Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
Traveling three hours to watch this press screening felt like quite the commitment (S/O to Kentucky not having screenings), but I felt so content with that decision after walking out of the theater. Not only is this a brilliant theatrical experience, but it is a genuinely well constructed movie with unexpected turns that feel consistent with the characters we know. The opening throws us back to the beginning of it all, and it is as thrilling as expected. Moving past that into the second act feels familiar, as we essentially go right back to what made the first so special. It was entertaining, but part of me hoped that the film would begin to switch things up. Sure enough, it did, and the journey from then on was excellent. It may go down as the theatrical experience of the year.
Krasinski is even better behind the camera this time around, and you can feel his growth from the first film to the second. He is growing with each project, and there is a ton to get excited about when it comes to his work. The cast is just as good here, and Millicent Simmonds gets a chance to carry some of these scenes solely on her shoulders. Cillian Murphy adds an extra dimension to this story that it needed, and the world itself is expanding in a way that feels natural. As we learn more about this invasion, we are treated to scenes that make the first film even better. The fact that there are more than two effective (non-lazy) jump scares in here is fantastic, and each horrific element implemented sticks with you. One or two scenes could have been shortened, but they at least provided some thrills.
My main criticism comes with the occasional dumb decision from a character. There is a moment where a character is running when they could just do “something” to protect themselves, yet they keep running. These moments are few and far in between, but they are unfortunately present. Otherwise, this sequel makes the necessary improvements on its predecessor. It may not pack the exact same punch as the first, but it progresses this story in the best way imaginable. There are so many aspects that I want to know more about, and certain new characters have so many fascinating things about them that could be built upon in the future. Each set piece is epic, the sound design is absolutely flawless, and that legendary score (and occasionally lack there of) is back. The ending is so beautifully edited, and although it ends quick like the first, it leaves you wanting more immediately. This universe is one I want to keep coming back to, and this film delivered on all of the hype.
🔙A Quiet Place♻️