71 percent of the Earth’s surface is made up of water. It’s no surprise, then, that this green and blue rock of ours the only (known) planet in our solar system teeming with life. But science-fiction stories frequently speculate on the existence of life beyond our borders — and certain stories give us earthlings a natural advantage over our hostile visitors.
A Quiet Place Part II, the very good sequel to 2018’s A Quiet Place from director John Krasinski, reveals a new weakness of the advanced aliens whose ability to hear and pinpoint sounds is, quite literally, out of this world. And it’s the very thing that gives us life: water.
Warning! Spoilers for A Quiet Place Part II ahead.
“Somewhere, beyond the sea”
In A Quiet Place Part II, the surviving members of the Abbot family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe) pack up and leave to seek a safe home elsewhere. They soon run into an old family friend, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who eventually helps Regan find a community of survivors living comfortably on an island.
As only some have discovered, the aliens — who still do not have a formal name — have an aversion to large bodies of water. In other words, they can’t swim. That makes little islands like the one Regan and Emmett discover a refuge from never-ending danger. For all the aliens’ inhuman powers and physical prowess, there are some islands they’ve simply never been to.
Quiet Place 2 vs. Signs
Geriatric millennials with memories of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs will remember how water was like acid to its invading aliens. This drew criticism from lore hounds who questioned why a species would choose to invade a planet quite literally covered in water, not to mention all the water that exists in our air and atmosphere. If water is really that bad for aliens, they’d be wise to avoid rainy Seattle or humid New Jersey in the summer. (This, of course, glosses over the movie’s thoughtful themes and religious imagery, evidenced by its main protagonist of an ex-priest played by Mel Gibson, and the symbolic ways water exists in Catholicism.)
But things are a little different in A Quiet Place Part II than in Signs. Based on visual evidence in the movie, water isn’t alien Kryptonite like in Signs — a fully loaded SuperSoaker isn’t the most powerful thing one could wield in this post-apocalypse. We know this based on a scene later in the movie when Emily Blunt’s Evelyn activates a sprinkler system to sneak past an alien, which shows no allergy towards the water itself. Only the noise it generates as water droplets fall all around them.
Rather, it’s large bodies of water the aliens in A Quiet Place 2 can’t overcome. And it seems to be less about water as a damaging property than it is a nuisance. Think of certain cat breeds and their annoyance to water. The aliens in A Quiet Place aren’t “weak” to water, they just really hate it.
What Quiet Place 2 tells us about the aliens
A Quiet Place isn’t a film series too eager to expand on its alien lore. Like Signs, the filmmakers recognize that the less known about the aliens, the better the story works. In behind-the-scenes material released by Paramount, John Krasinski confessed he had “no intention” of ever doing a sequel after 2018’s A Quiet Place.
“This was never designed to be a franchise,” he said. “Yet I think the power of the world is the thing that makes it so possible to delve into it again.”
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Blunt agreed.
“I think all you need to know is that they invade,” she said. “They invade, that’s what they do. And so, why they invade is sort of irrelevant to me because the movie’s not about the creatures. It’s about humanity, and how humanity survives.”
Still, what little the filmmakers have revealed about the aliens is ripe for speculation. The fact they’re averse to water suggests their planet may be devoid of the stuff. Or, alternatively, they find water to be a hindrance to their ability to hunt and feed.
Sort of, again, like cats. In a July 2020 story on Reader’s Digest, Dr. Eve Elektra Cohen, a veterinary consultant, said cats find being wet a severe discomfort that throws them off their game, so to speak.
“When a cat becomes wet, their hair is heavier, colder, and uncomfortable,” Dr. Cohen said. “[C]ats are quick and nimble creatures, light on their feet and adept at jumping and balancing. In water, they may feel a loss of control as it slows them down.”
As for why the aliens find themselves on Earth, that’s another question open for guessing. But until someone else takes the helm of A Quiet Place, Krasinski is set on focusing his lens on the humans.
A Quiet Place Part II is now playing in theaters.