The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is now in theaters and on HBO Max.
2013’s The Conjuring remains one of the most well-reviewed and successful horror films in history. It launched the ongoing Conjuring Universe and was followed in 2016 by an equally well-received sequel, The Conjuring 2. I rewatched both before seeing The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, so I was good and ready to be scared. I’m still waiting.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
After a horrifying opening sequence, The Devil Made Me Do It seems content to just go through the motions. Predictable scares and an overall lack of originality keep this one from ever really getting off the ground. Though Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as the loving and united demonologist couple, this entry feels unworthy of their chemistry. Even Fringe’s John Noble as the tortured former priest can’t fix something this uninspired.
Compared to the first two, #3 is a middling affair. Despite strong-as-always performances from Farmiga and Wilson, The Devil Made Me Do It does little to set itself apart from other demonic possession flicks.
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