A Quiet Place Part II (4 stars)

A Quiet Place Part II

John Krasinski once again directs his wife Emily Blunt in this superior horror follow-up

As the format of the title suggests, A Quiet Place Part II is less a sequel and more a continuation of the first, sensationally popular instalment, picking things up in its immediate and devastating aftermath. But first, there's a nail-biting prologue to get through, which takes us all the way back to where the horror began on Day 1, as the Abbotts, including a briefly reanimated John Krasinski, go from hanging out at a Little League game with their small-town pals to running for their lives when fire in the sky spells danger.

Skip to Day 474 and Emily Blunt's Evelyn is now the sole grown-up guarding her family from the blind monsters who will leap on the slightest sound. With her three remaining children – Millicent Simmonds's plucky Regan, Noah Jupe's nervous Marcus, and a cute newborn – in tow, she heads for signs of life, quickly coming across old friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who is mourning his entire family and is reluctant to team up with the Abbotts. Evelyn's deaf daughter Regan is keen to lead them all to safety and to share her discovery of the monsters' weakness with others, so when she picks up a radio transmission that sounds promising she strikes out on her own.

Krasinski resumes writing and directing duties (this time he's the sole author of the screenplay) and his knack for building suspense ensures a fitting and ferociously enjoyable follow-up. A sequence that cuts superbly between three different strands of action, whilst maintaining both coherence and excitement, is a stand-out, and the continued focus on silence and creeping distinguishes Part II from brasher forms of horror, without it ever being less frightening.

The film's logic isn't always great: why Evelyn doesn't make a proper sling in order to carry her baby more effortlessly is baffling – and why she is never seen feeding it, not least to keep it quiet (a more blindingly obvious and less risky solution than the little oxygen box) also remains a mystery. But the tough choices the characters must make to survive keeps the jeopardy up, the force of a mother's love and sight of brave children coming to the fore means things are consistently emotionally involving, while the cast – particularly Blunt and Simmonds – are superb. It all makes for a film that's as stirring as it is scary.

Available to watch in cinemas from Thu 3 Jun.

A Quiet Place Part II

  • 4 stars
  • 2020
  • US
  • 1h 36min
  • 15
  • Directed by: John Krasinski
  • Cast: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, John Krasinski

Follow-up to 2018's monster hit about deadly creatures who sense by sound.