While looking at these two contrasting horror films, we explore the differences, successes and failings of both the fictional and non-fictional.
A Quiet Place II shows both beforehand as well as the aftermath of its prequel, giving us an insight into both how the apocalypse began and how the Abbott family continued to try to survive. Through this, we see how the breakthrough that is revealed in its preceding film is utilised to escalate the plot from Regan Abbott initially saving her family, to ultimately saving humanity (spoiler alert!). While the film can be seen as necessary for background context and further closure, the film ultimately fails to maintain the same standard of sci-fi elements from its prequel as well as the emotional connections as seen in the relationship between Regan, Lee and Beau. Despite outstanding acting from its central characters such as Emily Blunt and the replaced lead male role played by Cillian Murphy (is there any accent that man can’t do?), the flaws of the film ultimately lie in the plot itself. Through this, the abundance of context and desperation for resolution toward the end of the film only ruins A Quiet Place by making a fairly believable plot ultimately unrealistic.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It differs from both of its preceding films in numerous ways and ultimately proves to be the best of the Conjuring series so far. The third instalment puts its own spin on the horror film genre as the series shifts from using a central phantom presence as the mode of terror to making the antagonist human. As the film centres around the 1981 Arne Johnson case, we see Ed and Lorraine explore the topic of occultism within the courtroom, as they have to convince law officials of the existence of the paranormal, with a man’s life depending on it. This shifts the focus from the general ‘haunted house’ script to the only more real narrative of the paranormal being everywhere. In exploring avenues of horror outside the confines of a singular setting and paranormal antagonist, the third Conjuring installation proves ultimately that in exploring further depths of realism, this reflects upon the film itself, boosting its already stellar reputation among the horror genre. The film essentially exceeds expectations in offering the series a new narrative through investigative crime elements and proves that it is not merely known as a jump-scare horror.
While A Quiet Place II does maintain the edge-of-your-seat apprehension that comes with the jolt-worthy scenes as seen in the first film, this is ultimately the only feature that carries the film. The film tries too hard to create a satisfying resolution and in doing so, sacrifices realism (as if blind aliens killing and eating the majority of mankind isn’t unrealistic enough). Yet as we go along with the fictional plotline, it perhaps even lets its preceding film down in its failure to include the same elements of sci-fi intelligence as well as the emotional grasp that is evident in its first film. The Conjuring 3 shows to be the better of the two in its ability to develop the plot beyond the realm of an individual context of horror while also maintaining its core subject matter. In this manner, the Conjuring 3 is the better of the two however you may want to sleep with a light on after watching either!
A Quiet Place II: 2 stars
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It: 4 stars
Ciara Farrell – Film & TV Writer