A Quiet Place, Part II (2021) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

A few years ago, John Krasinski pretty much took everyone by surprise by unleashing one of the most innovative and entertaining horror dramas of the mid-aughts. Often imitated but rarely duplicated, the “A Quiet Place” follow up was only inevitable, but it was fascinating to see if Krasinski could duplicate his original film’s success. While “A Quiet Place Part II” stumbles in a few places, the second chapter in the saga of the Abbott Family and their survival against the enigmatic monsters that consumed the world.

Shortly after patriarch Lee sacrifices himself, Evelyn, her kids Marcus and Regan, and her newborn baby, struggle to move on without him. While fighting to survive, they come across old friend Emmett, who takes them in. Things get complicated though when Regan agrees to find a potential safe haven with Emmett, all the while Marcus is forced to stave off the onslaught of monsters with the aid of his increasingly overwhelmed mom.

Writer and Director Krasinksi goes backward a bit in time, showing us the moment when the monsters first took over the world and destroyed humanity. Krasinski is brilliant in unfolding this crucial moment in the apocalypse, and how the Abbotts had to adapt to the terror unfolding before them. Krasinski is very good in exemplifying how great Lee was in thinking on his feet and keeping his family alive through impossible odds. Now that he’s gone in the follow up, we’re left with a trio that are trying to pick up the pieces without him, and figure out if they can still continue without his strength and bravery.

The sequel is primarily about Regan and Marcus (Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as back and as great as ever). The pair are faced with the classic dilemma of taking control of the family with one parent, and struggling to conjure up some semblance of motivation without him pushing them. This becomes especially tough with the introduction of Emmett, played wonderfully by Cillian Murphy. Despite Emmett being a loyal and engaging hero, he’s nowhere near the scavenger that Lee was, and he’s consistently second guessing himself, which puts his new charges in jeopardy. Director Krasinski thankfully manages to create some new gut wrenching and intense moments involving sound and the monsters.

The movie has every chance to repeat everything we saw in the original, but he works overtime to avoid those pitfalls, devising new complications and obstacles that will guarantee surefire anxiety and frights. “Part II” is a strong follow up and a great sequel. While the sad delays due to the COVID pandemic threatened to destroy its momentum, it comes out fairly unscathed as a fantastic genre picture, and second act.

While the UHD has no extras, the Blu-Ray includes the majority of the special features, and there is a digital copy included. The ten minutes Director’s Diary: Filming with John Krasinski explores Building a sequel, story and themes, shooting locations, technical details and stunts, editing, and more. Pulling Back the Curtain is a four minutes Look at some story elements, followed by a discussion of the creatures featured in the film.

The six minutes Regan’s Journey discusses Regan’s character: where she was and where she is in this movie. It also offers some basic film details and story element explorations. The five minutes Surviving the Marina explores filmmaking details behind the making of one of the film’s key sequences. Finally, the eight minutes Detectable Disturbance: Visual Effects and Sound Design looks at some of the key audio/visual elements that make the film work.