Two years ago, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place became an unexpected phenomenon, earning rave reviews (95% on the Tomatometer), grossing more than 0 million worldwide, and even receiving an Oscar nomination for its invaluable sound design. Who knew Jim from The Office had it in him? But could it launch a franchise? Working well as a small-scale standalone sci-fi horror movie, it didn’t need a continuation.Well, Krasinski went ahead and wrote and directed another one anyway, and apparently that’s a good thing, since the first reactions to A Quiet Place Part II are entirely positive. Most of the social media commentary following the first press screenings are about how the follow-up builds upon the original while also celebrating the performances of returning actress Millicent Simmonds and franchise newcomer Cillian Murphy.Here’s what critics are saying about A Quiet Place Part II:How does it compare to the first movie?A worthy, world-expanding followup that builds on the original and finds its own thrills, chills, and emotions in the process. Kate Erbland, IndieWireA savagely unfurled sequel… smartly employs sound and silence like the first. But best of all, it builds the world and grows the characters in thoughtful, grounded, and riveting ways. Kristy Puchko, PajibaIt’s a great sequel that expands the world. Steve Weintraub, ColliderFinds exciting ways to further explore this terrifying environment, and is bigger… deserves to be a MASSIVE hit. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendBuilds upon the story from the first film in some unexpected/inspired ways. Heather Wixson, Daily DeadNot at all what I expected, and that s a great thing. A very creative sequel that goes to some unexpected and satisfying places. Megan Navarro, Bloody DisgustingIn what could easily have been a retread, John Krasinski finds unbelievably creative ways to keep the movie’s niche from getting stale… riveting from top to bottom. Chris Killian, ComicBook.com(Photo by Paramount Pictures)How tense is it?TENSE AS HELL. Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendIncredibly tense. Heather Wixson, Daily DeadSpine-tingling. Tense. Kristy Puchko, Pajiba Tension: The Movie. I have a stomach ache now from how tense this movie is. Mike Ryan, UproxxHad me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Steve Weintraub, ColliderWho stands out this time?Millicent Simmonds really comes into her own her with a truly phenomenal performance… She’s sooooooo good! Heather Wixson, Daily DeadMillicent Simmonds is phenomenal. Kristy Puchko, PajibaBravo Millicent Simmonds. Megan Navarro, Bloody DisgustingAnd what about the addition of Cillian Murphy?Cillian Murphy RULES. Heather Wixson, Daily DeadSteals the movie. Chris Killian, ComicBook.comThis turned out to be a surprisingly great Cillian Murphy movie… he’s basically the main character. Mike Ryan, UproxxHe and Millicent Simmonds truly steal the film. Noah Jupe is great too. Erik Davis, Fandango(Photo by Paramount Pictures)How is John Krasinski s directing?How does John Krasinski already have Spielberg-level chops?? Sean O Connell, CinemaBlendHe’s very much a natural. Heather Wixson, Daily DeadBravo, John Krasinski. So good, so emotional, too. Erik Davis, FandangoAnd Marco Beltrami s Score?He nails it, again! Megan Navarro, Bloody DisgustingVery good, again with fantastic sound design. Erik Davis, FandangoAre we going to want another sequel?When it ended, wanted more. Is it too early to talk about A Quiet Place Part III? Steve Weintraub, ColliderA Quiet Place Part II opens on March 20.
Jacqueline Coley for Rotten Tomatoes: You have been quietly doing some amazing work recently. We loved Mudbound, and then there was First Man. But the one we loved that not as many people saw was Chappaquiddick. It was incredible and quite a transformation for you. Jason Clarke: Oh yeah, Chappaquiddick. Thank you. It got a bit lost, but at the same point, it made million in the U.S. It was one of the highest grossing independent films of that year. People saw it. People didn t talk about it, because it s pretty difficult to talk about for a lot of the media in the current environment. It will stand the test of time.RT: Moving to Pet Sematary are you a scary movie person? A horror person?Clarke: To be honest, not hugely so, although some of my favorite movies are. You know, I wouldn t term them as horror, like The Hunt. That film terrorized me. It s very creepy watching. It s extraordinary but not horror. RT: We just had the premiere here at SXSW. What was it like, seeing it last night? Because the audiences here are legendary for their reactions.Clarke: It was insane. Really. It struck me as how rarely I go to a cinema now and watch a movie with a group of people. I m always watching them by myself, with my wife, maybe with a couple of people, or with my child. To watch something with a thousand people was wonderful. You remember that s what cinema is about. For an actor, it s almost like the theater. You re sitting in the same air. I was able to see people s reactions. I could feel the love and enjoyment. I couldn t help but think, I need more of this. Like, my God, I might need to do a play again. It s the connection to the people, because acting [on film sets], you lose that.RT: Do you think that is particularly because horror is such a reactive genre?Clarke: You know, it s cinema, it s a director s medium, and whatever anyone says, you know it s their vision, particularly with horror. The audience watches it to feel it. And last night, I felt it, you know, but that s not in every horror flick. I think horror s not enough for this film. It s not enough to say when it s Stephen King.Pet Sematary opens on April 5.