Review by Camden Ferrell
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the newest film in this horror franchise. This film is directed by Michael Chaves who previously directed The Curse of La Llorona for this cinematic universe. This most recent installment is very similar in quality to the first two Conjuring films, and it’s enjoyable even though it’s far from great.
Ed and Lorraine Warren are once again doing what they do best, exploring paranormal phenomenon and possessions. However, in this film they are part of a murder case in which the murderer claims he was possessed by a demon. This is based on the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, and it serves as an interesting premise for this film.
Like the previous movies, the script isn’t too impressive. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick returns to write this film, and while this one has more humor and charm, it still isn’t anything remarkable. The dialogue is standard for the genre, and it’s a fairly superficial retelling of events.
Once again, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga lead this film with an undeniable energy that only they can bring to the franchise. For ten years now, they have consistently been giving good horror performances and this is no different. The supporting cast is decent yet forgettable, but Wilson and Farmiga once again prove how valuable they are to the franchise.
The main difference with this movie is that it’s not a haunted house film like the previous movies. It goes beyond a single home and into the different towns and areas that prevent the film from feeling too repetitive of the first two movies. It’s a much-needed change of pace, but the overall effectiveness of the scares is similar.
Much like the other movies, it’s enjoyable, but it does suffer from a bloated run time that can drag on. At nearly two hours, this new horror film can feel much longer, and it’s obvious that it could have been paced better and half an hour shorter. This occasionally sluggish pace can lead to certain scares not landing as well and the tension to slowly diminish over time.
Despite its flaws, the first act of this film is rather impressive. The scenes and thrills are executed well, but a lot of that craftsmanship becomes absent for the remainder of the film. It’s not great, but it is an enjoyable movie nonetheless.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It doesn’t come off as better or worse than previous installments, and it should please fans of the franchise. It can feel slow, and it may not be the most frightening, but it’s an enjoyable popcorn horror movie to watch this weekend.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is in theaters and HBO Max on June 4.