AQP2 was one of the first films to be cancelled in the pandemic and, rather suitably for an apocalyptic type movie, had its posters up in the deserted tube stations for months. But if you were to pick this one now to herald your return to cinemas, then I think you’d be more than happy with the choice.
Emily Blunt is back, now with her crying baby in a soundproof box so as not to attract the ears of the invading aliens – there’s a taught little flashback sequence at the start to fill us in on what happened – and now she’s trying to survive with her kids and maybe find others. Mostly they’re just trying not to make a noise.
Cillian Murphy’s somewhere in an old factory, hiding in rusting furnaces, occasionally emitting silent smoke. But this film belongs to the hearing-impaired daughter Regan, played by Millicent Simmonds, who discovers how to make the aliens scream, using Bobby Darin and a loud speaker.
This is the perfect to watch with others at the cinema: people will jump and gulp and scream and you’ll feel the tension and have a very good time in the dark. There’s also a hint that this film touches where we all are, after the storm of COVID, altered, wary, on edge, mistrustful of each other but with just enough faith to survive. It’s scary but not a horror, and the cross-cutting sequences are impressively handled, meting out the jump scares and the tension. It could well prove the runaway hit of the summer…just, you know, don’t say it too loudly.