'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It' is as weak as its title
THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (2021)
Over the past week, ahead of the third Conjuring release, I’ve spent some time revisiting the previous two main entries in The Conjuring franchise. While I had a great time with the re-watch, it might have ultimately hampered my first time viewing of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
Directed by Jason William Lee, he manages to keep a good build of tension throughout theThis is the first main entry in the franchise to not have James Wan return to direct, and this was clearly seen in The Devil Made Me Do It. From a directing standpoint, The Curse of la Llorona director Michael Chaves has two misses on his belt. If you can’t relate to the people being haunted then you at the very least want to see this odd arrangement of characters get tortured by the being haunting or possessing them. The third Conjuring is unsuccessful in making us care about what happens to these characters, and not even the proper scares can help us. At minimum you should receive a decent third outing for the Warrens, and in ways you do, even if there’s an unnecessary witch aspect. You can’t help but root for the Warrens to win in the end, but the rest of the characters are lost causes. film thanks to the high concept. Funhouse is at its best when we move quickly through time, utilising montages to full effect. The challenge scenes and any scenes with our antagonist are excellent and perfectly pitched, with Nero’s command of the screen fusing perfectly with Lee’s direction.
The scene transitions at times feel poor with flashbacks and dream sequences disturbing the film's tense atmosphere, they feel little more than filler to spread out time between the high-pressure challenges.
After an exorcism goes awry with Ed suffering a heart attack, the demonic being transferring itself into another, and causing a murder, the Warrens must fight their own demons while trying to track down what caused this true crime to occur – was it actually possession or something much more sinister?
Removing the demonic possession as the primary plot point and instead implementing witches into the Warren story seemed like the wrong move. It’s based on a true story, but whether that be the case or not, the witch seems to hinder the pacing of the feature and replaces the majority of ghostly scares we would have received with exposition. Instead of allowing the actual true crime court case to play out where the defendant pleads not guilty due to possession, the film diverts into an unnecessary and unremarkable story of witchcraft. I didn’t hate the story, rather I don’t think the combination of witchcraft and demonic possessions meshed appropriately when there was something so interesting included in the story already just waiting to be expanded on.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
We’ve been through two of these main features now and one spinoff that also included the Warrens to a decent degree, so it's fair to say we’ve come to know Ed and Lorraine Warren and they’re as great as ever. The issues with any of The Conjuring franchise does not lie on the shoulders of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. What separates this film from the others is the lack of a family dynamic; instead of spending time with a close knit family that is being haunted, we are given a group of individuals that don’t have enough screen time all together to fully develop themselves as a family unit. Just as the others were, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is based on a true story, and it would have been better off if it would have dropped the witch piece of the puzzle for the true crime story of the man who plead not guilty because he was possessed at the time of the murder. That’s interesting. Having a witch be in control and choosing to curse a random family, that’s less so.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
The visuals of The Conjuring universe unfortunately have become stale over the years. Visual scares alone have lost their flare, divulging into predictable behavior that sets the audience up for a laugh rather than a scream.
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The Conjuring films in a personal sense have always strived to send shivers down your spine with their loud sudden noises and eerie score. The Devil Made Me Do It is absolutely no different, delivering a wonderfully curated score that will please fans of the franchise looking forward to the loud bangs in the night and unsettle newcomers who are awkwardly jumping into the third entry with no prior experience with the franchise.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is as weak as its title. Not the worst film in The Conjuring universe, but certainly the weakest among the main trilogy. Awkward pacing, predictable scares, and a group of characters that you just can’t invest yourself into their lives. Ed and Lorraine remain the ones to call if something spooky is happening in the neighborhood (sorry Ghostbusters), but the rest needs a rewrite.
THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is Now Playing in Theaters & on HBO MAX (First 30 Days)