The Conjuring franchise is one of the best horror franchises being produced right now. The Conjuring (2013), The Conjuring 2 (2016), Annabelle Creation (2017), and Annabelle Comes Home (2019) are all fantastic that have cemented their place as some of the best franchise-horror films ever made. Up until this year, the only times this franchise has faltered has been when they’ve started off a new spin-off (the first Annabelle (2014), The Nun (2018), and The Curse of La Llorona (2019) all being absolutely dreadful), and so, I was expecting the third proper The Conjuring film to be great despite the horrible trailers. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, unfortunately, let me down.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It follows another of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) real-life paranormal case files. In 1981 Brookfield, Connecticut, after the Warren’s completed the exorcism of eight-year-old David Glatzel (played by Julian Hilliard), Arne Johnson (played by Ruairi O’Connor), a friend of the Glatzel family, begins acting out-of-character. Eventually, Johnson murders his landlord, and after he declares his defense as being possessed, Ed and Lorraine must seek out the truth and determine whether or not a demon made him do it.
When I sit down for a The Conjuring film, I want to watch a scary horror movie. This movie is not a horror film at all, it’s more of a suspense-thriller. That said, the handful of horror moments in the film were done very well. The opening exorcism sequence was fantastic with Julian Hilliard acting the hell out of that scene (pun intended). Besides that opening scene, the scariest/most unsettling part of the movie is the actual recording of the exorcism that they play during the credits. Other than that, this film just felt like a poorly conceived The X-Files and American Horror Story cross-over. The plot, the scares, and the script just didn’t live up to The Conjuring name that it has attached to it.
If you’re looking for terrifying films this spooky season, I would suggest watching the other films in The Conjuring franchise, but I wouldn’t bother with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. It’s a shame this film disappointed and fell on the meh side of the franchise’s track record and gave us a serviceable detective film rather than a truly scary movie.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is rated R for terror, violence, and some disturbing images.
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