The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the 47th movie in the Conjur-verse and I’m not sure but also sets up 12 prequel films, 7 streaming series, 4 comics and an anime spinoff. In all seriousness the Conjuring Universe is a bit convoluted but this film serves as a direct continuation of the main storyline which follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, last seen in 2016’s The Conjuring 2. The film, like the others in the main series is loosely based on a real-life case, this time on the 1981 trial of Arne Johnson, who tried to use demonic possession as a defense (the so-called “the devil made me do it” case).
Overall the film represents a big drop off from the two main Conjuring films but thankfully is nowhere near the dregs represented by The Nun or The Curse of La Llorona. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles and do their best but the film is just too generic and lacking in scares to recommend to anyone other than die-hard Conjuring fans. Combined with the fact that the film, like all of Warner Bros titles, will be available for 30 days on HBO Max makes it a tough sell to shell out hard earned bucks.
This is something movies are going to have to contend with now more than ever, justifying paying $12 and a trip to a theater. Now don’t get me wrong, almost nothing beats watching a scary movie on Friday or Saturday night of Opening weekend. You jump a little higher, scream a little louder, cry a little harder and when you come back into the light feel a bit more relief that you stared into the face of death and survived and made a few hundred friends along the way. In short: films are gonna have to bring it to have a wide appeal. Sadly, the best this latest installment of the Conjuring can muster is a few ho-hum jump scares. There are other prequels and spinoffs in the works and perhaps those films can breathe new life into the franchise but the main storyline of Ed and Lorraine seems to be at an end… that is until the reboot.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Director Michael Chaves
Writers David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, John Noble
Running Time 1h 52m
Genres Horror, Mystery, Thriller