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  Quiet Place Part II, A Hush Or Mush
Year: 2020
Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmons, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, John Krasinski, Okieriete Onaodowan, Scoot McNairy, Zachary Golinger, Blake DeLong, Stefania Warwick, Alycia Ripley, Cristalis Bonilla, Domonic Taggart, Ashley Dyke
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Day 1. Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) was attending his son's baseball game one afternoon in their smalltown home and popped away to buy some oranges for the team at a nearby store, where he noticed their television was tuned to rolling news and some kind of disaster had struck China, though the reports were sketchy. Not really taking this in, he returned to the game and sat beside his deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmons) as his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) encouraged eldest son Marcus (Noah Jupe) from the sidelines. But as he weighed up his options, something strange in the sky distracted him... something ominous.

But that is as much of an origin story for the monsters as you would get in this sequel to A Quiet Place, the sleeper horror hit that had audiences' hands hovering silently over their popcorn, unwilling to be the one who made a sound. That was wrapped up quite neatly, though it did not end the menace of the creatures it did point to an optimism that they could be overcome which was cleverly tied in with Regan's hearing aid, but whether there was really anything more to be said, or whether we needed to return to these characters, seemed rather questionable. However, that first film had made an absolute fortune at the box office, and that demands a follow-up.

Director and star Krasinski was dubious about its necessity, or at least he was until he saw the salary he would be given if he concocted more, and after that, with the promise of more profits guiding the project now, there was no stopping it. Yet on watching it, after its year-long delay between premiere and release thanks to the pandemic, while some welcomed it the overwhelming feeling of most audiences was, well, haven't we already seen this? Although Krasinski developed some variations on his theme, it was difficult to ignore that there was not much new to be seen here, it had been a decent idea for a one-off, but a part II was pushing at the limits of the concept.

And not in a challenging way, not for the viewer at any rate, as presumably the main group of people interested in watching this would be the ones who enjoyed part I, and it offered nothing to those who had not. Cillian Murphy was the main addition to the cast, more or less a Lee substitute no matter how untrustworthy he appears in his first few minutes of screen time until Evelyn can persuade him to help her family which after all is already down two members before the second film begins. Regan was recognised as the boon to the franchise that she was as Simmons was given her own mission to carry out when a signal is heard over the radio, Bobby Darin's recording of Beyond the Sea, there's a clue in that choice, though why they are not clearer is unknown.

After all, they could have just played a recording of their map co-ordinates, it's not as if the blind monsters have any idea of what they were saying. Or did they? Would Part III have them discussing their world domination plans with their victims? Indeed, the menaces here were as vaguely defined as they were before, the ultimate in high concept horror where if you make a noise, they'll getcha, but there's no hint of character development or in fact any character whatsoever, they're simply basic CGI monstrosities with toothy ears for heads. For a series that began as Krasinski's tribute to his and Blunt's own family, it had in one movie turned into a tribute to his burgeoning bank balance, fair enough, a man's gotta eat and provide in some capacity, yet A Quiet Place Part II was so perfunctory and superfluous that it undercut the original somewhat. Mind you, it was only disappointing if you had high expectations beforehand, one supposed. Music by Marco Beltrami.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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