Surprise horror hit A Quiet Place (2018) offered a high concept (seemingly indestructible monsters kill you if you make a sound) with a contained execution that ended with an effective kicker and many unanswered questions.
There was lots of room for expansion in this pandemic-delayed sequel, but the new film doesn't seem all that interested in doing that. It's a decently mounted, handsome-looking effort that squanders the considerable potential it arrives with.
We open with a prolonged flashback to the first day of the monster apocalypse, glimpsed in part one. It's a suspenseful sequence with many long takes, and the film is never this good again.
Rejoining the Abbott family following the events of the last film, mum Evelyn (Emily Blunt), siblings Marcus (Noah Jupe), hearing-impaired Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and the newborn leave their farm to join up with other survivors and encounter a family friend (Cillian Murphy) with a shattered worldview.
After Regan sets off on her own with a plan to use her monster-paralysing hearing aid to help others, Emmett tries to track her down and Marcus and Evelyn deal with more immediate problems.
With dad Lee (director John Krasinski, who has sole screenplay credit here, and appears in the flashback) having heroically sacrificed himself in the last film, it's kind of boring that they immediately bring in another patriarchal figure to fulfill a similar dynamic in the story.
The set pieces generate tension but the film still relies heavily on the novelty of the concept, which has long since dissipated. There was an opportunity here to flesh out the many logic issues thrown up by its predecessor, but this ends up raising more questions than it answers.
It mostly feels like more of the same, so it'll play much better if you haven't seen the first one.
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Cast: Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds
Director: John Krasinski
Running time: 97 minutes
Rating: M (Violence & horror)
Verdict: Tense horror sequel lacking in imagination