Movie #161 2021: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

You guys… A cinema release. A cinema release. Can you believe it? Who ever thought this day would come?

Although you’ll probably not remember it, last year I reviewed all of the movies in the Conjuring universe, including The Nun, all of the Annabelle films, even The Curse of La Llorona. It only felt right that this be my first movie as cinemas reopened. Taking place in the early eighties, Ed and Lorraine Warren return to assist in a new case of demonic possession. Based on a true story, our hero supernatural experts work to de-possess a young boy who seems to have been taken over by the devil himself. When the demon takes hold of a nearby young man instead of being banished altogether, he is forced to commit horrific murderous crimes and is sentenced to jail. The Warrens then work to convince a court of law that he committed these acts by way of demonic possession and that, in fact, the devil made him do it.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - Which Parts of the Film Are True?  - Den of Geek

I don’t think I stressed this enough initially: I WENT TO THE CINEMA TODAY. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 MONTHS. THE SPEAKERS WERE SO LOUD. IT WAS GLORIOUS!!! As a treat, my girlfriend and I saw fit to spend a little bit extra and go to the Everyman in Manchester instead of our usual Odeon and we regret nothing. It was brilliant to the extent that it didn’t matter that the movie itself wasn’t that great.

Though not quite as good as The Conjuring (2013), this was a decent effort from Michael Chaves and certainly better than his other instalment in this universe, the underwhelming The Curse of La Llorona. Narratively, the story was mostly interesting, and The Conjuring movies once again prove that they’re no ordinary horror franchise; they’re based on what are presumably real events and are certainly more story-based than your standard issue horror films. 

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It' Waterbed Scare Teased in New Image!  - Bloody Disgusting

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are simply a joy to watch in these roles, it must be said. I should clarify however that Farmiga is the real MVP; she’s a real talent who really does not receive as much credit as she should. Even in these less “prestigious” roles, her acting ability is off the scale and strongly deserves all the praise in the world.

Sadly, it didn’t feel quite as scary as the previous two The Conjuring films, and even though it was more about the storyline this time, even the parts that were supposed to shock and frighten were mainly just jump scares. Technically, it’s all well put together and quite seamless on the special effects front, but it’s nothing that we’ve not seen before. The fact that the costumers felt the need to dress Farmiga in outfits that were more 1880s than 1980s threw me off too. I’m not asking for leg warmers and a perm but… what the fuck was that?

I get what they were going for here: it’s evident that fans keep coming back to these movies for The Warrens, so they put them front and centre. That was definitely the best thing about this movie for me… oh, and the reference to The Exorcist at the start was very much appreciated, even if it was extremely on the nose.

On the whole, The Devil Made Me Do It isn’t quite as memorable as The Conjuring‘s previous outings, but it’s still one of the better films in this universe thanks to Wilson and Farmiga putting their all into it regardless.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is currently available to watch in cinemas in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

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