A Quiet Place Part II ending explained – who lives and who dies?

June 1, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Ending Explained

This article contains major spoilers for the A Quiet Place Part II ending. You can check out our spoiler-free review by clicking these words.

A Quiet Place Part II is one of the rare sequels that manages to rekindle a lot of what made its predecessor great. While it might lack that film’s sense of novelty and freshness, it inherits its precision-tooled suspense, attention to detail, and impressive performances, especially from Millicent Simmonds as Regan, who has now been promoted to the lead, and Cillian Murphy as Emmett, who largely replaces writer-director John Krasinski in the role of grizzled patriarch.

Part of the film’s appeal is that it picks up right where the first film’s rather ambiguous ending left off and works as a direct continuation of its storyline, character arcs, and themes. Well, it picks up there after a flashback prologue depicting the very first day when the spidery aliens came crashing down to Earth, 473 days – at least according the film’s own title cards – prior to when the rest of the film takes place. This opener is strikingly good from a technical standpoint but has little bearing on the narrative besides introducing family man Emmett, whom Evelyn (Emily Blunt) runs into with Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe) after leaving the family’s flooded, ruined house with a new baby in tow following the first film’s dynamite climax.

Emmett has been living in a bunker all that time (his fires were glimpsed in A Quiet Place) following the death of his son in the prologue and the death of his wife eleven weeks ago from an unspecified illness. In his isolation – the obvious topicality of a family emerging from lockdown in our current climate is worth mentioning – Emmett has become reclusive and cynical, believing that the people left aren’t worth saving.

Of course, his attitude is challenged when Regan, believing she can track a looped radio signal back to an island, sets out alone. Evelyn, struggling with her new baby and Marcus’s stupidity, sends a reluctant Emmett to find and help her, which quickly, for him, becomes an opportunity for redemption after being unable to save his own family. An encounter with some survivors at the docks – one of whom looks like Jesus – tips Emmett and Regan, and indeed the audience, off to the fact that the extra-terrestrials can’t swim, which makes the prospect of an isolated island rather tempting. This is all cross-cut with Evelyn trying to save her baby and Marcus after the latter’s braindead impulsivity almost gets all of them killed by both alien and suffocation – if the sequence wasn’t so effectively tense I’d be a lot more annoyed at it.

Anyway, Regan and Emmett make their way to the island, where a community including Djimon Hounsou – credited, somewhat hilariously though not inaccurately as Man on Island – has been sitting pretty after being relocated by the National Guard, who also discovered that the aliens weren’t able to travel through the water. Predictable chaos ensued which only resulted in two boats making it to the destination, so the community is small and woefully ill-equipped for the arrival of one of the monsters who hitched a ride on Regan and Emmett’s boat.

In the chaos, and with help from Hounsou, Emmett and Regan flee to the radio station broadcasting “Under the Sea”, where Regan is able to broadcast the feedback from her hearing aid, which not only saves her and Emmett but also Evelyn, Marcus, and the baby, all of whom had been cornered by one of the aliens. The feedback plays through their radio and Marcus is able to perform his one useful act of the entire movie, which is to shoot the thing in the face.

That, though, is where the A Quiet Place Part II ending leaves things. Right now, we don’t know how far the feedback is being broadcast, or whether Regan and Emmett will be able to get off the island (or whether Evelyn and Marcus will be able to get out there to join them.) We’re also still lacking answers to some of the big worldbuilding questions, such as where the aliens came from in the first place and what they’re after. It must be said, though, that I don’t think knowing those things particularly matters. This highly suspenseful and effective second outing focuses on the important things and is a perfectly viable follow-up as a result.

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