57 / 100
Watchable Minutes : 90 / 112. There was quite a bit of fluff and unnecessary exposition to drive the tension throughout the movie.
Trailer Comparison : The trailer is pretty much on par with the actual movie. It put most of the best scares in the trailer, which is pretty much the standard in this day and age.
Movie or Film : The Conjuring : The Devil Made Me Do It is a simple horror movie, nothing special. There are moderate jump scares and some creepy moments, but no messages or themes worthy of discussion. It’s a popcorn flick through and through.
- Run time : 1 hr 52 minutes
- Studio : Warner Bros
- Director : Michael Chaves
- Where to Watch : HBO Max, In Theaters
Ed and Lorraine Warren have been called to Connecticut to assist with the exorcism of a young boy named David Glatzel. When the exorcism goes awry and Ed suffers a heart attack, it appears that the demon made an attempt to latch onto somebody else present at the exorcism to survive. The new host for the demon is Arne Johnson, who commits a violent murder just days later. Only he says that he was not himself because the Devil made him do it. Now the Warren’s must track down and eliminate this demon before more deaths plague this small town.
The Conjuring : The Devil Made Me Do It is the third installment of the mainline Conjuring franchise. It is a very successful franchise by box office standards with several movies earning well over $200 million at the box office, according to the the-numbers.com. Earning that much money for such small budgets is the mark of true Hollywood success and the willingness of movie goers to forgive sub par writing and action for a good scare or two. I know that I don’t particularly enjoy scary movies by myself, but I enjoy watching them with my friends or creeping out my girlfriend so she clings to me on the couch. I think that the latest Conjuring movie is a return to form and an excuse for many people to get out of the house at this stage in the pandemic of 2020 (2021, 2022?). It was simultaneously released on Warner Bros. streaming platform, HBO Max. For context, I saw this movie in theaters so my experience may have been slightly different than those of you who watched it on a finger print covered laptop screen or iPad ( you know who you are).
Much like Spiral, I found The Conjuring 3 to be uninspiring and disjointed. It had all the flash and scares of the original movie, but it just seemed like it was given too much run time. Maybe the studios wanted to get a longer movie and they had to come up with some filler to meet their demands, I don’t know. Whatever the case may be, it was just way too long for my taste. I think I may be spoiled by A Quiet Place PT I and II, which are both very tight and well optimized movies at about 90 minutes a piece. I think the entire subplot line with the missing girls who died could have been scrapped completely without losing a single narrative beat. I can’t even remember what bearing it had on the main story line, that’s how little it impacted me while I was watching it. If they had done that, the movie would have been that much shorter and probably kept my attention better. I found myself bored at times while I was waiting for Ed and Lorraine to figure out what was happening in their case. There were other moments which were almost shlocky at times that just irritated me because the characters were acting dumb just because they didn’t have a reason to be otherwise. I think that this franchise has all but tapped out it’s cultural relevance and audiences are soon going to start feeling the fatigue of its formula.
I hate to be so rough on the story then come out positive on the acting, because it almost feels like I can’t be subjective. I think that Patrick Wilson is a criminally underrated actor. Whatever the movie is, he gives it his 100%. Whether it’s Watchmen or Aquaman or whatever, I think that Wilson is going to bring his A-game. The same goes for Vera Farmiga, who plays Lorraine Warren. I think the two of them together have some great chemistry and can continue to pump out these sequels until they eventually kill off Ed Warren (like they teased about 30 times during this movie). The rest of the cast is pretty meh, with mostly smaller names used to play the supporting cast.
The look and feel of The Conjuring 3 is very on brand for this franchise. It’s got plenty of slow camera angles with constrained and almost suffocating shots that eat up the audience’s adrenaline while we wait for the scare to happen. There are enough bait and switches to throw off the audience from expecting the jump scares too easily. I do appreciate the references to The Exorcist with the grizzled priests and fedoras, which I thought was a nice touch to start. The set design was gross, but not too gross. The creature designs were off-putting and uncomfortable, which is what I expect from a horror movie. I did think the big huge naked Andre the Giant looking dude was a wee bit odd and unnecessary. Pairing these so so visuals with the typical sound design, you have a supernatural horror movie that I’m sure will scare and entertain the most casual of movie going audiences this summer, but not for too much longer.
The Conjuring : The Devil Made Me Do It is yet another sequel from the Hollywood machine. This movie is so far removed from James Wan’s original entry into the franchise that the polish and shine seems to have worn off to reveal the cash grab beneath. It was a nice excuse to go to the theater again and get some stale popcorn and a big drink with my friends though, so if you want something to do for about 2 hours on a rainy Saturday, there are worse ways to spend your time.