Movie Plot – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It: The Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to demonic possession.
Director: Michael Chaves
Writers: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan, Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Julian Hilliard, Ruairi O’Connor, John Noble, Steve Coulter
The Devil Made Me Do It
This time, the third film takes a different approach. It’s not really about a haunted house anymore but someone who’s possibly possessed. Usually, we see it all take place at a certain spot. However, this time there are several places we visit.
At the heart of the movie, the question is: can you commit a massacre and then blame the devil for it? Um…well…yes. Of course, you can. The only question is whether the judge will take you seriously if you make such a statement. In the early 1980s, this was a legal hot topic in America – where else? The trial in question was tellingly labeled the “The Devil Made Me Do It” case. See there the film title.
With this fact, you could make a well-worn courtroom drama, in which the (whether or not) shaky mental state of the main defendant is central. But, of course, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is not that kind of film. The issue from the previous paragraph only plays out somewhere in the background and serves purely as a starting point for a horror film that otherwise focuses on creating a lot of darkness and atmosphere. And a handful of scare effects of course, because you should never be too comfortable in your cinema seat with The Conjuring.
The opening kicks off nicely. David Glatzel, an eleven-year-old boy, starts foaming at the mouth like a mad dog, twisting his body in all kinds of unnatural ways and talking in a voice as if he has been smoking three packs of tobacco a day for years. In short: he is possessed. The local priest has to come and sprinkle the boy with holy water and present him with a crucifix, but during the exorcism, something unexpected happens. In all the commotion, Arne Johnson, the friend of David’s sister, offers his own body as a bargaining chip for the devil.
Peace immediately returns to the mansion, but Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were there, are not very confident that it will stay that way. Their investigation leads along predictable paths to a denouement that is actually not even that shocking or original. Nevertheless, there is plenty to creep out along the way.
The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 were both directed by James Wan, but for this third installment in the main series, the horror maestro sadly dropped out. Wan knows better than anyone how to provide relentless menace in his films. Michael Chaves has a little less experience with this, although fortunately, he manages to prevent his film from being a copy. The fact that no devil nuns, scary toy dolls or a crooked man appear on screen this time probably makes the film less suitable as a springboard for possible spin-offs. But then again, a gray, stamping corpse in a morgue is pretty grim.
Fortunately, all in all, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It doesn’t feel like a failure. And that’s largely due to the fine acting of actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Of course, as long as the box office continues to ring solidly, there’s always a chance the two will return for another creepy affair.
I also have to admit that this movie isn’t as scary as the other ones.
“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is not as strong as the previous two films in the franchise, but still a nice addition to the Conjuring universe.