The concept generated by John Krasinski and the creators of A PLACE IN SILENCE It was so effective that the film became an unexpected international hit back in 2018. And it’s no surprise that a sequel has been made from that success. Now, can the impact be replicated once one has already discovered the secrets and tricks that make the film what it is? Is there the possibility of imagining new and original situations that do not force us to repeat ad nauseam what was original at one point? After seeing A SILENT PLACE 2 It will be necessary to say yes and no, that new situations can be imagined but that they may not be enough to replicate the impact. It remains, of course, an effective device for creating suspense. And, in times like this, it is more than enough …
Almost a silent (or whispered) movie for long stretches of its development, A PLACE IN SILENCE it worked from the suspense that could be generated with the slightest noise due to the presence of monsters that attacked depending on the sound. Opening a soda can could mean certain death. And not to mention the crying of a baby. The only option to survive was and still is the most absolute silence, something that the Abbott family handles better than many since their oldest daughter is hard of hearing and they are all used to speaking in sign language.
The sequel starts as a prequel. His intention is to recount the day the creatures arrived destroying everything in their path, with the Abbotts as one of the few families to survive the violent invasion of their city in the middle of their son’s baseball game. In the brutal and spielberguiana Opening scene we will also meet Emmett (Cillian Murphy), father of another local boy, who will reappear when the film continues the events of the previous one that culminated, among other things (SPOILER ALERT if they didn’t see the first part) with the death of Lee (Krasinski), the risky Patriarch Abbott.
His now widow Evelyn (Emily Blunt), his daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), his son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and the newborn baby whose crying always puts them in danger (and who must be silenced in ways not recommended by pediatricians ) now march in silence trying to find a new place to take refuge from the creatures. They’ve already learned a few tricks – like amplifying the sound frequencies emanating from Evelyn’s cochlear implant to drive them away – but the danger is latent. In addition, of course, there are human beings who – as it is becoming clearer with each passing day – can be more dangerous than viruses (sorry, than monsters) when it comes to forcing the protagonists to take precautions and solve problems with intelligence .
Emmett, the first human being they meet on their journey, complicates them since he does not want to know anything about receiving people and sets traps for them. The noises generated by these painful “defense systems” attract the monsters’ attention. But the Abbotts demonstrate their sonic abilities to kill them and the depressed Emmett, a bit reluctantly – there are some past traumas to deal with there – ends up giving them a place in his own bunker, even more suffocating than the one in the previous film.
But soon everyone realizes that it will be very difficult for five people to survive in that airless space and even Emmett himself refuses to give them shelter there. The one who seems to find a solution is Regan, who takes a sound vibration that she hears on a radio frequency as proof that there are survivors elsewhere and goes out determined to find them. Evelyn asks Emmett to bring her back but the girl convinces him to accompany him on the mission. And from then on the plot will be divided – many times through a montage parallel to the edge of the excessive – between the misadventures of Regan and Emmett in the open spaces, and those of Evelyn, Marcus and the baby in the area around the bunker , each with different specific problems and complications.
The logic of A SILENT PLACE 2 It has something of the cinema of M. Night Shyamalan but, in turn, flirts with serial mechanisms like those of THE WALKING DEAD. Although the minimalism of the actions generate a tense climate and fear can explode with the slightest noise at the most uncomfortable moment, at the same time the sequence of actions suggests that these types of adventures can stretch for seasons and seasons of a year. Serie. Somehow, when you finish watching it, one has the impression that Krasinski will be in charge of a third film and that from then on some showrunner will be dedicated to exploiting the franchise until the unbearable.
But as long as the filmmaker is in charge of the matter, the saga seems to be in good hands. As a seasoned genre director, good old Jim Halpert from THE OFFICE continues to demonstrate his talent for generating suspense with minimal movements, uncomfortable noises, surprise appearances and abrasive sounds that shake everything up. To that he adds an undoubted empathy with the protagonists and their future. And the movie earns extra points by making Regan end up being the great protagonist: the bravest, the one with the best ideas and the one who manages to imagine solutions to all kinds of problems.
The plot may continue to have its “holes” and its somewhat inexplicable situations (viewers will be left wondering, as in the previous film, what are the real capabilities of the invaders and how certain ideas that appear no one came up with before) , but a bit like it happens with Shyamalan’s films, the important thing is that the viewer gets inside the tense and anguishing world that is created by the image and, especially, the sound, handled with absolute and unnerving expertise.
It’s true. The logic can be a bit implausible especially in some sequences, but it is a somewhat secondary matter when the staging convinces and the terror catches. Minutes, perhaps hours later, one can doubt certain logical inconsistencies. But the magic of cinema goes through that old trick of achieving that, at least for the duration of a movie, suspend the disbelief of the spectator. And that, in A SILENT PLACE 2, is more than achieved. One enters fully into the proposal. And he goes through it, covering his mouth … just in case.