The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) Review

Certificate: 15

Director: Michael Chaves

Screenwriter: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (screenplay by), James Wan (story by)

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 112 Minutes

Language: English

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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A chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense. – From IMDB

Some of the most popular horror films of recent years, The Conjuring Franchise has impressed viewers twice before (because we are ignoring those spin off films that never really hit the mark.) And now it’s back with the third and most explosive addition to date.  This film takes no time throwing you into the action, with a pulse pounding, terrifying opening scene that really got me excited to see what was coming up.  And for the most part it was….Fine.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are easily the best part of this.  Their on screen relationship and their strengths as actors are the most impressive thing about the film.  But I do think that even their performance lacks a little of the life that is has had in previous films.  Feeling a lot more cliched and even a bit over-romantic at times.  I do have to seriously distance myself from the characters on the screen and the some-what problematic people that they are based on however.  Whether you are a believer or not,  the real life Ed and Lorraine have been accused of some pretty shady shit, and romanticising that on the big screen is always a little icky to me. 

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The plot takes a different approach this time, and steers away from the typical haunted house setting of the previous films.  As well as dealing with proving to a court of law that Arne was possessed at the time he committed the murder, this time, the treat is to the Warrens themselves, so the stakes feel much higher as it is the main characters that you have some to love that are in danger.  Saying that though, the plot plays out pretty generically, the solution to the big third act climax was a complete eye-roller and you pretty much knew the whole time that the Warren’s were never in any real danger.  So…as nice as it was to have a change of plot, it didn’t work for me.

This one certainly feels like it is suffering form Franchise Fatigue, for me it is the weakest of the three films.

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ is showing in UK cinemas now.

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