The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The 341st review!
Happy Halloween everyone! Thank you for taking this 31 day journey with me. It's always bittersweet when I watch my final movie, but I hope you enjoyed some of my reviews and maybe gave you some ideas for your next movie night. On Halloween I like picking a movie that's going to scare me because it's what the holiday is made for! Today, on the spookiest day of the year, I went to a series that's always reliable with the scares and checked out...
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Damn, the open to this movie is incredibly effective. We start off with the Warrens attempting an exorcism on a young child. A priest shows up and I smiled when they recreate the iconic shot from The Exorcist when he gets out of his car. Once he gets there, things get crazy. The poor boy is being stalked by this demon in his home and it's terrifying. The way the child contorts his body, combined with his screams and the sounds his body makes are terrifying. With the priest being knocked out of commission, Lorraine loopy and Ed having a heart attack, Arne, the sister's boyfriend, convinces the demon to leave the boy and go into him instead.
From there the series takes a very drastic turn from its formula and I have to say, I really liked it. The first two movies were pretty much confined to one location and dealt with a haunted house. I love the formula, but I appreciated how this movie tries something else and it turns into a mystery. I really liked following the Warrens' investigation, it was a departure from the norm and movies should be given credit for taking risks, and I think in this case it worked out pretty well. Imagine my surprise when the Steward of Gondor, Denethor himself shows up!
I really like the Conjuring series, mainly because I absolutely love Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmina as Ed and Lorraine. You can actually feel the chemistry and love these characters have for one another. When one of them is in danger, you share their fear and their pain. While watching the other movies in this universe, I enjoy them, but in the back of my mind I'm just wishing Ed and Lorraine were in it. The characters are great and I really can't see any two actors being better in the role than these two. They may be my favorite movie couple.
Now comes the big question; is it scary? I am happy to report it runs the gamut between scary and holy shit! This month has been light on the scares so let me tell how much of a relief of it was to feel my body tense up in moments followed by the inevitable staring at my screen in horror at what I was watching. It's not as scary as the first one, and there isn't a baddie as memorable as "The Crooked Man" from the second, but it makes up for it with some memorable characters who aren't the Warrens and some damn chilling moments. I can't say enough about how terrifying the movements are for the baddies in this movie. Anytime they're on screen and moving around, it's so otherworldly and freaky in the best way imaginable.
On a personal note, I like how these movies don't take the current trend and turn religious people into cartoon characters. I know the Catholic Church and religion in general can be off-putting for some people, but I appreciate this movie doesn't take the low hanging fruit. An example would be a review from the "New York Times" saying, "It would be even better if it privileged ghoulishness over gospel." Their religion is very central to the characters, and they're fighting demons. The whole God thing is kind of hard to get around in these movies.
It's not all great though. There's an actual demon in the movie, but the big bad is an older lady. She's the one who set everything into motion and is the main antagonist. I didn't like that. I personally am not a fan of putting a human face on your unknowable evil lessens its impact. I love how the baddie gets her comeuppance, because it's pretty awesome, and I understand her inclusion helps open up the world these people live in, but I couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed. Still, despite my dislike for her inclusion, she does make me excited for where the series can go from here.
The movie ends with Ed putting another trinket in their haunted museum and you can see some of their greatest hits like the Valak painting and our friend Annabelle. Could you imagine keeping trophies, or actual entities you defeated trapped in your house? Assuming you had the bravery to venture down there, how many of us could make it through without taunting Annabelle? I don't think I'd be able to resist...
8.5 Dr. Chainsaws!
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
1 HR 51 MIN R 2021
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren look into a terrifying case of murder and demonic possession.