You guys remember that movie “A Quiet Place?” Directed by John Krasinski—Jim from “The Office”—the film dropped in 2018, about a year after Jordan Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out.” Both were fantastic films that proved comedian directors are more creatively diverse than I think many of us give them credit for.
For those unfamiliar, Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” is a post-apocalyptic politically satirical science fiction horror film that follows the Abbott family (played by Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt), surviving after aliens get stranded on Earth. Equipped with armored skin, formidable teeth and claws, and hypersensitive hearing, these creatures have managed to wipe out modern civilization in less than three months. The rules of the film are blunt as the lead actress’ surname: “if they hear you, they hunt you.”
This film was praised by many for its original premise and brilliant, minimalist storytelling. Krasinski’s work has also received a lot of dislike, especially for audience members who don’t find the art of silence or character development without dialogue appealing. As an avid reader and writer of post-apocalyptic fiction, I was hyped from day one when I heard about this film. With a small but moving plot and a morbid albeit badass ending, I think “A Quiet Place” has enough tact to hold itself up without a sequel.
But guess what we’re getting in about three weeks?
“A Quiet Place Part II.” Cool, I guess.
Krasinski is still writer and director, so I have no doubt that the second chapter in this dismal universe will uphold the same character-driven atmosphere and environmental foreshadowing as the first. My worry lies with the fact that the first film is based solely around this family’s ability to survive in a soundless world. Krasinski himself has described “A Quiet Place” as a love letter to his children, and his decision to write a sequel is perpetuating the metaphor by answering questions that audiences had at the end of the original, such as how the collapse of society started.
But here’s the thing. John Krasinski has explained the premise of “A Quiet Place” already, and not just with the subtle clues he leaves throughout the film. That lack of knowledge of the first chaotic days and the time jumps throughout the film contribute to the mystery of the world and the complex nature of the characters. Judging from the sequel’s trailers, not only are we learning how exactly the Abbott family survived the initial destruction, but we will see the characters who survived the first film—Evelyn Abbott and her children—negotiating the ruins of civilization and other people who have found various and perhaps unusual ways to survive.
Sounds cool, right? Maybe a little familiar? Yeah, because when it comes to post-apocalyptic fiction, there is only so much you can really do with the genre that hasn’t already been done. I mean, looking at the first film, how many times have we seen or heard of a family surviving the end of the world? Seriously, look it up. The millions of books and movies with this premise go back centuries. Humans have been obsessed in the various ways our society will collapse since the dawn of time, and thanks to recent stories like “The Walking Dead,” “The Road,” and “2012,” protection of the family in the aftermath of catastrophe has become an unfortunately tired genre, and a lot of originality is required to overcome that nowadays.
What’s more is that in addition to Blunt, child actors Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe reprising their roles as Regan and Marcus Abbott from the first film, Djimon Hounsou (“Amistad,” “Wayward Pines,” and “Shazam!”) and Cillian Murphy (“The Dark Knight,” “In Time,” and others) are also joining the cast. With their acting skills and Krasinski’s screenwriting abilities, perhaps “A Quiet Place Part II” will benefit this growing silent horror franchise. But I don’t want to be the only one to judge.
What do you guys think “A Quiet Place Part II” has in store for these characters? For those of you who have seen the first film, are there any predictions you might have on where Krasinski might take the story? If you haven’t seen “A Quiet Place” yet, it’s on Hulu now and is worth watching if you’re a fan of intimate horror films like “Alien” or “Signs.” If you don’t have Hulu, get a free trial, or do what the rest of us do and just borrow your friends’ or parents’ account for the weekend.