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At The Movies: Not so ‘Quiet’

“A Quiet Place Part II” has the requisite chills and thrills of a science-fiction horror film.

There’s something more. The sequel is more of an action film than the original. Despite the title, it’s noisier. It could have been called “A Less Quiet Place.”

The movie sequel boasts terrific performances led by Emily Blunt, returning in the title role of Evelyn Abbott, and, also returning, Millicent Simmonds as her daughter, Regan, and Noah Jupe as her son, Marcus.

John Krasinski (Blunt’s husband in real life), wrote the screenplay and directs the sequel. He directed the original. He appears as Lee Abbott in a flashback that opens “Part II” and takes place prior to the first film.

You don’t need to have seen “A Quiet Place,” released in 2018, before you see the sequel. “Part II” gives you enough background, and in a way more information than the first film.

We learn that the creatures are not only threatening the Abbotts. They are alien creatures that have invaded the Earth. We also are given more views of the aliens, which apparently are blind but have an extraordinary sense of hearing. The aliens are truly hideous.

I was really looking forward to “A Quiet Place, Part II” and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s somewhat more routine than the original. But it’s a great scary movie, akin to a haunted house ride at an amusement park. “Part II” gave me several jump cuts. If popcorn boxes were jumps in a movie seat, “Part II” would rate five out of five.

A lot of the action in “Part II” takes place in an abandoned steel mill. There are plenty of opportunities for confined spaces and open-and-shut former furnaces. If you are claustrophobic, these scenes alone will be terrifying.

A new character, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a friend of Lee, has a prominent role in the sequel. Murphy brings out the insecurity of Emmett, who must nevertheless rise to the challenges.

Emmett teams with the Abbotts’ daughter, Regan, who makes a discovery about an island of survivors of the alien attack when a radio station broadcasts the 1959 pop hit, “Beyond the Sea,” sung by Bobby Darin, that hints at the survivors’ location. When they reach the island, Emmett and Regan befriend a resident, (Djimon Hounsou), who provides background about those who fled there.

Simmonds, who is deaf in real life, has a more prominent role in the sequel. She creates a confidence in the role of Regan that is remarkable.

In his screenplay and direction, Krasinski matches the quest of Emmett and Regan with that of Evelyn, who leaves the steel mill to go back to town to get medication for Marcus, who has been injured. Blunt again plays the role like a fierce momma bear.

Meanwhile, in a third sequence of parallel action, Marcus must take care of his mother Evelyn’s newborn child in his hiding place in the mill while she is away. Jupe gives Marcus a vulnerability that is heart-rending.

Krasinski (Director, “A Quiet Place,” 2018; “The Hollars,” 2016) intercuts the three parallel actions, effectively building the tension for the movie-goer.

The production credits are top-notch in “Part II.” The cinematography, on 35mm film stock, by director of photography Polly Morgan is interesting and rarely predictable.

As would be expected, given the movie’s title and subject matter, the sound design is crucial and superb by supervising sound editors Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn.

Industrial Light and Magic is credited for the creature design, CGI and effects. Again, very frightening.

The soundtrack, with low brasses and screeching violins, by composer Marco Beltrami (Oscar nominee, “The Hurt Locker,” 2008; “3:10 To Yuma,” 2007), who scored “A Quiet Place,” could be a frightening experience in and of itself.

See “A Quiet Place, Part II” on the big screen. “Part III” is already in the works.

“A Quiet Place, Part II,”

MPAA rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.) for terror, violence and bloody-disturbing images; Genre: Drama, Horror, Science-Fiction; Run time: 1 hr., 37 min.; Distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous:

“A Quiet Place, Part II” was filmed in upstate New York, including the Hudson Valley towns of Dover, Pawling and New Paltz, and also western New York, including Buffalo, Erie County and Barcelona Harbor in Westfield, Chautauqua County. Before the movie’s opening scene, John Krasinski thanks movie-goers for venturing forth to be at the movies.

At the Movies:

“A Quiet Place, Part II” was seen in my new favorite area movie theater, Dolby Cinema at AMC at the AMC Center Valley 16, Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, Upper Saucon Township. Less restrictive COVID-19 protocol was in effect.

Movie Box Office,

June 11 - 13: In a tight race for the Top Four places with several new releases opening out of the Top Five, “A Quiet Place Part II” moved back up one place to No. 1, with $11.7 million, in 3,515 theaters; $108.9 million, three weeks, keeping “In The Heights” opening at No. 2, with $11.405 million, in 3,456 theaters, and “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway,” opening at No. 3, with $10.4 million, in 3,346 theaters, dropping “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” three places from No. 1 to No. 4 with $10 million in 3,237 theaters, $43.8 million, two weeks.

5. “Cruella” dropped two places with $6.7 million, in 3,307 theaters, $56 million, three weeks. 6. “Spirit Untamed” dropped two places, $2.5 million, in 3,394 theaters, $10.9 million, two weeks. 7. “The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2,” $1 million, in 420 theaters, opening. 8. “Wrath of Man” dropped two places, $615,000, in 1,207 theaters, $25.9 million, six weeks. 9. “Queen Bees,” $328,300, in 500 theaters, opening. 10. “Spiral” dropped three places, $305,000, in 1,572 theaters, $22.6 million, five weeks.

Box office figures from Box Office Mojo as of June 13 are subject to change.


June 18:

“The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,”

R: Patrick Hughes directs Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Antonio Banderas, Tom Hopper and Richard E. Grant in the Action, Comedy, Crime film. Bodyguard Michael Bryce must protect Darius’s wife Sonia.

“12 Mighty Orphans,”

PG-13: Ty Roberts directs Robert Duvall, Vinessa Shaw, Martin Sheen, Luke Wilson, Wayne Knight, Treat Williams, Carlson Young and Kelly Frye in the History-Sports movie. A high school football coach leads a team of orphans to a state championship during the Great Depression.

“The Birthday Cake,”

R: Jimmy Giannopoulos directs Ewan McGregor, Lorraine Bracco, Ashley Benson, Penn Badgley, Luis Guzman, Paul Sorvino and Vincent Pastore in the Crime-Thriller. A cake brought to a mob boss’s house is the icing on the cake.

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go for It,”

PG-13: Mariem Perez Riera directs the documentary film about actress Rita Moreno.

“The Sparks Brothers,”

R: Edgar Wright directs the documentary film about Ron and Russell Mael and their rock band, Sparks.


R: Abel Ferrara directs Willem Dafoe and Simon McBurney in the Drama, Fantasy, Horror film about dreams.

“The Serpent,”

No MPAA rating: Gia Skova directs Travis Aaron Wade, Craig Conway, Alexandra Tebano and herself in the Action, Comedy, Horror film. A CIA agent is set up.

“Summer of 85,”

No MPAA rating: Francois Ozon directs Felix Lefebvre, Benjamin Voisin and Philippine Velge in the Drama. A boating accident leads to romance.

Movie release opening dates from Internet Movie Database are subject to change.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO COURTESY PARAMOUNT PICTURES From left: Noah Jupe (Marcus), Millicent Simmonds (Regan) and Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott, their mother) are back in “A Quiet Place, Part II.”