept the sometimes obvious gaps in logic for the sake of the atmosphere, or can he no longer concentrate on the film’s strengths? We belonged to the latter category at the time and to this day cannot understand why in the scene at a thundering waterfall, which is particularly symptomatic of this circumstance, it is explained that the rushing water drowns out people’s verbal interaction, but so far no one has apparently come up with the idea of building a dwelling to choose this place. The finale also simply seemed too contrived to be exciting.
“If the first part of A Quiet Place three years ago had one great virtue, it was its atmosphere. The premise of a dystopian future in which highly acoustically sensitive aliens populate the world and eliminate their opponents at every slightest noise was predestined to leave the audience in the cinema silent and barely breathing for an hour and a half.
“A Quiet Place 2” now begins with a look back at the beginning of the alien invasion and thus the beginning of the catastrophe. A damn intense scene that doesn’t have to be long to understand its magnitude. In addition, the aliens were already seen in all their glory in “A Quiet Place 1”, so there can be no question of demystification, which is often the risk of looking back. Although this scene is strong and incredibly oppressive due to its perspective from the four walls of Evelyn’s car (camera: Polly Morgan), it no longer plays a role in the rest of the film. After the prologue, “A Quiet Place 2” picks up after the end of part 1 and follows the family, now only four members, as they continue their journey through this world from which humanity seems to have been all but wiped out. But while in the first part Evelyn and Lee’s family (Krasinski’s character unfortunately had to die during the course of the film) were at the center of the action, in the sequel it doesn’t take long until the four of them come across other survivors. The script, written this time by John Krasinski completely alone – and above all against his original wish to direct a “A Quiet Place” sequel – takes a little time to show the sometimes quite creative survival and self-protection methods of Evelyn’s fellow sufferer: inside (we remember: in the first part, small details were particularly convincing, such as a board game with felt instead of wooden or plastic figures or a sophisticated light warning system to illustrate how people in this world have come to terms with the situation). But very soon the plot splits as Evelyn hides her children in the huge oven of an abandoned industrial hall while she explores the area. This oven alone reveals once again the weaknesses of the “A Quiet Place” films; As in part one, John Krasinski often makes it extremely easy to build up the tension. In the predecessor “A Quiet Place 2” it was still a rusty nail in the floor, which Krasinski simply staged far too intrusively as foreshadowing. This time the idea is that the oven hiding place can only be opened from the outside and someone has to do this regularly, otherwise the oxygen inside would run out. The fact that Krasinski uses this detail to build up a predictable “last minute” tension in the same way several times quickly begins to bore.
Regan (Millicent Simmonds) can be seen again in the role of the deaf-mute daughter Regan.
Even with a new addition to the ensemble, the creators’ intention is very obvious. Cillian Murphy (“Free Fire”) Most of the time, alias Emmett has nothing more to do than interact with his surroundings in such an opaque way that his character can be reduced to a simple insecurity factor. So is he good or evil? We don’t want to answer this question at this point. The fact is, however, that creative character building looks different. Murphy once again suits the role of the aloof (maybe) adversary. Especially in his interaction with Blunt, he pulls out all the stops to explore the ambiguity of his character. Also Emily Blunt (“The scent of wild thyme”) herself and especially Millicent Simmonds, who is also deaf in real life (“Wonderstruck”) once again excel in their roles. Just Noah Jupe (“Le Mans 66 – Against Every Chance”) spends most of his time in the oven with his little brother and concentrates mainly on panicking whenever the door doesn’t threaten to open in time. Nevertheless, the basic family constellation works so well emotionally here that it would hardly have been necessary to include additional characters and thus break up the minimalist initial scenario. And so “A Quiet Place 2” results in a lot of noise again in the second half. This time the film title has even more to do with what dominates the scene. At times it even completely overshadows what happened at the beginning of the film series really was barely spoken at times. This time hardly anyone will have to worry about touching their popcorn or nachos in the cinema…
“The basic family constellation works so well emotionally here that it would hardly have been necessary to include additional characters and thus break up the minimalist initial scenario. And so “A Quiet Place 2” comes back to the big noise in the second half.”
While with “A Quiet Place 2” opinions will once again be divided as to whether and, if so, how many eyes you have to turn a blind eye to in terms of film logic and consequences in order to enjoy the film as a whole, one detail stands out in the meantime negative impact that the horror drama ultimately leaves you feeling annoyed. The ending, although conclusively prepared, but so abrupt, which leaves questions unanswered in a way, as if we were dealing with the conclusion of a (series) chapter, but not of a self-contained film, is either a refusal to work, or but probably the boldest cliffhanger of the cinema year.
Conclusion: “A Quiet Place 2” has largely the same weaknesses as its predecessor. And so the question arises here again as to whether one is willing to accept weaknesses in the script and gaps in logic in order to create a good atmosphere. The ending, however, is an absolute disgrace.
“A Quiet Place 2” can be seen in USA cinemas from July 24th.