New York State is slowly opening up and this means that the movie theater near our house has officially opened back up. We had been so excited when we moved about being so close to a theater, but we had no idea if it would be opening back up. To our surprise it did and we decided we needed to go. Krista is a huge fan of John Krasinski and while she typically isn’t a fan of horror movies she really wanted to see A Quiet Place Part II. After work on Friday we headed to the theater and let me tell you it was an experience.
To start we decided to grab dinner at the food court since our theater is in a mall, then we walked around to waste a bit of time before the next closest showing of the movie. Then we had to go to concessions to buy tickets, which oddly we had done before. They often close down part of this particular theater and focus on just having you go to one spot to buy everything. Then we had to pick our assigned seats. This was actually a common practice before changes to movie theaters for Covid in New York, but in this case the seating was much more limited. Our large theater could only sit about 20, if that, and we had to be a certain amount of rows and seats away from each other. We wound up sitting a bit close to the screen, but only because we hadn’t realized how limited options would be and also because I could not for the life of me figure out the seating chart.
We are both vaccinated and with the spacing we did buy concessions, I really wanted movie theater popcorn. We have also been out to eat a few times and I will say the spacing in the theater was much better than in a restaurant. There was absolutely no one anywhere near us. It felt very safe and it was admittedly the cleanest I have seen a theater in probably ever. Now there is one element of this movie I will say up front we both had an issue with, but there was nothing that really could be done about it. With us being in a very large theater with very few people the volume of the move was much louder than normal. We were fine, but it was definitely an issue that we hadn’t expected to have.
Now that I’ve covered the theater experience we had for our first time back at a movie theater in over a year I can get into the actual movie. We made sure to watch the first movie, A Quiet Place, the night before we went to the movies to make sure that everything was fresh in our minds. The sequel does take place mere moments after the first movie ends, excluding the prequel element that kicks it off, though they try and convince us that the son, Marcus, has not suddenly had a growth spurt. It was obviously unavoidable and I appreciate that they didn’t recast anyone in the core cast. We did notice that in flashbacks of course the youngest son was recast since the child who played him in the original would in no way look like a four year old anymore. We start with the previously mentioned flashback showing day one of the invasion by these strange beasts. This also allows us to see Lee, Krasinski’s character, again and showcase how close he was to Regan, his daughter, prior to the events in the first film. The flashback sequence is definitely intense and does tease a character who will appear in the present element of the film. I really liked the prequel and I would love more of it. Even if it wasn’t in a movie setting, I think it would translate well to comics.
Into the core portion of the movie, the events set just after the first film. Emily Blunt’s character, Evelyn, must get her two older children and her literal newborn to somewhere safe. Their home is destroyed and the monsters are coming. Regan works to find somewhere safe, which is when they come upon one man with his own sort of bunker situation. As it turns out this man was someone we have seen before, Emmett. He had been at the baseball game when the invasion started and we learn he is now alone. What we learn from him is that not only has his lost his family, but that any survivors he believes are not worth it. Most he notes have changed and aren’t worth trying to save, but he does relent when Evelyn pleads with him. I was excited to see Emmett happened to be played by Cillian Murphy, who I love in Peaky Blinders. This was such a different character and he really grew on me. Technically they are only supposed to stay one night, but when Regan runs away in the hopes of saving everyone with the device her father made, Emmett goes after her. The two begin their own journey which is mirrored by events happening with Evelyn, Marcus, and the baby. Throughout the movie we watch as scenes shift together with Marcus mirroring Regan and Evelyn mirroring Emmett. The filming is great and I thought it really showed strong parallels within the growth of each character.
Without giving too much away I do think another movie could be made with how this story ended. They could either do more prequel elements or show how the world has changed after this film. My only minor critique is not really a critique of the story, but instead of Marcus. I do appreciate that much of his character seems rooted in coping with anxiety that has become even worse due to the literal apocalypse. What I disliked about his character is honestly one portion of the story. I knew it was going to happen, but I still angry whispered at Krista. When Evelyn goes to find supplies for her two sons she leaves Marcus to watch the baby and tells him to just hold tight until she comes back. He decides not to do that and ultimately through a series of loud noises almost gets himself, his brother, and later his mother killed. It does build up to a powerful moment of him destroying one of the monsters, but still he should have just watched the baby. As a constant babysitter growing up there are just some things you do and monitoring the baby and oxygen levels seemed kind of like a no brainer.
For my overall rating I give it a four and a half popcorns out of five. I really enjoyed the movie and was so excited to be back in a theater. I am only taking off slight points because I wish there had been more flashback moments and that Marcus had maybe thought about his infant brother a little bit more.