The Warrens have been a fixture in the horror genre since 2013. The third part of their series also fell victim to the pandemic, but this way visitors will still see familiar faces when they return to the cinema. Not everything changes, but in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It they take a slightly different tack in terms of story. For me there is still no wear on the formula.
Who you gonna call?
For those who haven’t seen the movies, perhaps the most important fact is that they are actually based on true events. Ed and Lorraine Warren were American paranormal investigators. They mainly investigated cases of people who were infested by spirits or demons. Their best-known cases spanned the late 1960s through the late 1980s. The one that the most recent movie, subtitled The Devil Made Me Do It , is about, is also listed on their Wikipedia page as one of the most famous. : Arne Johnson.
Initially, Ed and Lorraine are asked to attend the exorcism of little David Gatzel. But during the ritual, Arne asks the demon to replace David. Yet everyone thinks the devil is gone. But those boys won’t let themselves be told twice, so Arne soon begins to see and experience strange things. In the end, he completely loses control, with dramatic consequences. Ed was already weakened by a heart attack after the first exorcism, but he and Lorraine can’t resist trying to help with the lawsuit that awaits Arne. He pleads innocent by demonic possession, and Ed and Lorraine have to prove that with evidence. But that quest also takes a personal turn.
James Wan, who directed the first and second Conjuring films, will pass that role on to Michael Chaves, best known for The Curse of La Llorona . But since The Conjuring 2 and spin-off The Nun , he remains involved in the storytelling process. That probably gave me the confidence to ditch the haunted house stories for a while and focus on another aspect of the occult: the curse. That ensures that there is a bit more plot, and plot twists, than in the other parts. However, you should not expect them to reinvent hot water here.
At the same time, I also find this one less scary. The fact of the spirits that can do something at any moment is therefore less present here. As a result, there are fewer jump scares, and perhaps some more artificial moments are stretched to cause tension. It turns out to be effective but a little less spontaneous. It is good that in this film they also focus more on practical effects. Exorcisms often involve extreme movements, and apparently a twelve-year-old contortionist was called in for the opening scene. Strong ass though.
Farmiga & Wilson 4 ever
In addition to Farmiga and Wilson, Shannon Kook returns as Drew’s assistant. There are also some new guest actors joining the cast. Ruari O’Connor plays the hapless Arne while Sara Catherine Hook (both relative newcomers) as Debbie assists Ed and Lorraine to help him. They do that quite well because I was interested in how they ended up, and that’s not the case in every horror movie. In addition, we also see Julian Hilliard as little David, who is increasingly impressing after The Haunting Of Hill House and recently WandaVision . But legend John Nobel ( Fringe , Lord Of The Rings ) also appears here as a helpful priest at first sight.
But what always attracts me to The Conjuring franchise are the two protagonists. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are great actors individually, but their chemistry in this series is really excellent. They have been working together for some time now, and it really shows. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It also focuses more than ever on the relationship of the Warrens, which was a good move for me. The more I see these two together, the better. (If you google “Patrick Wilson Vera Farmiga” the second suggestion will be “chemistry” so I’m not alone!)
You rarely see a successful marriage in a franchise, so that is unique in itself. There are more and more fun moments between the two of them. For example, look forward to the moment when Lorraine has to go into a dark basement alone, and she puts Ed in his place with her handbag. In short, as long as the acting duo stays with the series, I want to continue to shudder with them.
In the third chapter of The Conjuring, the Warrens trade the haunted house for the phenomenon of the curse. That might make the result a little less scary and ominous, but it does bring some variation to the story. The stable attraction remains the chemistry between protagonists Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.