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Cinema/TV, Film Notes

Film review – A Quiet Place Part II

My notes on A Quiet Place Part II

Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes outfit started out as a boutique genre label specialising in polished remakes of rough-hewn classics – but eventually turned out John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, which carved out enough of its own identity to be subject to a disappointing reboot in 2045 but more immediately has delivered a sequel that might just be the middle third of a trilogy.  In March 2020, the invitations went out to a press screening – which was the first major item on my calendar to get cancelled … the ticket stayed stuck to my cork board for over a year, and it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel moment to take it down now the film has been screened for the press and rescheduled for release.

The original film was all premise – which didn’t bear too much thinking about – and situation, whereas this has to dip back to ‘Day One’ so that director Krasinski can recreate his role of everyman Dad Lee Abbott and stage an exciting melange of stunts, shocks and reversals as the monster apocalypse strikes Small Town USA in the middle of a little-league baseball game.  Then, we shift forward and pick up from the blackout punchline of A Quiet Place, reminding us that it was discovered a combination of feedback from a hearing aid jammed near a speaker cabinet and a pump shotgun blast could take out the hitherto invincible, unexplained creatures who have all but wiped out civilisation.  The focus here shifts from mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) to her surviving kids, deaf Regan (Millicent Simmonds, breakout star and character of the series) and slightly timid Marcus (Noah Jupe), and intercuts their own sidequests as Regan heads off with disenchanted survivor Emmett (Cillian Murphy) in search of a Day of the Dead-style island refuge (signalled by a repeated broadcast of Bobby Darin’s ‘Beyond the Sea’) while Marcus holes up in a disused factory and has to protect the family’s new baby from a variety of perils on his own since Mom is off foraging for medical supplies.

It’s a risky strategy to split storylines like this – and also a middle-of-a-trilogy gambit (cf: The Empire Strikes Back and The Two Towers) – since the back-and-forth can often defuse the suspense, but here Krasinski weaves the two threads cunningly so that there’s an escalation of terror as both situations veer out of control.  Much of the film is dialogue-lite, and a few major players – Djimon Hounsou as ‘man on island’ (a goodie), Scoot McNairy as ‘marina man’ (not a goodie) – have to convey their characters with a few looks and gestures.  Of course, part of the USP of the series is sound design, which remains dizzying – especially as we dip in and out of the viewpoint of hearing-impaired Regan, who perceives the world in crucially different ways.  It doesn’t fall into the traps of giving us more than we need to know about the monsters (will a Part III finally settle the issue of whether they’re aliens?) or of harping on about the obvious family issues.  Here, it’s all about dealing with the current peril and we gather how people feel about each other by the lengths they go to protect those who need it.

 

 

 

Discussion

One thought on “Film review – A Quiet Place Part II

  1. Not A Quieter Place? ‘The little things, which God in his wisdom …’, here, a hearing aid (and our heroine is deaf! Do you see) take sthe place of Slim Whitman. I am fairly senile – pls forgive if this is repetition – Quiet place (a giallo title), climax of The Deadly Spawn writ large (making better use of the device than The Deadly Spawn (arguably, since the aliens blindness is a last reel reveal in DS)). But it is the quintessential pre-Covid social media horror in that it is about fear of speaking lest it brings down the… what? The Beyond the Sea gimmick is nice. Is there a lot of suspense involving trying to stealthily tune into a radio before the monsters home in, I wonder. How bout this! The gang make their way to the lighthouse or whatever, the supposed sanctuary, and, peril upon peril, it’s inhabited by cannabilistic goons, who lure hapless wanderers in with a false promise of safety, only to make with the cooking pot in a gruesome set-up. Our heroes must contend not only with aliens (or whatever), but also degenerate maniacs bent on survival at any cost! (cheif cannibal has goose cooked atop flaming lighthouse – Navy helicopter uses it as beacon to home in and safe the goodies!) (You, see what I really wanted to do was write the blurb on video boxes. I trained for seven years … DVD came along, ‘that’s OK’, I thought ‘my skills are readily transferable. Why, DVD blurb and vid blurb are one and the same!’ Or so I thought … it wasn’t long before these lousey streaming services came along … they do all their blurbs in house – thus I lurk in the sewers and plot my revenge!)

    Posted by wmsagittarius | May 29, 2021, 1:23 am

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