Director: Michael Chaves
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (Screenplay) James Wan, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (Story)
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, John Noble, Eugenie Bondurant
Plot: The Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to a demonic possession.
Tagline – The Demonic Case That Shocked America
Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It starts when Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Farmiga) are trying to help an 8-year-old boy David Glatzel (Hilliard) with an exorcism, one that sees the demon leave David and go into the body of Arne Johnson (O’Connor) while Ed recovers from a heart attack due to the encounter.
While possessed Arne commits a brutal murder and now the Warrens must look into the case to prove Arne wasn’t in control when the murder happened, only for the case becoming one of the most dangerous in their history.
Thoughts on The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Characters & Performances – Ed and Lorraine Warren are the paranormal investigators, we have seen many times before, this time Ed is recovering from a heart attack, showing him in his weakest position so far, struggling to keep up with Lorraine when she gets caught up in her visits. The core part of their involvement is to help the young man get off the death penalty charge, while giving us a personal look at the twos ever lasting love for each other. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are both wonderful in these roles, both bringing a new dimension to the characters this time around. Arne Johnson is the young man that is helping with the exorcism only to find himself possessed by the demon, he starts to see things leading to the murder committed, but he doesn’t remember doing it, he is haunted by the night, with different creatures coming through the night for him. Ruairi O’Connor is great in this role too, he shows the vulnerable side of an honest young person. This film does enlarge the cast than anything we have seen before, which is part of some of the weakness in the film, outside of Debbie and David, most of characters we meet are more for filling in more back story.
Story – The story here follows the Warren’s as they look to help prove a young man who committed a murder was in fact possessed by a demon when it happened, leading them down one of their most dangerous cases of all time. First we must give this story some praise, while the previous encounters with the Warren’s and all the films in the universe have tended to be kept in one property, this one turns the story into more of an investigation, where the haunting moments can take place anywhere. I found this to be a nice spin on the film, as the race for the truth felt much more like an X-Files chapter, stepping away from the haunted location feel. While this idea is good to see, we do lack the development of the other characters, one of the big factors in the Conjuring films especially was the personal time meeting the family that are going through the incidents, we lose this here and while this is based on the real events, it does seem to not give us the full sympathy levels towards Arne and the Glatzel family. The other big plus in the story comes from see the Warren’s relationship in yet another life of importance, see how Ed had become more vulnerable, teasing the idea we could get a younger version of the pair in the future too.
Themes – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is a horror that is filled with the jump scares you would expect, while focusing on the deeper meaning behind the haunting moments in a dark police like investigation, while is interesting to watch, even if certain parts can feel like chapters we might have seen before. The wider setting is a surprise, as every other film in the universe created has tended to revolve around a property being haunted.