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A Quiet Place II delivers on thrills without the gore, again

A Quiet Place Part II follows the story of the Abbott family as they struggle to survive and outsmart the sound-sensitive and blind aliens that have invaded Earth. After losing their father (played by John Krasinski) and home in the first film, the remaining family members must venture out to find survivors and to survive themselves.

Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) is on her own with two young teens and a newborn, and with no place to go. Evelyn must battle her grief, battle nearly indestructible monsters, and somehow find some small bit of shelter where she can hope to keep her kids safe.

But safe is a relative term in the world the Abbotts find themselves.

And it’s not just the aliens. Terrified survivors in the area near their burned-to-the-ground farm aren’t too keen on having a woman with an infant in their midst. Babies have such a hard time grasping the concept of being deadly silent.

Townspeople, including Evelyn, watch as strange meteors fall from the sky.

So what does a woman like Evelyn do? Well, first she steps quietly. She walks with her kids for miles, quietly. She sweats and wheezes quietly under the weight of the family’s few vital possessions.

After that, all she can do is hope. She hopes that someone might offer some shred of assistance. She hopes for some little miracle, one tiny mustard seed of faith, a small bit of bravery from someone. Anyone.

And Evelyn is slightly surprised when she begins to see hints and glimpses of all those things in her teen daughter Regan. Regan is deaf—an auditory limitation that handicaps her doubly in a world where every tiny sound you make can end in nearly instant death. But Regan has always taken after her dad. And that’s made her resourceful, observant, honorable and willing to give everything to help someone in need.

All of those traits are exactly what Evelyn and the Abbott family need right now. They just have to live long enough to put those excellent character qualities to use.

For example, in a flashback scene that shows us how the alien attack began, Evelyn’s husband, Lee, quickly assesses the situation. He’s also instrumental in making brave choices and getting his family to safety. When A Quiet Place came out in 2018, some noted a pro-life theme when Evelyn chose to birth a child in extremely difficult and, indeed life-threatening circumstances. Evelyn also repeatedly puts her life on the line to protect her kids.

In fact, director Krasinski calls both films a “love letter” to his children, outlining the selfless-love parents have for their kids.

READ: Can a horror film have a Christian theme? The original Quiet Place may surprise you.

The Abbott kids bravely step into the fight, too. Reagan (Millicent Simmonds who is deaf in real life, too) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) both make some less-than-wise choices along the way. But Regan, in particular, uses the lessons she’s learning to defeat the monsters. She also deciphers certain messages and clues in a radio message and bravely gives her all to save her family and others. “I can save them. I can save us!” she says in sign language when told that she needs to turn back. She also challenges Emmett to be a better and braver man.

We learn that the family is Christian when Evelyn visits her dead son’s memorial, and a wooden cross is planted on the spot where he died.

That aside, the movie does have violent, but not necessarily gory scenes.

An opening flashback scene featuring a flaming spacecraft crashing to the Earth, which gives a sense of context to the alien invasion and immediately ushers viewers in to the fact that A Quiet Place Part II is far more monster focused than the first film. A sense of rabid chaos delivered by multiple creatures carries over into the rest of the story.

The creatures’ talon-tipped attacks rip and rend everything from furniture and walls, to the metal exteriors of vehicles and farm buildings. We see scores of people and vehicles being quickly slammed around, with windows being smashed. The scenery, large and small, gets chewed to bits.

The director on how A Quiet Place II was made:

When humans attack the aliens—causing the aliens to expose tender tissue, blasting them with shotguns and rifles, and striking them with bludgeons—things can get a little bloody, too. Several creatures are left in pools of their own gore after being defeated.

Humans attack humans, as well, choking and pummeling victims. One man almost drowns underwater with a noose around his neck.

The Queiet Place has been called one of the best suspence/horror films of recent decades but it is not always as easy to capture the excitement of a film in a sequel.

In that light, fans of the 2018 hit A Quiet Place aren’t apt to find their time with the Abbotts—and their aurally amped-up alien attackers—to be quite as emotionally riveting or blood-pressure-raising this go round.

There’s a lot here to appreciate if you’re in the mood for a good scare at the movies. Director John Krasinski paces things well, while still hitting all the cinematic thrill ride beats you would expect. The ticking-and-clicking beasty tension still leaves you on the edge of your seat without splashing you with an abundance of gore. And the self-sacrificial heroics are still pretty cheer-worthy.

A Quiet Place Part II is available in theaters now. As Paramount+ intends to distribute its biggest releases after a 45-day window, the movie should get to the streaming platform after July 12.

–Bob Hoose | Focus on the Family