“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
When it comes to religion and spirituality, it’s difficult to conclude as to what is truly real and what is not. While some live by faith others need factual proof, and that’s perfectly understandable. Alternatively, what is good and what is evil should be a lot easier to determine. However, what about when all the concepts overlap and intertwine? What happens when what seemed black and white is now a hulking gray? Some discriminate, kill, terrorize, and colonize, in the name of religion as if it’s justified and righteous. Seems pretty easy to determine that those things are clearly evil but oddly, it’s not as clear for everyone.
Unfortunately, it’s what divides society, starts fights, and fuels wars. If people accept or understand evil being done in the name of so-called religious benevolence, why not evil that is manipulated by actual evil that comes from that same religion? Every so often, a situation arises that catches the attention of the entire nation and tests the validity of all these ideals. It boils down to personal responsibility versus holy/unholy control. There’s rarely a definitive right answer and if you weren’t there to witness, it’s left up to what you believe in. And that is oftentimes the most terrifying part.
“The court accepts the existence of God every time a witness swears to tell the truth. I think it’s about time they accept the existence of the Devil.”
The latest addition to the Conjuring Universe and third in the Conjuring series, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is both the most sinister and the tamest of them all. Beginning with a pulse-pounding, seat-clinching supernatural scene, it later is unable to match the same level of intensity. Furthermore, like the others being based on true events, this is the first one that transcends a singular household. It also involves a historical court case that I was unaware of. Having plenty of ominous and frightening moments and visuals, sadly, I feel as if they are too spaced out to keep you in a state of fear and uneasiness. I instead was more distracted by its mystery aspect. Nevertheless, the historical impact of this story keeps it interesting. Not to mention, the personal journies that Ed and Lorraine tend to take are always entertaining. This is a story that I find more terrifying afterward when you think about it actually happening and that it really wasn’t that long ago.
The film is shot well and scored perfectly but if you’re looking for a high level of fright, this doesn’t compare to the first two. That being said, this is true light against dark, good versus evil and what we know to be true is questioned. I did somewhat enjoy the film but not much of it was due to its horror aspects. Its rewatchability is medium.
Plot & Pace
As the Warrens attempt to save the soul of a young boy, the powerful demonic presence unknowingly to all, jumps into another body before it can be fully exercised. Eventually, things take a turn for the worse when the person who now hosts the spirit takes a life. The Warrens now have the difficult task of vanquishing a force as they’ve never encountered while helping prove that this evil committed the murder and not the person it inhabits.
Don’t expect the same level of pacing you’re used to from the previous films in the series. Despite its intense start, with the added crime drama aspect the film is a bit of a slow burn.
Characters & Chemistry
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Lorraine and Ed Warren, respectively, have amazing chemistry as always. The love and care they show for one another coupled with their paranormal banishing prowess make them a dynamic pair. We get to see what seems like the full extent of Lorraine’s abilities and how far Ed will go to protect her. Julian Hilliard gives an intense nightmare-inducing performance as David Glatzel. I would’ve liked to see more of Eugenie Bondurant as The Occultist, she came with the creepy but was underutilized. Ruairi O’Connor as Arne is eerie at times but weirdly enough the creepiest person was John Noble as Kastner.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It opens in theatres and IMAX nationwide on June 4, 2021, and will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from the theatrical release. Stay safe and enjoy.
Director: Michael Chaves
Writers: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan
Producers: Peter Safran, p.g.a., James Wan, p.g.a.
Executive Producers: Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Michael Clear, Judson Scott, Michelle Morrissey
Runtime: 1h 52 m
Rating: 3 out of 5
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