By Minreet Kaur
I had the privilege of watching The Conjuring: The Devil made me do it. I wasn’t very impressed to be honest. James Wan had bigger plans the series, he didn’t want a straightforward set of horror movies.
I remember watching the Conjuring back in 2013 and that really left me scared and having nightmares for a while and I was on the edge of my seat.
The storyline: Back in 1981, Johnson killed his landlord and when it came to the trial, he claimed demonic possession as a defence to his actions. It was believed the demon came from a previous exorcism of David Glatzel, the younger brother of Johnson’s girlfriend Debbie, where both he and the Warrens were in attendance.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do opens with an intense scene, it’s quite terrifying whether you believe in demons or not. Centred on the exorcism of David Glatzel and sees director Michael Chaves unashamedly lean into The Exorcist, right down to the arrival of the priest, and it’ll satisfy any horror fan but it didn’t me I am afraid to say, maybe that’s because I just felt the camouflaged makeup was just so fake and I just found it noisier and more unexpected than I did a horror. It just felt very predictable what was going to happen scene to scene.
There are some impressive practical effects, it’s a breathless start and that this isn’t a typical Conjuring movie as the Warrens don’t succeed. The effects of that failure see Johnson (played by Ruairi O’Connor) plagued by the same demon that had a hold on David Glatzel, eventually leading to Johnson fatally stabbing his landlord.
As in the previous Conjuring movies, the plot sets up the scares and also delves into the relationship between Ed and Lorraine Warren. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are terrific, unsurprisingly, and it’s nice to see that the third movie sees Farmiga take on a more central role. There are some sweet moments between the two that add to the heightened emotion of the finale.
What’s interesting is that we know both of them are going to be OK, yet their committed performances mean we’re always nervous. Chaves puts them in some brilliantly-crafted set pieces, including an unforgettable morgue sequence, that test the pair to their limits and they never fail. Horror performances aren’t recognised enough, and Wilson and Farmiga deserve every plaudit going.
While their investigation is mostly fictional, it does show some fascinating insight into how the Warrens started to work more with police on these kinds of cases. It brings a new angle to the series as we’re not seeing the Warrens investigate a haunting house as it happens, while Chaves also adds moments of levity that we’re just not used to seeing in this series.
Chaves is clearly a horror fan too and doesn’t forget to keep the scares coming at a regular pace, and there were times I did jump but that might have been more at the sound in the cinema, but I definitely think this is not a typical horror movie and if you’re a fan of The conjuring then you must see this.
Rating: 2/5 stars