Director: Michael Chaves
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (Screenplay and Story) & James Wan (Story)
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, & John Noble
Synopsis: The Warrens investigate a murder that may be linked to a demonic possession.
‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ has a first twenty-minutes which is like any other horror movie, but develops to be so much more.
I didn’t have the highest expectations for this movie. It was a day of mild sunshine in the UK and I had nothing better to do with my day off. I remembered that the latest of this trilogy had been released this day in the UK so thought I’d jump the opportunity to see it early, and boy was it a worthwhile trip to the pictures.
Like I say in the beginning, ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ starts off as nothing special, mainly establishing itself as a horror movie and reminding you of the familiar characters again, played excellently by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. We learn a little boy named David is possessed by the devil, being tormented every night, until Arne, David’s sisters boyfriend, asks the devil to take him instead, and this leads us into a thrilling, crime horror, that’s right, crime horror.
As stated above, the thing I loved most about ‘Conjuring 3’ was that it isn’t a pure horror movie. One and two have much more scares and prides itself in being a pure scare-fest, this was different, it’s actually more of a crime, investigation, horror movie and I. DUG. IT! This movie is based on a very true story which is fascinating and I’m so happy they took the opportunity to tell the story first and put the horror next. The reason most horror movies just don’t stick out these days is because they focus WAY too much on being scary but have nothing else to them, ‘Conjuring 3’ gets this and doesn’t suffer from this. It added another meaning to being on the edge of my seat as it wasn’t just from the scares, but because I was riveted by the story.
David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick was the main credited screenwriter for this movie, and this was one of the main reasons I was hesitant about this movie. He did write the previous Conjuring, but that wasn’t much of a screenplay movie, and his other previous works include ‘Aquaman’, ‘Orphan’ and ‘Red Riding Hood’, not the best. However, with this movie, he may of turned how I feel about him around, this is a pretty competent screenplay. He took this true story which is very broad and made it into a two hour movie and even implemented some horror, so good job David!
Michael Chaves is the credited director of this movie. His only full feature movie which he directed is ‘The Curse of La Llorona’, which was… yeah, it wasn’t good. However, he did direct the very inventive and eerie music video for Billie Eilish’s ‘bury a friend’, so the man does have talent, he just needs the right content to direct with, and to be fair, this movie isn’t badly directed, not at all, actually! It’s paced very nicely, it looks good and most of the actors seem to know what they’re doing. So to say this is second time unlucky wouldn’t be fair at all.
You may have noticed I said most of the actors seem to know what they’re doing, unfortunately I can’t say this for Sarah Catherine Hook, who stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Her acting in this is very wooden and she reads her dialogue in a very generic way. There are also many scenes of her crying which seemed disingenuous and quite annoying. I haven’t seen any of her other work so I by no means want to sound like I’m saying she is an all out bad actress, this performance just didn’t work for me.