REVIEW: ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ delivers thrilling story through creative sound and music


Courtesy Amazon

Staff Writer Nick Southey writes that “A Quiet Place II” is an engaging thriller with exceptional cinematics perfect for the movie theater environment.

Nicholas Southey, Staff Writer

With a shockingly dynamic volume and fear-striking monsters, “A Quiet Place Part II” serves as a very solid horror and thriller sequel to the first movie. 

The movies take place in a post-apocalyptic Earth roamed by monstrous, dog-like aliens, hypersensitive to even the quietest of sounds. The first movie follows the Abbott family on their struggle for survival, ending with a new baby having been born, their farm burnt down, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) dead and, most importantly, a newly discovered way to kill the monsters by using the feedback from the deaf Regan Abbott’s (Millicent Simmons) hearing aid.

This second installment begins with a flashback to the first day of the apocalypse, which the first one left out, before transitioning to the moment the first one left off. With their new situation, the family must adapt quickly to survive, which involves stepping away from their familiar farm and into the unknown world.

The first 10 or so minutes of the movie adequately address and recap the previous movie, so it isn’t vital to watch the first one beforehand to enjoy this one. A brief plot synopsis would be all that’s necessary.

While this movie is entertaining overall, it thrives as a movie seen in theaters. As silence is the key to survival in the movie, it uses a lot of amplification of sounds to accentuate how difficult silence is to maintain. As a result, the movie jumps from being silent to loud frequently, making the experience perfect for a movie theater environment. Coincidentally, this also happens to be one of the first theater-only movies in the pandemic era, so now is the time to see it.

Just like in the first movie, Regan’s deafness is played on heavily. The movie often takes her soundless perspective, sometimes when a monster is lurking, in order to build a unique tension and creepiness.

The movie relies heavily on creepiness as a way of instilling fear. This successfully removes the over-reliance on jumpscares that many horror movies struggle with, but it doesn’t sacrifice its scariness to do so. 

One way this creepy tone is built is through the music. The instrumental soundtrack mostly consists of eerie, shrill notes, with subtle music cues that the audience can associate with a nearby monster, instilling a sense of dread. Overall, the music is tone-setting, and the lack of other sounds in the movie allows the music to really stand out.

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While the acting is strong overall, the strongest performance is delivered by Millicent Simmons, who plays Regan. As a deaf character and actress, she has even less speaking lines than the rest of the cast, really forcing strong body language and facial expressions, but she executes this role exceptionally well. 

A significant issue in the film came from a distractingly-poor piece of the story in which a character goes on a pointless walk for the sole purpose of making noise and attracting a monster. This makes up only a small section of the movie, but it has some major consequences and blatantly stands out from the otherwise sound plot. 

While this is the only glaring issue, the encounters with the monsters are beginning to become repetitive and predictable. This movie gets away with it, but with the current trajectory, the third installment will have to make a change.

The problems with this movie are few and far between, and what is attempted is mostly executed well. For what it is, a fun horror thriller, this movie fulfills its purpose, but it struggles to transcend its genre as anything more. It’s definitely an entertaining watch, especially in theaters.