For a sequel that was never meant to be, Emily Blunt is riding high. Her film, the follow-up to a surprise 2018 horror hit, finds itself sitting in the top spot on Paramount+.
A Quiet Place Part II stars Emily Blunt as Evelyn Abbott, mother to Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe), and her newborn baby. The film picks up immediately after the end of the first film by way of telling the brief story of how the alien creatures invaded Earth.
The prequel portion brings back John Krasinski as Evelyn’s husband Lee and finds the Abbott family at a little league baseball game. While there, the spectators notice a strange cloud falling quickly from the sky. In a panic, people begin to rush out of the park, only to be greeted by extraterrestrial creatures who promptly slaughter everything in their path. Unbeknownst to all, the creatures are blind and hunt with hypersensitive hearing.
As we catch up with the remaining Abbot family, they had just discovered (after the heroic death of Lee) that the creatures react poorly to high-frequency audio feedback to the tune of their heads exploding. With that information in hand, the Abbott’s are off to find survivors as well as devise a device big enough and loud enough to start killing large numbers of the violent creatures.
The Abbott’s search begins as they approach a fenced-off area near an abandoned steel factory. Evelyn accidentally sets off an alarm, alerting the creatures and while trying to escape, Marcus steps into a bear trap. His painful screams bring a creature to them.
As all looks lost, one of the Abbott’s old friends, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), appears and rescues them by taking them to his sound-proof underground hideout.
While in the hideout, a now recovering Marcus hears the song “Beyond the Sea” on Emmett’s radio which prompts Regan to think the song is being aired from a nearby island. She feels that if she can get to the island, she can broadcast the high-frequency noise, allowing other survivors to weaponize their signal.
Regan decides to go about it on her own. When Evelyn discovers Regan gone, she begs Emmett to find Regan and help her complete her mission.
Emmett is able to track down Regan, but their progress is halted by a group of crazed humans. As the humans reveal their bad intentions, Emmett makes enough noise to attract creatures, who end up slaughtering the bad guys. During the battle, one of the creatures falls into the water and promptly drowns. The creatures can’t swim.
As Emmett and Regan make their way to the island, Evelyn is off to find much-needed medical supplies for Marcus. While she is gone, Marcus decides to explore the abandoned steel factory, leaving his newborn sibling below in the soundproof container.
Marcus is startled by what he finds, making a loud enough noise to gain the attention of a creature. Barely making it to his newborn sibling in time, Marcus accidentally locks them both in the soundproof container, one that only has an hour of oxygen.
Emmett and Regan finally make it to the island. They meet survivors on the island and are prepared to implement the plan of broadcasting the high-frequency noise when a creature, who found its way to the island via one of the bad guy’s boats, attacks.
John Krasinski never intended to bring back his A Quiet Place family for a second go-around. He felt the first movie told a complete story and looked at it as a “one-off.” Paramount, though, saw dollar signs and the potential for a franchise based on the first film’s major success. As Krasinski has no interest in a sequel, he politely told Paramount they would need to find a new director and screenwriter.
Paramount did their due diligence but found the new writers or directors they spoke with not to their liking. The ideas floated were too monster movie-oriented and not the family in peril world that Krasinski had created.
Then Krasinski had an idea. It was a small nugget, but one he thought might work. “I had this small idea, which was to make Millie [Simmonds] the lead of the movie,” says Krasinki via Variety. “Not only did I think she would give an amazing performance, which I knew she could do, her character opens the door to all the themes I was dealing with in the first movie.”
But in Krasinski’s eyes, he had one huge problem. That was trying to convince his wife to return for the sequel. Turns out, his fears were unfounded. “He pitched me the opening, and I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ [It was] undeniably great, and I realized I would have been an idiot not to want to be in that opening sequence,” Emily Blunt said.
In Emily Blunt’s eyes, the problem she saw was trying to outdo the first film. “You’d want it to match and be loyal to the tone of it [A Quiet Place],” she explains. “Our world expands and gets bigger, but it has the same intense muscularity of the first one.”
While the film is without a doubt a horror film with plenty of jumps and peril, Krasinski explains how he ultimately sees it, “If the first movie is from the parents to the kids, this is the love letter from the kids to the parents,” Krasinski said. “It’s a letter of dreams and hopes. I hope [my children are] this brave, and I hope they’re this courageous, and I hope they’re the ones that, when time gets dark, they’re cool enough to light the candle.”
Krasinski was given a much bigger budget for the sequel and while it wasn’t as big a hit (possibly due to the film’s ever-changing release date as well as COVID restrictions), the film did fare well at the box office, bringing in $350 million.
The unquestionable key, though, was getting Emily Blunt to return to her role. Not only was she coming off the success of the first film, but Blunt was also riding high with Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. Blunt followed A Quiet Place II with the rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme, co-starring opposite Jamie Dornan and Jon Hamm, and now has the Disney film Jungle Cruise out in cineplexes across the globe.
Right now you can see Emily Blunt in the tense sequel, A Quiet Place II, showing on Paramount+.