‘Quiet Place’ sequel provides a ­lesson in silent suffering

‘Quiet Place’ sequel provides a ­lesson in silent suffering
You can still catch Quiet Place II in theaters, or you can stream it on Paramount+ and Amazon Prime.

Since I saw “A Quiet Place” in the theater, it made sense to do the same with John Krasinki’s pandemic-delayed sequel.

The new film could have had a limited release earlier, however, Paramount believed so fervently in the importance of seeing it in a full theater that Krasinski did a 60-second spot that airs before the film thanking the audience for watching “A Quiet Place 2” how it was meant to be viewed.

The film opens with flashbacks to the initial day of the attack by the aliens with super hearing. Anyone who saw the first film knows the tragedy and despair that eventually befell the intrepid Abbott family. That knowledge creates tension from the outset, even as father Lee (Krasinski) simply goes about his mundane day.

After we briefly meet the sequel’s new hero Emmett (an enigmatic Cillian Murphy), young Marcus Abbott’s Little League game gets interrupted by crashing meteorites carrying the predators from hell. This 15-minute sequence is a major highlight of the film.

Pacing issues

Once “A Quiet Place 2” jumps to present day, there is a harrowing scene as the family tries to find what could be a group of people. Unfortunately, the subsequent 60 minutes suffers from pacing issues.

A main problem is that the sequel keeps its character count just as low as the first film. With a mere four actors and a baby, there is not a lot of chances for meaningful dialogue. Multiple conversations repeat the same argument about whether they should go somewhere else.

Another concern is the use of jump scares. Certainly, I was startled each time, but these creatures are scary enough that Krasinski should have been able to generate more situational fear.

The final 15 minutes ramp up the suspense again with effective back-and-forth cuts between characters. The abrupt ending leaves much to be desired, but surely “A Quite Place 3” will make up for it. B-

Summer TV recommendations

“Mare of Easttown” (HBO): Kate Winslet has never been better as haggard grandma/detective Mare. A bevy of fully realized characters populate this sublime limited series that is as much about solving a murder as it is about family dynamics.

“Your Honor” (Showtime): This aired last winter but is definitely worth seeking out. In his best role since “Breaking Bad,” Bryan Cranston plays a judge whose son hits and kills the son of a mob boss (Michael Stuhlbarg at his finest). What would a father do to protect his son? What would another father do to avenge his? The suspense is palpable from start to finish.

The 202ONE Olympics (NBC and affiliates): The world’s best athletes finally get to compete on the biggest stage at the end of July in Tokyo. Swimming, gymnastics and track & field highlight America’s best hopefuls. Watch for the return of baseball/softball, plus the debut of skateboarding, surfing and rock climbing.

Jeff Mellinger

Jeff Mellinger is a screen writer and film buff. He holds a BA in Film Studies and an MFA in film production. He lives in Concord.