A QUIET PLACE II – Review by Susan Granger

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If you didn’t see A Quiet Place (2018), you’ll be bewildered because John Krasinski’s sci-fi sequel begins where the first left off. Instead of the peace and tranquility they’ve sought, the Abbott family must once again run and hide from vicious extraterrestrial creatures that hunt by sound.

In a prologue/flashback on Day 1, Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) drives into the seemingly deserted upstate New York town of Millbrook to pick up oranges, etc. to take to a Little League game where his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) waits for his turn at bat.

Suddenly, a fireball shoots through the sky. Grabbing Marcus, Lee’s wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) speeds off with their newborn baby, while Lee loads their deaf teenage daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) into his truck. Tragedy strikes and Evelyn is left to care for the kids on her own.

Day 474: Taking refuge in an abandoned steel mill with a cynical, misanthropic, despondent neighbor (Cillian Murphy), they hide in an airless but sound-proof furnace, where Evelyn deposits her infant in a portable case with a tiny oxygen mask wrapped around its head to muffle its wails.

Self-reliant, resourceful Regan, toting a radio, amp and microphone, plus a homemade hearing aid, uses these devices to pick up a broadcast of the song “Beyond the Sea,” playing repeatedly. If she can locate its source, she’s sure that’s a clue to finding other survivors.

Opening with writer/director/actor John Kraskinski thanking theatergoers for coming back to the multiplex, this is a horror/thriller that should be seen as a communal experience in that silent, darkened space.

Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds delivers a pivotal performance, combining grit and vulnerability, supported by Noah Jupe, displaying terror, empathy and courage.

Editor Michael P. Sawyer incessantly cuts between multiple storylines, albeit utilizing far too many jump-scares, with the sound dropping in and out, as cinematographer Polly Morgan captures the chaotic, post-apocalyptic wasteland, punctuated by Marco Beltrami’s anxiously pulsating score.

On the Granger Gauge, A Quiet Place II is a subtly suspenseful 7, opening the door for yet another installment.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.