Story

The Conjuring, The Devil Made Me Do It, is a supernatural horror film and sequel to The Conjuring film series, directed by Michael Chaves. The film follows the actual accounts of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. Arne Johnson is arrested after murdering his landlord in 1981. Johnson claims that he was under the possession of a demon, which was the first American trial to use this as a defense. The Warrens try to help Arne prove this defense and stop the monster from trying to take Arne’s soul and life.

Full thoughts and Review of The Conjuring The Devil Made me Do It

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the eighth film in The Conjuring Universe, A film Series that includes,  The ConjuringAnnabelle, and The Nun.   The Conjuring series is good, and I enjoyed past movies with haunted houses and the possessions that led to the Warrens intervening. The Devil Made Me Do It tries to move the film series away from the “haunted house” themed films from the first two movies. To have the Warrens explore outside the confines of a home and changing up the locations. This idea is a good one to refresh the story and formula for the movie, but the film didn’t feel executed as well as it could have been.

The movie follows the actual life events of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a man who murdered his landlord and claimed demonic possession as a defense. I thought that the story’s premise would be interesting, but there aren’t many moments that dealt with the courts and Arne’s trial. Instead, the movie focuses on the Warren’s trying to stop the demon that is possessing Arne and trying to take his life. It’s a letdown as I hoped to gain my knowledge of the trail and am interested in the case after seeing the trailer. Instead, I found out the events in a Wikipedia article that sounded like, at least, a better side story that would bring to light Warren’s real-life counterparts and the struggles that they faced as paranormal investors.

The film’s opening dealing with Lorianne and Ed Warren facing off against the demon with an exorcism is done well. Well-Paced shot and acted; I think this was the best part of the film. It might have worked too well. The rest of the scares, while good, is just that fair if you compare it to the opening. The film does use horror tropes I”ve seen in past movies with horror themes. Such as the increasing music to add tension, usual locations I’ve seen in horror films like wooded areas and Isolated homes you shouldn’t visit alone, and a few predictable jump-scares; the film still has some great and tense moments.

Ed and Lorraine Warren still great, and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson do great jobs with the roles. The acting is where the movie shines in their performances because they are believable. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have an on-screen chemistry that works well together. A little more backstory explains the history of how they met and didn’t take away from the main story. Even when not together, they both are excellent in solo moments. Such as when Loraine goes into a trance, Vega made it feel authentic what it’s like to be in a daze and recount a murder scene from the perspective of another person involved in the incident. These two main characters are the best part of the film.

The third film did go in a different direction than the previous two films. The Devil Made Me Do It still dealt with human possessions and demons; the location moved away from the “haunted house” theme that the prior two films went to expand the Warrens and deal with an entity outside of one area. The Warrens had to visit and go to a different location in the movie to stop the demonic threat. The change is welcomed as the film sets up and expands and provided more possibilities for the Warrens. It should have, but there wasn’t anything that offered additional conflict or tension that they didn’t handle within prior films. A tease of tragedy could occur to one of the Warrens in the story. But it didn’t go anywhere that the viewer had seen already in the prior films. It’s not bad, but a letdown to what could do or do so much more taking this film into a larger area.

I couldn’t understand the reasoning behind the possession of Arne. You will understand the cause, but why it’s done isn’t clear what the hope was in the end. Even when the villain is revealed, it wasn’t clear what they were trying to get from the demon. I also understand that it might be the villain fascination as a motive, but I don’t think that I or any viewer could find this a reasonable rationale for the film’s story. As of now, I figure only to serve as a character tie-in to the Annabelle film series.

Summarized thoughts and review of The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It

The Conjuring, The Devil Made Me Do It, feels like the middle of the road for the Conjuring film series. It’s not an awful movie, but not great. I enjoyed the acting and scares, but the story didn’t grip me as much as I’d like. With the world expanding out for the Warrens, you’d except for more moments of conflicts or challenges. But most of the difficulties and scares were still effective, isn’t anything that anyone familiar with within The Conjuring Series. The movie starts strong but wanes back and forth, a satisfying end.  

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