The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Image

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

By Alex Saveliev | June 4, 2021

You’ve seen it all done before, and better. Technically, this marks the eighth entry in the Conjuring Universe. Preceding it was The ConjuringAnnabelleThe Conjuring 2Annabelle: CreationThe NunThe Curse of La Llorona (which Chaves also directed), and Annabelle Comes Home. That’s a lot of conjuring. For fans, it’s chockfull of references to its sibling titles, as well as The Exorcist, along with every other exorcism/ghost film ever produced. But a strung-together collage of references does not a movie make.

I had trouble believing things like Lorraine’s clairvoyant sequences, wherein it totally looks like she’s deep into playing an intense VR game, sans the head-set. The cutting between two storylines renders both infinitely less effective. Like most other chapters in this series, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It tries too hard by doing too much. True horror doesn’t come from spooky make-up or dream sequences or “boo” moments. It comes from sympathetic characters, from things left unseen, your mind conjuring (sorry) images much more frightening than any filmmaker could muster. The over-reliance on familiar tropes – it really hinges on the whole “Lorraine wandering through the otherworld” scenes – bogs it down further into the pits of cinematic hell.

“[Farmiga and Wilson] still manage to add a touch of class…”

Throughout it all, Farmiga runs around wide-eyed and horrified, while Wilson seems as earnest as ever (“earnest” should be his middle name). The duo still manages to add a touch of class, if not depth, to the proceedings. Strip away the impeccable production values and what you get is another bottom-of-the-barrel, cheesy-as-all-hell exorcism film. The fact that it’s based on a real story, the 1981 “Devil made Me Do it” trial, will only make you wish you were watching a doc on the subject instead.

A blatant cash-grab, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It may actually stumble at the box office due to a certain other (infinitely better) little horror flick dominating it at the moment. Unless I’m way off, that is, and folks are clamoring to exorcise some demons. In any case, a theater showing this title is bound to be a very quiet place.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

Directed: Michael Chaves

Written: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, John Noble, Eugenie Bondurant, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Image

"…marks the eighth entry in the Conjuring Universe."

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