The New "Quiet Place" Family Tip Toes Through a Forest of Aggressive Stealthy Ravaging 'Grasshopping' Carnivores from Space

by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
The New "Quiet Place" Family Tip Toes Through a Forest of Aggressive Stealthy Ravaging 'Grasshopping' Carnivores from Space

This is nearly surreal. For the first time in nearly a year, I'm penning my own thoughts on a touted film which played on the big screen. Having a balance disorder from an accumulation of falls and getting up before and after mom's demise, Quiet Place II provides nearly perfect tension for what I'm putting off --- flowers on the grave.

Thus, the anxious reviewer sees the sequel for a formerly hold your breath, don't make a sound premise that plunges four members of an apparent farm family into a continuing struggle to survive. Before we did not know what the invaders looked like, their images were a series of glimpses showing that a stray comet brought giant grass hoppers, praying mantis  and/or spider-like multi legged beings who crunch a bus in a mini-second. 

Director John  Krasinski(Lee Abbott) has nearly every second planned to chill. Before you wanted more knowledge why this forlorn family had for over 80 days trekked barefoot on a repeated trail to a small country town. They scrounge the empty store for supplies; this time they're more prepared. 

Opening with a pre-creature flashback, its a simple little league contest of America's favorite pastime that panics the attendees as a dark comet or UFO crashes outside town. Suddenly, the town's residents are in a panic as these deadly grasshopper's respond to sound, any sound. We finally see what had been unknown --- how these leaping creatures fell to earth.

The storyline hints that landing have been limited, but a timeline indicates considerable time has past. Part One centered on the survival skills of the family and the slightest bump or crunch upped blood pressure of those watching wondering if a creature heard it. These "aliens" had been portrayed as invincible, at least for those left alive in the little town. Focusing on the family, specifically mom's pregnancy, the actors set a whispering tone and Krasinski emphasizes living by lantern light in an unidentified state that does include heavy sweaters and few snow flakes.

The New "Quiet Place" Family Tip Toes Through a Forest of Aggressive Stealthy Ravaging 'Grasshopping' Carnivores from Space

Let me insert my rant. It's not a spoiler only a question, which you don't dwell on too much in these type thrillers. The family appeared forced to keep their toes bare inside and outside. So we see alot of dirty feet. An nail injury down the basement stares nearly had everyone jumping out of their seats. And Evelyn (Emily Blunt)  still had to have a child with as little groaning and muffling the youngster's crying. 

Part 2 loses the intimate, claustrophobic, seemingly limited venue of the cabin. However, the creatures have discovered it and Part 2 places the Abbott's in an abandoned factory with lots of soundproof hiding places, like a former fiery furnace.  They have a clue as to how to "escape" from the sound range of these monsters. They have learned a few routes to stash supplies, Blunt learned bullseye rifling while contending with an ace bandage on the foot injury. 

Daughter Regan Regan, played by Millicent Simmonds,  is deaf but ambitious and a young rebellious feminist to be and Marcus (Noah Jupe), a nervous wreck of a dude, who ends up taking care of the baby while the two women undertake critical missions. 

Beyond the excellent foreshadowing cinematography (look at that mantis waiting to pounce) which compels viewers to stay glued to the screen.  Besides interweaving between members of the  venturing family (seems a furnace would be pretty sound proof and secure), the director raises our blood pressure with simple , brief reminders, such as a barefoot woman feeling whether there's a twig or branch for her to miss, a newly born placed in a basinet  (thoughts of Moses?) covered and supplied with oxygen to diminish the crying reverberations, or a brief scene of an Amtrak station to NY now littered by dozens of brightly colored  unworn stilettos, and one man in a mask. 

Remarkably, this second outing shows these films are more than just gimmicky sound design. Polly Morgan's cinematography marries beautifully with the sound design and music. In the tensest moments the camera creeps remorselessly, the frame filling with agonizingly slow movement, and at its peak crosscutting between different nerve-racking story strands to ratchet up the tension. There's a great shot where the camera swirls in from above a terrified character, a jarring angle that meshes the visuals with the sound to immerse you in the character's disorientation and fear.

What starts as a "Walton's" rural/heartland  (traditional family led by a husband) slowly yields how females  overcome the vulnerable "barefoot and pregnant" stereotypes in exchange  for leadership and exploration. The fact the family knows sign language  become an asset.

The New "Quiet Place" Family Tip Toes Through a Forest of Aggressive Stealthy Ravaging 'Grasshopping' Carnivores from Space

Delays have served well for "Part Two," as it face only mild competition from "Cruella," and the post apocalyptic time frame  has greater impact on a world that has fought the COVID virus (with its own twists and variants). 

I'll not delve into a "spoiler," but its approach either suggests further adventures of the Abbott's or how other families (perhaps in New York City) fared against the invaders. The screen story has revealed how they crunch and a few vulnerabilities are surfacing. 

Quiet Place Part Two is nearly a family movie. It depends on the sensitivities of your kids, whether they would view it as a tough survival roller coaster or have nightmares about giant bugs. 

(Success! My first post COVID review has unflinchingly flowed hours after watching the movie!)