UK Release of “A Quiet Place Part II” Criticized Over Shortage of Subtitled Screenings

An issue that could probably have been anticipated

"A Quiet Place Part II"
General atmosphere at the "A Quiet Place Part II" London Screening.
Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

The horror film A Quiet Place Part II has earned substantial acclaim since its release, with a number of glowing reviews singling out the work of Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds, who reprises her role from the 2018 film. While much of the first film involved its characters communicating using sign language, the sequel makes use of more dialogue; one review noted that it “has got approximately triple the amount of dialogue as the original.”

This, however, has sparked some controversy over Paramount’s plan for distributing the film. IndieWire reports that in the United Kingdom, the National Deaf Children’s Society has criticized the studio for not offering subtitles on more prints of the film.

Writing at IndieWire, Zack Sharf offers some alarming statistics. Of the theaters in the UK where the film was screened, 41% offered screenings with subtitles. Sharf adds that, of these, “around 50 percent were before 6 p.m. and only a handful were available on weekend dates.”

Beccy Forrow, the campaign lead for the National Deaf Children’s Society, argued in an interview with Metro that the studio’s strategy didn’t make good business sense. “Cinemas have no doubt struggled during the pandemic, but increasing the number of subtitled showings could actually attract a brand new group of customers,” Forrow said.

For their part, the organization Cinema UK stated that the lower number of subtitled screenings was a result of the pandemic and its aftereffects. “The reality is that building back to where we were on such shows and remaining economically viable will take some time,” said a spokesperson for the organization. Finding the right balance isn’t going to be easy — but demand for subtitled screenings of this film seems like something that could have easily been anticipated.

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