| Mystery | Thriller | Horror |
Director: Michael Chaves
Producer: James Wan, Peter Safran
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Release Date (Theaters): Jun 4, 2021, Wide
Release Date (Streaming): Jun 4, 2021
“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” reveals 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.
With James Wan no longer at the helm, the third Conjuring movie feels more like a weary episode of an old detective TV show than the metaphysical, kinetic, and terrifying previous entries. The Curse of la Llorona director Michael Chaves takes charge this time and offers up a movie that’s more about detective work and beating the clock than about the supernatural or the paranormal. Part of what made The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016) so special wasn’t just Wan’s intensely visceral use of sound and space to generate chills, but also the sense that these “true stories” opened a door on what was possible. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It doesn’t seem that curious … or scary.
Chaves serves up some of the usual horror stuff, including contorting bodies with accompanying “clicking” noises, things rushing toward the camera, and “boo!” jump scares. As the eighth entry in the Conjuring Universe, the movie doesn’t seem to add much to the series. But at its heart are the Warrens, and Farmiga and Wilson still bring a little extra to make their characters fascinating, lovable, and special. Ed is recovering from a heart attack in this one, making him more vulnerable and sympathetic. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It also digs a little deeper into the couple’s storybook romance, including delightful moments like the one in which Ed tries to dissuade Lorraine from exploring a dark crawlspace. “You’ll get your dress dirty,” he says. “Just hold my purse,” she replies.