The success of 2018’s A Quiet Place all but ensured we’d eventually get a sequel. No doubt, for good reason. John Krasinski, who directed and starred in the creature feature, crafted a work of original horror that was fun and thrilling in equal measure. It’s sort-of-cliffhanger ending left us just enough of a thread to want to return to the world where monsters with super hearing have taken over and humans are forced into silence.
This year’s release of A Quiet Place II, pushed back from last year following the theatrical closings thanks to the coronavirus, portended a return to theaters and normalcy (a normalcy that, again, feels threatened) even with a box office take about $60 million less than its predecessor. And, in the grand tradition of horror sequels, leaves one wondering just what the point was supposed to be.
A Quiet Place II feels less like a movie than it does a couple of half-formed ideas for a movie that were thrown in the blender. The resultant experience is one that adds precious little to the experience of the original and, if anything, might bring down the original’s tense story.
After a brief flashback that takes us back to the first day of the invasion, the story picks up immediately following the events of A Quiet Place, with the Abbotts, Evelyn, Regan, and Marcus (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe) escaping their home with a baby in tow. Their journey leads them to the compound of Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a former friend turned loaner after losing his family during the invasion. When the group discovers a radio signal being broadcast not too far away, Regan decides to see if she can find the people responsible while Emmett sets out to find her and bring her back to her family.
It’s a plot ripped from so many sequels to so many zombie movies. Indeed, so much of A Quiet Place II feels like a mid-season plot to a lesser season of The Walking Dead, with aliens taking the place of the undead. It’s a straight forward narrative walking down a well-trod path and never does it feel interested in doing anything to make us care. Instead, it focuses on how it can get from A to B with the least resistance possible, resulting in a film and narrative that offers precious little for its audience.
The Blu-Ray itself doesn’t offer fans of the movie much to be excited for, either. While the 4K transfer does look great, there is a considerable lack of special features that might illuminate the project or make the film something that’s particularly worth owning. It’d be one thing of the movie was good enough for subsequent viewings on its own, but instead it’s a lazy release of a mediocre movie.
With a spin-off movie already greenlit and a second sequel under consideration, the good news is that there appears to be nowhere for this franchise to go but up. At least, I hope so. While A Quiet Place II was boring, it was at least competently made, which I guess means that there’s still some room for it to fall even farther. Hopefully, however, this was just a misstep and subsequent releases can do more to justify their existence. As far as this movie stands, however, it’s little more than a halfhearted retread of a better movie.
A Quiet Place II is now available to own on Blu-Ray.