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  • Writer's pictureS.J.

'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It' Review: Vera Farmiga & Patrick Wilson Fight Demons Again

Patrick Wilson holding Vera Farmiga in a forest
Warner Bros. Pictures

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming of thirsting over your favourite healthy marriage in mov... I mean, dealing with all kinds of demonic encounters while scary things yell at your face. Conjuring Universe is back with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, this time directed by Michael Chaves and written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick. It's 1981 and the Warrens (returnees Vera Farmiga as Lorraine and Patrick Wilson as Ed) are called to the town of Brookfield where a young man Arne (Ruairi O'Connor) has been charged with murder while he claims that ''devil made him do it''. Based on a somewhat ''true story'', Arne might have or might have not got the possession from his girlfriend's kid brother and the Warrens begin to investigate whether Arne was in control of himself or was he possessed by a demon.

As we have come to expect, much of the Conjurings' charms lie on Farmiga and Wilson playing the Warrens and they once again bring their talent to the frontlines but O'Connor happens to be the most surprising prospect to rise to the surface in the movie. There isn't all that much to Arne as a character other than he loves his girlfriend and he has a working class job so it's furthermore impressive that he manages to pull out a performance that has emotional range and needed scares for the genre. As far as horror genre goes in this film, ''The Devil'' is competent in nearly all regards—some of the body contortion is rather nasty, there's enough build-up for the jump scares so they don't get annoying and few set pieces, like the waterbed and the main murder part, create interesting sequences on their own.

With some credit to Chaves, this is major progress from his previous effort, the irritating 'The Curse Of La Llorona', in that he clearly didn't just demand the sound effects to be louder this time and he gives actors some room to breathe. The problem is that you still have no idea what he brings to the table. You can give nods to 'The Exorcist' as much as you want as long as you bring some of your own flavour too. Sure, some of the fault lies on the story too which makes the Warrens more detectives than adequately entertaining demon hunters but at least do something interesting visually or sonically then. Joseph Bishara's score, production design, costumes and Michael Burgess' shots are all just average.

Even moderately fun horror is always welcome but the last 20 minutes of ''The Devil'' really throw that away as it isn't scary like the first film's ending or absurdly crazy like the second one's. It's just senseless, desperate and filled with stupid character choices (usually avoided with the Warrens). Also without going into spoiler territory, its religious angle is rather tedious.

Smileys: Ruairi O'Connor

Frowneys: Ending, originality

The uninspired sequel: money made us do it.


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