Krasinski Before A Quiet Place
I’m not sure how many people would’ve believed you if you’d told them eight years ago that John Krasinski would end up writing and directing one of the biggest horror franchises in recent memory. That being said, with the recent release of A Quiet Place Part II, that is exactly what has happened.
Krasinski, best known for his role on The (US) Office as prankster, romantic Jim Halpert, wasted no time in the years after his run on the show, proving that he was more than just a sitcom actor. Branching out his acting roles, Krasinski became more well-known as an action hero actor with lead roles in both Michael Bay’s action, war film 13 Hours (2016), as well as the Amazon Original Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series.
Likewise, Krasinski explored both writing and directing before the script of A Quiet Place caught his eye. He made his film debut in 2009, writing and directing an adaption of David Foster Wallace’s short story collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. He followed that on by directing three episodes of The Office in the latter stages of its run, co-wrote with Matt Damon Promised Land in 2012, and directed The Hollars in 2016. Needless to say, Krasinski has always had aspirations to explore the various roles within the film industry. By expanding his skillset both behind and in front the camera, Krasinski did what is difficult for any popular sitcom actor to do – reinvent themselves.
*A QUIET PLACE PART II SPOILER ALERT*
A Brief Synopsis
A Quiet Place Part II picks up from where the first film ended. After having discovered the secret to killing the creatures (amplifying the frequency audio of Regan’s (Millicent Simmonds) hearing aids to render the creatures vulnerable) the remaining Abbott family pack their things and go out in search of new place to call home. They quickly come across Emmet (Cillian Murphy), a friend of Lee’s from before the apocalypse. It is whilst hunkering down in Emmet’s bunker that Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe) discover that the song Beyond the Sea is playing continuously over the radio. Regan, quickly coming to the conclusion that the song is indicative of other survivors living on an island just off the shore of the mainland, leaves early the next day, alone, to confirm if her suspicion is true. Discovering that her daughter has left on her own, Evelyn pleads with Emmet to bring her back.
At this point the story breaks into two. Emmet finds Regan on her way to the sea, saving her from one of the creatures and the two decide to find out if there really are survivors on the island. Meanwhile, Evelyn and Marcus struggle to keep the new-born baby alive as the bunker is invaded and attacked by the creatures. The two stories culminate as Regan transmits the high frequency audio from her hearing aids through the radio, not only saving the community of people she discovered on the island from one of the monsters, but also Marcus and Evelyn who play the frequency out their radio to immobilise and kill the creature that is moments away.
Biggest Takeaways from A Quiet Place Part II
I was excited that they’d made a sequel to A Quiet Place. I remember seeing all the posters advertising the film on the side of buses when the pandemic hit the UK in March 2020. The first film ended with a sense of hope. Having found the solution to killing the creatures, the Abbott family were finally ready to kick some ass. They were no longer the hunted but the hunters. We got that from the final shot of the first film when Emily Blunt cocked the shotgun with a hint of a smile on her face. Unfortunately, that attitude didn’t carry over into the sequel. Despite being capable of killing the creatures (they did so repeatedly) it always felt as if the family were once again at the mercy of the creatures. Only at the end, once Regan transmitted the audio frequency over the radio, did we once again have that feeling of hope and a sense that the struggle for survival was far less than before. Ultimately, it felt like little was achieved over the course of the sequel in terms of restoring the collective humans’ ability to survive and it would’ve been satisfying to see the Abbott family venture out with a greater confidence and eagerness to help others. In doing so, the film could have ended with the notion that it is not only the Abbotts who are ready to take back control of the world, but also the communities they encounter on their way. This would’ve been a significant progression from the first film and driven forward the narrative of humans reclaiming the Earth.
On that note, it was nice to see the larger world get fleshed out. The first instalment was completely contained to the Abbott family and the farm area in which they lived. In seeing the family venture out, not only did we learn more about the creatures such as their inability to swim or hear clearly in the rain, but also how other survivors had adapted to the world. On one hand, you had certain people who were benevolent, looking to rebuild a community and a ‘normal’ life. They were keen for this community to grow, transmitting the song Beyond the Sea over the radio to let outsiders know where to find them. On the other hand, you had survivors who had become conniving and barbaric, using children as decoys to lure the good Samaritans of the world only to ambush them, strip them of their belongings, and/or kidnap them for God knows what. For a story that takes a step into the wider world, seeing the various ways in which the surviving humans had adjusted to the apocalypse was incredibly intriguing. Hopefully, in the future instalments of the franchise they continue to build on these elements of the world.
At the end of the day, it’s very easy to tell whether or not people enjoyed A Quiet Place Part II. How you might ask? Simple.
Did people eat during the film or not?
The first film was great at getting the audience to be quiet. The silent tension of the narrative had the power to make people too self-conscious to make any sound whatsoever. Thus, going into the cinema to watch the sequel, I knew that this would be the litmus test to see whether people were engaged with the film or not. Needless to say, the audience was silent from start to finish. Of all the boxes of popcorn that had been bought, not a single person tucked in at any point. That’s how you know that the film was a success. Above all else, A Quiet Place Part II achieved what it was meant to. Just like the characters in the film, we the audience didn’t dare make a sound.
Keep an Eye on Krasinski
All in all, A Quiet Place Part II was an exciting film. It may have had its flaws, but it nonetheless kept you gripped to the edge of your seat throughout. Having taken the franchise forward on his own, Krasinski should be incredibly pleased with how he has progressed the narrative. He has once again proven that he is a capable filmmaker who can elicit an array of emotions in his audience through his craft and write creatively within the projects that he has taken on. Although a third instalment of A Quiet Place has been announced, Krasinski has confirmed that despite coming up with the story of the film, he will not be writing or directing it. Given that Krasinski has yet to write and direct something original, it would be nice to see him move on from the A Quiet Place franchise and take on that challenge. Regardless, of what Krasinski decides to do, we should all keep an eye on what he comes out with next. When someone works as hard as he does to develop his skills as an actor, writer and filmmaker, there is always the potential that his next film is well worth a watch.
Written by Théo Tomas-Brown
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