One of the many examples of a studio picture that waited it out through the pandemic, A QUIET PLACE PART II has been awaited by many film fans ever since its initial delay right at the beginning of the world change in March, 2020. In fact, I even had tickets booked for a special double bill screening of BOTH movies, and the theatre was forced to shut down the day before.
I was lucky enough to attend the World Premiere of the first A QUIET PLACE at the 2018 edition of South By Southwest which was a beyond thrilling experience. I not only loved the great concept of having to stay quiet to survive, but it also came from filmmaker John Krasinski, who is more known for his comedic roles and most famously for THE OFFICE. Having screened the first film again recently, I was awe-struck even more at just how much tension and great character study there is in the less-is-more approach to avoiding an unknown alien force that can only detect humans through their sounds.
This sequel picks right up at the end of the first one and continues to focus on evading the alien invasion and hunting, and how some new characters (in particular Cillian Murphy as Emmett, another walkabout stranger they encounter) also affect their survival. While the main star is Emily Blunt and she’s always terrific, the entire movie is a big showcase for young Millicent Simmonds as the very precocious and smart daughter Regan, who completely owns the latter half of this movie and creates such an interesting perspective around her true-to-life deafness, utilizing her sign language and facial expressions to really bring the terror through.
About the 4k release:
Having just seen A QUIET PLACE PART II in theatres recently, I was immediately taken by the visual design just as I was with the first. This is as close, if not superior to what I saw in the cinema. The movie was shot on film (gasp!) in anamorphic (double gasp!) and it takes on such a life of its own in Ultra-High Def. I was immediately struck by how strong the film-tone comes through on the transfer and you really do see the film grain and latitude here (and even a slightly out-of-focus shot in a market scene stands out). Later in the movie there is a surprising use of color and contrast that really stood out in the brighter sunny sequences, and all of the warm colors and black level details in the underground sequences have incredible sharpness. It’s a great credit to cinematographer Polly Morgan for this look and feel of A QUIET PLACE PART II, and it’s nicely preserved on home video.
Despite the name of the title (I remember with the first movie many thought the movie would be too quiet), both QUIET PLACE movies have some of the most unique sound designs of recent horror movies. PART II is no slouch with this incredible Dolby Atmos soundtrack which will adapt to however you listen to it. Powerful, aggressive surrounds and deep, thunderous bass when needed along with some truly haunting quiet moments, this is a sound lover’s delight.
(Also of note that there are subtitles throughout, mostly to translate what Regan is signing, and these are “burned in” to the picture as it was theatrically. These can not be turned off.)
The extra features are all available on the additional Blu Ray as well as the Apple TV digital copy in the package, with some standard production features like Krasinski’s director diary as well as features focusing on the sound and visual effects. I wished for a Krasinski/Blunt commentary track, but what is here is a nice bonus to the disc.
While A QUIET PLACE PART II is widely available online (in Canada it’s even streaming on Amazon Prime even so close to its theatrical release) and easy to track down, I still recommend either the disc or Apple TV release, paired with the first movie, as a permanent addition to your library. It’s a solid series and while I give a bit of edge to the first movie, I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.
A QUIET PLACE PART II is now available on 4k Blu Ray & Digital. Thanks to Paramount PR for sending along a copy for review.