The Devil Made Me Do It
review by Bobby Blakey
When James Wan introduced the world to The Conjuring starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in 2013 who would have thought it was going to spawn not only a franchise, but an entire universe of spin off films. Since its debut we have gotten to witness not only the two main films in the franchise, but also The Nun, Anabelle films and The Curse of La Llorona. Now we are returning to another case from the Warrens with the third film The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It with La Lorona director Michael Chaves at the helm. Could this latest entry once again do justice to the legacy of the Warren’s or will it fail to stop the curse?
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It follows one of the most sensational cases from the Warren files that starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them far beyond anything they’ve ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense. This latest chapter features the return of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as well as Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard.
I was really excited for this film, but also worried with Wan no longer taking on directing duties. Thankfully this was not an issue and director Michael Chaves stepped right into to bring his own unique vision to the series while still keeping it feeling like those that came before it. The tone and direction is a bit different this time around with it focusing on both the police investigation, court case and the haunting all at once. Have no fear it is firmly planted in bringing the usual scares and fun.
For me these movies aren’t ever all that scary, but I am also jaded from watching so much of this stuff at this point so tend to go by the audience reaction to see how effective the scares are. Even if you don’t jump there you can see the proper tone and angle used to make that moment pop and they did just that. I found it interesting in the new style to its direction that may not work for some. It kicks the story off right away with an exorcism sequence that holds its own with the likes of The Exorcist in my opinion.
From there it takes a bit for it to really get to the meat of it all as it is setting up the situation and crime itself. This then takes the Warren’s on a dual journey to bring it all together. The direction offers up some new twists and turns that doesn’t really offer up anything overly surprising, but is effective in its planned direction. The ending is something not quite seen in this franchise yet and I think that is a good thing. It brings some crazy to the supernatural and plants it more in the real world than we are used to in these films. This is also the thing that could hurt it the most for some, but worked for me.
Love the film or not, Wilson and Farmiga are so good as these characters and bring the needed chemistry for this duo to work. They clearly love playing these roles and it shines through yet again. Where these films struggle they are held together by these two and I hope this isn’t the last time we get to see them return to solve a supernatural case.
Decide for yourself and join the Warren’s for another of their cases with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It in theaters and HBO MAX now.