It felt odd, returning to a movie theater after almost 15 months of quarantine. But once the movie started, all was forgotten.
A Quiet Place Part II was a fine way to begin theater-going again. It's made for a big sound system, and the IMAX screen didn't hurt, either, if you like looking at Emily Blunt's pores. On the one hand, it wasn't as scary as the first one because the original had the luxury of surprise ... it seemed to come out of nowhere, and the sequel obviously couldn't pull that off. On the other hand, it was twice as scary as the first one because thanks to the original, we knew there was no time to breathe. I wrote about A Quiet Place:
A Quiet Place is very good at what it tries to do: scare the shit out of you. Oddly, though, this is not only what makes the movie good, it's what makes the movie almost unbearable to watch.
I suppose the same could be said of any good horror movie. It's almost a definition of horror that works. If it didn't scare us, we would laugh at it. But something different is happening with A Quiet Place. There is none of the anticipatory glee when you know another scare is right around the corner. In this film, there is no around the corner ... you are always already there.
The same goes for Part II. It's great fun, but it's hard to watch.
We should be happy that Part II is as good as it is. Krasinski and company gave it their all, and it shows. Millicent Simmonds is even better, and she is given more to do ... she is basically the central character this time. Cillian Murphy is a nice addition. Emily Blunt is strong once again. The monsters are cheesy in a low-budget way, but Krasinski knows how to use them. The basic problem, though, is that Part II doesn't improve on the original. I'm not saying there's no reason for it to exist ... it'll scare the shit out of you once again. But if you only watched one Quiet Place movie, it wouldn't be this one. Some people complained that Mad Max: Fury Road was too derivative of Mad Max 2, which might be true if you ignore the presence of Furiosa. But Fury Road was a better movie than even the earlier classic. The same can't be said for A Quiet Place Part II.