As film fans, there’s always a handful of films that we allow to pass us by. This usually isn’t at all indicative of their quality – sometimes, we’re just a little Late To The Party.

After the massive success of A Quiet Place, a sequel makes perfect sense. As the first film introduced a fascinating post-apocalyptic landscape in which the only way to survive was to live silently, audiences understandably wanted more. It’s a testament to how well the first film brought its plot to life, with brilliant acting making its horrifying premise work on practically every level.

With John Krasinski’s Lee Abbott tragically sacrificing himself to save his family, the Abbotts start the film adrift. After the destruction of their home and without their patriarch, they’re left wandering. Thankfully, they happen across old friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who has established a soundproof underground lair in an abandoned foundry. Unfortunately, he has very little interest in helping them.

Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe all reprise their roles from the first film. Krasinski, who wrote and directed the film, also appears in flashbacks. This helps A Quiet Place Part II feel like an organic continuation of the first, which was utterly crucial to the film’s success. However, it’s not without a few issues.

A Quiet Place Part II Just Doesn’t Live Up To The Original

Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Emily Blunt as Regan, Marcus, and Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place Part II (2021)

Without the presence of Krasinski, the Abbott family feels incomplete. Of course, that’s sort of the point, but there’s still an element of the original’s brilliant chemistry missing, and it forces the characters to harden somewhat. This is incredibly difficult for the sequel to openly explore, given the limitations of the characters’ ability to communicate with each other. What’s more, Lee’s role as protector is reluctantly filled by Emmett, who has a much less warm presence than Krasinski.

The tonal shift as the Abbott Family strike out into the dangerous world was unavoidable, but it’s simply not as good. Where the first film was relentlessly tense, A Quiet Place Part II is much more adventurous, robbing it of some of the original’s horror charm. This is exacerbated by the separation of characters – Emmett and Regan go one way, Evelyn and Marcus stay behind. Ultimately, this means it lacks the first film’s winning chemistry, despite the addition of Murphy to the cast.

AQP Part II Ticks Plenty Of Horror Sequel Boxes

Cillian Murphy as Emmett and Emily Blunt as Evelyn in A Quiet Place Part II (2021)

Despite failing to live up to the original in some ways, A Quiet Place Part II is a brilliant sequel. It develops its characters brilliantly, demonstrating the ways that each of them attempt to cope with the loss of Lee. Regan is the standout protagonist, stepping up to bring some hope into the bleak world, and it’s through her that the sequel really addresses Lee’s death. Though the character is gone, the sequel carries echoes of him in its story, which is both touching and deftly achieved.

The sequel also delivers more information about the creatures and the world at large, which is perfect. Slowly but surely, it answers questions raised by the first film, with the audience learning along with the characters. There’s no heavy-handed exposition – Part II just tells its story, and it feels all the more organic for it.

Though it’s far from a perfect movie, it’s a solid sequel that continues to build upon brilliant foundations. For its few missteps, Part II is continuously exciting and creates interest in further sequels, proving how well-written it is. It may not live up to the original, but it comes close, and that’s still remarkably impressive.

Rating: 70%

Summary: A Quiet Place Part II probes uncharted territory, but its risks ultimately pay off. Compared to the original, it feels spread thin, but that only helps make its bleak setting feel all the more real.

Highlight: Regan’s transformation from fearful child to stubborn heroine is by far Part II‘s most rewarding aspect.