Any sound can be deadly: “A Quit Place 2” is the sequel to the successful horror film. It was rarely so quiet in the cinema hall. Not that exciting.
In “A Quiet Place” three years ago, John Krasinski made silence the driving force of a post-apocalyptic scenario and not only thrilled genre fans with his brilliant horror film. It took almost 40 minutes for the first sentence to be spoken. Because being silent was a matter of survival in this world, in which deadly monsters had spread on Earth, who could not see anything, but could hear all the better.
The simple but convincing concept ensured that the senses in the cinema hall were re-sharpened. No chatty dialogues, because the family around the deaf daughter Regan talked in sign language. Instead of reciting words, the film read in the faces of its characters. Life was staged in tremendous detail under the dictates of calm, in which the children played Monopoly with felt tiles, every creaking staircase in the house was marked and the paths through the fields into the forest were laid out with sawdust. Every little noise became a potential threat to life – and the brilliant sound design was the central narrative moment.
The film, which was realized with a relatively small budget, grossed 340 million dollars worldwide, and the theatrical release for the sequel was originally scheduled for March 20 last year – the very week in which the Western world also went into lockdown mode. In contrast to other studios, however, Paramoun” did not dump the film on a streaming platform, but bravely held on to a theatrical release. A good decision.
In the second part, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) leaves the secured home with the children after the death of her husband (John Krasinski) in the hope of finding more survivors and a new perspective for the family and the newborn baby. The infant is transported in a noise-insulated box with an oxygen mask, because any uncontrolled cry could attract the monsters.
In an empty steel mill, they meet their former neighbor Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who has lost his wife and children and initially refuses to take in the family. When the deaf Regan (outstanding: Millicent Simmonds) sets out on her own to find the origin of a potentially saving radio signal, Emmett reluctantly follows the girl, while Emily remains with her injured son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and the baby in the plant’s protected blast furnaces.
Even if the sequel no longer relies quite as consistently on the silence concept, “A Quiet Place 2” lives from the precise sensual perception and undivided attention that only cinema can produce. The film is a commitment to the big screen and the dark hall from which one is drawn into this dystopian world and its dangers.
Of course, you look at a post-apocalyptic movie like this with different eyes after over a year of pandemic. The alien fantasies of the science fiction genre have always played with the deep-seated fear of unknown dangers that catapult us out of our comfort zone in one fell swoop and challenge all the self-evident features of civilized existence. A basic experience that Covid-19 has brought us very close, even if at first glance the small virus may rage less cruelly than the insect monsters that determine the scenario of “A Quiet Place”.
Beneath the horror surface and visual excellence, however, the heart also beats for a youth who, a la “Fridays for Future”, not only fights for their own survival, but also for a perspective worth living in. While the adults are trapped in the survival constraints, the adolescent Regan takes a risk and goes auf the search for a future beyond the fatalistic status quo.