It's not perfect, but this admirable horror sequel -- impeccably, skillfully directed by John Krasinski -- operates with meticulous use of sound and editing. In A Quiet Place Part II, Krasinski briefly appears as Lee in a prologue/flashback, showing the first day of the monster invasion. It's a taut sequence, recalling the early scenes of Hitchcock's The Birds by using commonplace things for suspense. But the movie, released at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic, is even more powerful given its pre-attack images of a community together, hugging, sharing food, and gathering for a ball game. Then the story jumps ahead to right after A Quiet Place, where images of masks and a Johnson & Johnson first aid kit feel eerily recognizable.
Even if the overall story is somewhat familiar in spots, Krasinski creates beautiful cross-cutting sequences, wherein images rhyme and build upon one another, working in perfect harmony. One moment, with two simultaneous gasps for fresh air, is almost intoxicating. The soundtrack is focused on sounds -- whistling wind, clanging metal, dripping water, etc. -- turning them into a kind of language all its own. Simmonds' Regan, who is deaf (both in real life and in the film) provides opportunities for even more intricate sound design, as the movie shows what her experiences might be like; she's a powerful role model, not only for the Deaf community. It may once have been "just" a horror sequel, but thanks to the timing of its release, A Quiet Place Part II becomes a symbol for returning back to life.