A Quiet Place, Part II (2021)

Back to a world of silence, AQPII is a proficiently-A/Ved, old-school monster flick of audiophilicism & refreshing [lore-synergized] subversion of big-and-loud sequels – despite a gaping absence of Krasinski on-screen & plot-lite antagonization of its fanbase. 6.5/10.

Plot Synopsis: Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

A Breath Of Air & Rare Originality In 2010’s

The Best New Monster Movie In Decades & Lost-Art Of Bold, Fresh Originality Flipping Natural Elements, AQP Was A Chillingly-Unnerving Silence-Set Homage To Classics & Star-Making Inauguration For Krasinski

Photograph Courtesy Of: Platinum Dunes & Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place made a lot of noise back in 2018. The debut of a ~universally-beloved John Krasinski enjoying the popularity-aftershocks of The Office’s late-2010’s Netflix-fueled Renaissance broke records with critics and box-office on a small-scale indie monster blockbuster that punched well above its weight-class with the big boys. The best new monster movie in decades and lost-art of bold, unapologetic originality in concept flipping natural elements and hitting the genre in one of its most primal reactions: screams, AQP was a chillingly-unnerving, white-knuckle silence-set homage to classics like Jaws, Alien, & Hitchcock’s slashers with just as much family drama elegance as thrills – a star-making film inauguration for its Halpertian writer/director/star. The film was one of the most singularly-unique and original films in a genre maligned for its landscape of reboot-and-sequel laziness, & alongside 2017’s Get Out showed there were still breaths of fresh air possible for a dying motif of filmmaking in desperate need of oxygen. Now, there’s a sequel – in a drastically different landscape we’re dying to escape the cabin-fever quarantine quiet and return to theaters for blockbuster experiences like this: The COVID-19 Pandemic. While it’s more heavily-flawed and pales in comparison to the original, it’s still a film with enough positives to pass and nerve-thrills to excite.

Back To The Beginning

A Crazy Opening Scene Taking Us Back To Day 1 W. Old-Fashioned Film Technique & Main St. USA Pre-Apocalypse W. A Krasinski Whose Absence Haunts The Rest Of The Film

Photograph Courtesy Of: Platinum Dunes & Paramount Pictures

Back to a world of silence, AQP:II is a proficiently-crafted, technically-astounding, audiophilic old-school monster flick & anti-sequel refreshingly subverting the rule of bigger & louder sequels out of metaphoric synergization with its A+ original concept/lore – despite the gaping absence of Krasinski’s presence on-screen and too-light plot development antagonizing with [still] too many questions unanswered. The film is proficiently-constructed by a team of A/V artisans. A Quiet Place: Part II’s opening scene is the best one in the duology thus far – and one of the most technically-impressive in modern horror to show off its audiovisual craftsmanship and Krasinski’s nostalgic/old-world homages it’s refreshing to see as he takes us back to the beginning: Day 1 of the apocalypse. The cinematography and VFX/CGI are beautiful – painting a portraiture of Small-Town America & Main Street U.S.A. [down to even kids’ baseball games, farms, industrial complexes, and small-businesses] twisted in dark ways by the arrival of its otherworldly creatures and contrastively juxtaposed with the postapocalyptic landscape of the same area 1.5 years later. Rendered with such spectacular VFX/CGI and camera technique, every muscle-fiber of the creatures’ ear drums and cochleas pop/tingle like their infamous clicking sounds, and the camera/stuntwork is positively-insane in the opening scene that fully captures the madness of a monster apocalypse: one of the best to ever try.

The A/V Craftsmanship

A Score Fringed With Dark Horn Drops & Minor Key Glissandos, Miraculous Sound Editing Turning Up Diegetics, & Visual Craftsmanship With Painstaking VFX/CGI

Photograph Courtesy Of: Platinum Dunes & Paramount Pictures

The score fringes its epic darkly-toned horn drop theme with somber minor key glissandos and soaring orchestration with some of the most impressive sound editing you’ll see this year: seamlessly turning up the background diegetic noises of its surroundings to thematically-parallel the IP’s panegyric to sounds we rarely notice/appreciate in a world lost of it for an audiophile’s dream. Krasinski also displays the grace and touch of a director 2/3 through his career as he butterflies and crosses over arcs through graphic and thematic matches every character he writes & directs. Each character gets their own shine – the children grow up and become leaders themselves in a rougher, grittier overworld as the family is forced out of their home into the unknown. Acting-wise, a new face steals the show with a sledgehammer performance of raw emotion that [thunderously] reminds the world beyond a Christopher Nolan the only one adroit enough to recognize why he’s one of the most underrated and undercast actors out there: Cillian Murphy. Make no mistake, though, while the film is dark and more emotional as its characters grapple with loss and the absence of hope & God in their postapocalyptic world, it certainly packs plenty of popcorn-fuel monster action – further proving how brilliantly-imagined, terrifyingly-realized, and refreshingly-original its creatures are in a lost genre of reboots-and-sequels there hasn’t been such a breath of fresh air in over decades.

Plotholes & A 5-Word Plot

Though We Respect The Reminder Films Don’t Need To Be A 2.5h+ Masochistic Dominatrix Fantasy, A Plot Far Too Thin; Explicable In 5 Words: They Go To An Island

Photograph Courtesy Of: Platinum Dunes & Paramount Pictures

There are 10x more kills and carnage to satisfy the imbeciles who thought the first one was ‘boring’ [the definitive copout excuse for cinematic grace and intelligence going back all the way to Citizen Kane] because they didn’t squeeze childish jokes in every ~5 minutes like MCU movies. The film is an anti-sequel we rarely see in franchise-building: refreshingly, subverting preconceptions established over generations of dumb sequels near-universally bigger-and-louder than the original as if that somehow means better. Here, in genius synergization to its concept/lore, AQP: Part II is quieter and more intimate in family-divided scales – while still somehow leaner, more tense, and more action-packed in a paradox that nevertheless astouds. Now, while there are enough positives and nostalgic craftsmanship to pass, there are huge and major negatives. Firstly, the film feels incomplete. Not only is it filled with a sizable number of plotholes [differential timing in monster-reactions to noise, electrical outlets in the middle of fields, characters descending ladders after being destroyed, baby noise, and what the strength of the monsters’ hearing exactly is], but it feels the gaping one of the man who built it removed from the screen: John Krasinski.

More But Still Undeveloped Creatures

There’s 10x More Monster Action & Kills, But The Film Continually Antagonizes Fanbase By Failing To Even Remotely Explain How, What, When, Where, & Why Of Creatures?

Photograph Courtesy Of: Platinum Dunes & Paramount Pictures

One of the most charismatic and gregarious, universally-beloved actors in the world from his time at The Office playing the everyman Jim he effortlessly embodies in real-life, we cannot describe our disappointment at him being completely-absent from the canvas – except for, mercilessly & cruelly, the one beginning scene he alone steals the show in and masculinely-charms like a classic action-hero out of the 1960’s-1980’s with barely minutes of screentime. The film – while I highly-appreciate the old-fashioned determination and skill to deliver good films without this destructive modern trend of subjecting the audience to masochistic dominatrix 2.5-hour+ excruciations like Zack Snyder just did with Army Of The Dead when great directors throughout history have been able to do so in 1.5 – is also far too-short. At 1hr28min, it’s thankfully-breezy without the pretentiousness to think it’s the second-coming of Cinematic-Christ when it’s just a monster/action-blockbuster, but lacks almost ~any plot-development whatsoever from a broad-strokes and story-progressive perspective. The entire plot of the film can be summarized in a five-word sentence: they find an island. Though apocalypse films are at least starting to get smarter & finally realize the cheat-code many of us have been pointing out for years as the best way to escape the end of the world, that’s not an acceptable sequel achievement – and the film still leaves us more questions than answers to throw its own meritocracy into question as a second film of a franchise.

A Family On The Run

A Refreshing Subversion Of The Rule Of Big-And-Loud Sequels Out Of Lore-Synergized Metaphorization With Its Concept: One That ~Passes, But Feels Very Incomplete & Lite

Photograph Courtesy Of: Platinum Dunes & Paramount Pictures

There is *still* no explanation of what the creatures are, how they got here, where they came from, why they came, etc. – an inexcusable omission of borderline passive-aggressive antagonization of its fanbase, pugnaciously keeping such a critical and deserved explanation amongst the only possible justifications of a sequel in the first place.. secretive out of capitalistic malevolence to [avariciously] sell more tickets to the next film. Even 10-15 minutes could’ve given us more plot and development, while still being as light-footed and delightful a quick-watch clocking in under the 1h45m mark. The screenplay is so undercooked/developed, I was literally shocked when I saw the end-credits and rewound to check if there was a problem with my Apple TV skipping over some part [it wasn’t] – the exemplification of looking good from a broad-strokes perspective, but deteriorating upon any sort of magnifying-glass criticism. Back to a world of silence, AQP:II is a proficiently-crafted, technically-astounding, audiophilic old-school monster flick & anti-sequel refreshingly subverting the rule of bigger & louder sequels out of metaphoric synergization with its A+ original concept/lore – despite the gaping absence of Krasinski’s presence on-screen and too-light plot development antagonizing with [still] too many questions unanswered.

Official CLC Score: 6.5/10