A Quiet Place was the perfect kind of box office hit. It came in slightly under the radar, quietly (no pun intended) built a following, and ended up grossing over $340 million worldwide. Not bad for a modestly budgeted, horror/suspense/sci-fi mashup that relied on ambiance and atmosphere. Writer, director, and star John Krasinski created something rare: a film that surprised audiences. For a few reasons, I am hopeful A Quiet Place Part II will be equally as surprising.
Reason Number One: I love A Quiet Place
Sadly, I was unable to see A Quiet Place in theaters. Looking back on that time, I’m not sure what kept me from going to see it. I know I wanted to, that’s for sure. Regardless, I missed the theatrical release and had to watch it at home. Even with that less-than-optimal viewing setup, the film blew me away. I loved the concept, the style, the use of sound and silence. But, more importantly, I loved the family at the center of the story. The Abbott family is instantly endearing. John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe are not only believable as a family unit, but they each give profound and emotionally devastating performances. The Abbotts have our whole heart from the very beginning of the film. We care about them, which makes everything they go through mean more and hit harder. At its core, A Quiet Place is a love letter to family, and I’ve made no secret about how that sort of thing affects me.
So, of course I want to see the sequel succeed. Some of my favorite films are sequels, but there is a lot of risk associated with following up a well-loved film. I am truly hopeful that the makers of A Quiet Place Part II are able to avoid the pitfalls that snare so many other filmmakers. I love A Quiet Place, and I hope the sequel will continue the story of the Abbotts with style and grace.
Reason Number Two: My family loves A Quiet Place
This might not seem much different than Reason Number One, but stick with me for a moment. There are many films I love which I have yet to introduce to my kids – either because they are not ready for them yet or I want them to discover them on their own.
My middle son has developed a taste for horror films, and I’m slowly introducing him to some of my favorite titles. He begged to see A Quiet Place after watching the trailer. I finally consented, and he loved it.
My oldest son hates horror films or anything scary. He’s like his mother that way. Yet, somehow, his friends convinced him to watch it one evening, and he loved it. A short time later, we convinced my wife to watch it, and she enjoyed it as well.
While A Quiet Place is a horror film, it’s not horrific in the traditional manner of speaking. It doesn’t focus on blood, gore, and evil. Its sights are set on something much greater and more lasting. For my money, horror films work best when they engage our hearts and our minds. If a film can build up suspense through clever camera work, perfect sound design, and concern for the characters, there is no need for blood and guts. A Quiet Place excels in all those areas. That is why my boys fell in love with it.
I’m rooting for A Quiet Place Part II because I want to experience those same thrills, the same highs and lows, the same emotional impact with my family. That shared experience is something I will always treasure.
Reason Number Three: I love going to the movies
Some of my favorite experiences have been in a movie theater. I know that might sound absurd to some people, my wife included, but it’s true. I love the theater experience. There is almost nothing else like it. The giant screen. The sound coming at you from all sides and angles. The impact of seeing a great film with a group of likeminded strangers is unmatched as far as far as I’m concerned. It’s a communal experience that is difficult to top.
I remember diving to Chattanooga to see The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – all three films back-to-back-to-back with good friends, Ben Plunkett and Craig Batts. We watched three magnificent films with an audience of die-hard Tolkien fans, and it couldn’t have been any more wonderful. I remember walking out of the theater after watching the movie Gattaca with Ben Plunkett and deciding to go right back in and watch it again immediately; the film was that profound of an experience for both of us.
There are some great home theater setups, and I get the argument for watching movies in the comfort of home; but even the best home viewing comes up short to the experience provided by a good theater. Due to theaters closing out of precaution for COVID-19, going to the theater has been a rare experience for most of us. A Quiet Place Part II is the perfect excuse to fix that. Which leads me to my next point.
Reason Number Four: A chance to get back to normal
I don’t want to get political. That is not something we do much here at Rambling Ever On. But, I do think it’s time we start to reclaim the things we have lost or given up due to the pandemic. Going to the theater has been impossible for much of the past year – either due to theaters closing temporarily or the general lack of movies to watch. That changes this weekend.
A Quiet Place Part II is truly the first “must-see” film to hit the big screen since early 2020. Sure, there have been other films in the theater – Kong vs. Godzilla, Mortal Kombat, and other smaller titles – but none of those brought along the goodwill and love of a fanbase. None of those films held the promise of pure movie magic like A Quiet Place Part II does.
I hope this is the weekend where movie fans finally decide they’ve waited long enough. That it’s time to go to the theater again. I hope A Quiet Place Part II is just the film to help people make that decision.
Reason Number Five: Everyone is watching
While this point is tied in with reasons 3 and 4, it’s bigger than that. There is a movement to end the theater experience as we know it. Movie studios are moving to online streaming due to cost, profitability, and convenience. I get it. In a lot of ways, online streaming is the future, and I can see the value of it. But, it does something to how we consume films or television. It cheapens it in a manner of speaking. It makes it all about convenience and ease, and takes out the sense of wonder and anticipation.
All the big hitters are paying attention to how A Quiet Place Part II performs this weekend and for the long haul. Studios and theaters want to see if the country is ready to come back to the movies. Or, has COVID and streaming killed what was left of that market?
I know this won’t be a big deal to many. There are plenty of people who couldn’t care less about movies, theaters, or any of the rest. Again, I get that. But, for those of us who love movies and the theater experience, the possibility of losing them in this form is very sad. Personally, I don’t want to see our society devolve into a Wall-E future, where everyone is isolated and alone. I don’t want to be given every reason to stay at home and never experience something with other people. This is a distinct likelihood, and it strikes me as a thoroughly unpleasant and depressing one. A Quiet Place Part II isn’t going to change all of that but it might just hold that bleak future at bay for a little bit longer. I am going to do my part to help. See you at the movies.