Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It brings back the Warrens on yet another spine-chilling case. This time, however, the approach is quite different. Instead of focusing on haunted houses, as seen in the first two instalments, the third entry is more of a whodunit murder mystery.
Set in 1981, the third instalment of the Conjuring Universe focuses on Arne Johnson who brutally stabs his landlord 22 times. Like the previous films, Conjuring 3 is also based on real-life case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Albeit, the events in the movie are highly fictionalised versions of the actual incident. James Wan who directed the first two instalments of the franchise handed over the reins to Michael Chaves in Conjuring 3.
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It kicks off by introducing us to the Glatzel family – particularly their eight-year-old boy David Glatzel who is under demonic possession. In a desperate attempt to free his girlfriend’s brother from the clutches of the demon, Arne invites the evil spirit into his body instead.
The trial of Arne Johnson became the first case in the United States where the defendant pleased innocence under demonic possession. With Patrik Wilson (Ed Warren) bolding stating to Arne’s lawyer, “The courts recognize the existence of God every time a witness swears to tell the truth. I think it’s about time they accept the existence of the Devil.” It felt like we were gearing up towards a landmark courtroom battle, only, the next time we see Arne in the courtroom is at the end of the movie. Towards the end, Arne is convicted of first-degree manslaughter, so clearly, the court ruled out his plea.
We do get the occasional jump scares and uneasy moments in the film, but none that even come close to its predecessors. The movie makes up for its lack of horror by giving us a better story, though it could be better on several levels. Ed (Patrik Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farminga) add incredible human emotion in their roles which makes the movie a little less monotonous.
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is currently open in theatres and is also streaming on HBO Max.
Final Verdict: 3 stars (out of 5)