The following review was written by Ultimate Rabbit correspondent, Tony Farinella.
“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do” It is yet another intense, smart, funny and well-acted journey in this universe created over a number of films. It really starts and ends with the love between Ed and Lorraine Warren, played perfectly by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The chemistry between the two actors is off the charts. It is so good you would almost believe they are together in real-life. That is top-notch acting. They have also appeared together in “The Nun” and “Annabelle Comes Home.” The formula works, and I’d be happy with even more “Conjuring” or “Annabelle” films featuring the two of them in the future.
When you have had so many films and various spin-offs, one would imagine they would have run their course by now. However, this is still a solid flick, even though it is probably the weakest of the three films. That is not a criticism, as they are all entertaining and enjoyable in their own way. In “The Conjuring 3” (let’s stick with that title), Ed and Lorraine Warren are overseeing an exorcism of an innocent eight-year-old young boy named David. At this exorcism, his family is there, along with Arne (his sister’s boyfriend) and Father Gordon. Once this demon starts to really do a number on David, Arne (Ruairi O’Connor) tells the demon to take over his body instead of David, despite Ed telling him it is not a good idea.
Ed suffers a heart attack, which sets him back for a while. When he finally starts to feel better, he realizes the demon is inside of Arne, and it has to be stopped before more damage is done to other unsuspecting individuals. He can see bad things around the corner for anyone who is near Arne. Arne is in danger as well. Together, as only they can, Ed and Lorraine Warren decide to take this demon down and remove it from the body of Arne and restore some sense of normalcy to all of their lives. Even though they encounter their share of doubters and second-guessers, they know what is really going on and will stick to their beliefs.
Without giving too much away, there is a courtroom element to the film that truly enhances it in a unique way. It talks about how demonic possession can cause someone to do things they normally wouldn’t do if they weren’t possessed by a demon. It is almost like the insanity plea a lot of people deal with in the courtroom. This was a nice touch to the film. Another thing which is consistent throughout “The Conjuring” films is how they really give you a sense of place and time. This film takes place in 1981, and from the clothes, the music and scenery, you really feel like you are in the early 80’s. The devil (no pun intended) is in the details with these movies.
The issue with “The Conjuring 3” is the fact it is almost two-hours long. There are times where the film can feel a little long in the tooth and drag. It did not need to be this long. I found myself clock-watching during certain scenes. Even though I mentioned the devil is in the details, there are some details which can be left out, as not everything needs to be explained to such an extreme degree here. I’m more interested in the necessary details and the background. It feels like they are over-explaining things at times to the audience.
Many people ask me after watching one of these films, “Was it scary?” Truth be told, I don’t get scared by movies, really. That is not a knock against the film or any of the people involved in its making. For me, what makes “The Conjuring 3” an enjoyable watch is the two main actors, their charm and chemistry, the background on these cases (based on true stories) and the way the films are directed and put together. Even though it is the weakest of the three films, it is still an enjoyable ride to take because they take it seriously and put effort into making sure they are producing quality films and not just a sequel for the sake of a sequel.
* * * out of * * * *
Blu-Ray Info: “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do” It is released on a single-disc Blu-Ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. The film is rated R for terror, violence and some disturbing images. It has a running time of 112 minutes.
Video/Audio Info: The film is presented in 1080p High Definition with audio formats of Dolby Atmos-TrueHD: English, Dolby Digital: English Descriptive Audio, English, Spanish and French. Subtitles are included in English, French and Spanish.
By Reason of Demonic Possession-An in-depth look at the true story that inspired the movie
The Occultist-Meet the terrifying new addition to the Conjuring Universe
Exorcism of Fear-Delve into the making of the movie and the chilling exorcism scene that opens the film
DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #1-A Video Comic that goes deeper into the Conjuring Universe.
Should You Buy It?
If you own the “Annabelle” films and the previous two “Conjuring” films like I do, you are going to want to add “The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It” to your collection. There are some really cool special features here that really add a unique backstory to what you have seen in the film. Also, the opening scene might be one of the best I’ve seen in a horror film in quite some time. Once again, I cannot praise the work of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga enough. They are the heart and soul of the film. Without them, the story and the intensity simply do not work. They are a couple to root for and a couple that is interested in helping people. While the running time can stop the film’s momentum occasionally, this is still worth owning and checking out. As long as Wilson and Farmiga keep coming back for these movies and the filmmakers keep finding case files from the Warrens, I’ll keep coming back to watch them.
**Disclaimer** I received a Blu-ray copy of this film from Warner Brothers to review for free. The opinions and statements in the review are mine and mine alone.