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‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ is a solid film for a solid franchise

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ is a solid film for a solid franchise


‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ is a solid film for a solid franchise
June 11
12:30 2021

I promise there are more movies coming out this summer that aren’t exclusively horror, but until then it looks like every week is going to feel like Halloween. As much as I love horror, I have never gotten into “The Conjuring Universe,” so before I went to the theaters to check out the newest installment, I had to brush up on all the past films in this franchise. These films fit a very specific criteria, and they have gained their following over the years by sticking true to that same criteria. They have been using the same formula since 2013 when the first film was released, and nearly ten years later, I feel like it has overstayed its welcome. “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” doesn’t do anything new, but that doesn’t mean it is a terrible film. If anything, it shows that the genre shifts all the time, and certain formulaic horror styles can be passed before you know it.

One bright spot in this film, and pretty much all the films in this franchise outside of a couple, is Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga carrying the movie every second they are on screen. Their portrayals of Ed and Lorraine Warren are a big reason why the franchise is as big as it is to this day. Wilson is an actor I would heavily associate with the horror genre, and this movie only strengthens that argument. Their chemistry is beautiful to watch and I promise you will never see either of them phone in a performance in this franchise. Aside from those two, everyone else gives really solid performances too. There were no standouts, but at the same time, these movies are never marketed for masterclass acting.

It is marketed for scares, and there are a lot of those in this movie. I complain about jump scares every chance I get, especially when they are done in a way that is not rewarding. Building moments of suspense and catching the audience off guard with misdirection is a system that will never fail. But unfortunately, those were the only types of scares in this movie. Every scare hit the same beat at the same time, and you could even recognize when the movie was about to try and pull a fast one on you. It is not that big of a deal to me, but I can see how it may be a big deal to other viewers. In horror, if you don’t scare your audience the right way, sometimes those moments can come off as mean-spirited. It is really important to keep those spooky moments diverse so that the audience remembers every single one of them, and this movie missed the mark a bit.

Narratively, the movie doesn’t do anything we haven’t seen before. There is some demon stuff going on, normally revolving around some sort of artifact, and they have to stop the demon stuff from happening before it’s too late. As I said, this franchise is extremely formulaic. There are great bits and pieces of this movie, but once the second act starts everything starts to slow down and the movie begins to drag. I am sure you can guess the ending just by reading this review. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. This movie is like a roller coaster that has no loops or twists. You go slightly up and slightly down and by the end, you don’t hate it. You just know there are better roller coasters out there.

Final rating: 3/5

Courtesy Warner Bros

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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