The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Watch It
Dir. Michael Chaves (2021)
After the Warrens fuck up an exorcism of a little boy, the demon passes into another dude who kills someone as a result of the possession. The Warrens have to Matlock him out of trouble by proving he was possessed.
Easily the worst Conjuring of the three Conjuring-named films, The Devil Made Me Do It is equal parts possession story and detective movie, with most of the film devoted to the Warrens running around Connecticut trying to find clues to prove their client is totally guilty but also not responsible for his heinous actions. Ya see, they had to exorcise a little kid, and Ed straight up has a heart attack and almost dies right in the middle of it. Granted, performing an exorcism does seem like a pretty good excuse for having a heart attack, but in this case it royally fucks up the entire process. The demon ends up jumping from the little kid to his soon-to-be brother-in-law, and then he goes and kills someone while he’s possessed.
Demons are bendy.
The movie is based on a real-life case that the Warrens were involved in, wherein the first successful defense of “I was possessed so please don’t convict me of murder” was implemented. Unfortunately, the events of the case make for a largely boring movie with a few scenes of good scares thrown in for good measure. This was the first real Conjuring movie where the screenplay wasn’t written by James Wan, and it shows. He was largely involved, produced and “wrote” the movie, but he didn’t get credit for screenwriting so it didn’t really have the feel of the other movies he’s made.
The movie was way too Detective Story to be a remarkable horror film, but, again, there were a few good scenes throughout the movie, particularly the scenes where the Warrens fight a witch (which is dumb as fuck but was kinda cool to watch) and where reanimated bodies in the morgue start throwing themselves at people (also, dumb as fuck). The film feels like a jumbled mess of a cashgrab, likely because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a Conjuring Universe film that is only really connected because of the Warrens and only watchable because of the same. It’s got the same sweet “love story” vibe to it in parts, which certainly gets old after a while, but without the Warrens the entire movie would be terrible so we have to take what we can get.
And the witch was clearly meant to look like nun, but she’s way less good looking.
I’m sorry this review is shorter than it would usually be, but the movie kinda sucks and isn’t worth any more effort than this.
Who this movie is for: Conjuring fans who want to watch the whole series; Modern horror fans who can just watch whatever Hollywood throws at them; Gluttons for punishment
Bottom line: It’s a very watchable movie because the atmosphere was still there, but the story is lacking enough that it’s not one that really needs to be included in series rewatches. The movie suffers from a severe case of “if you’ve seen Wan, you’ve seen them all.” Terrible puns aside, you have absolutely seen this movie before, and if you’ve seen the first two Conjuring films, you’ve seen it twice already. It’s not worth the watch for anyone other than completionists, and you miss nothing from the story if you just skip this one altogether.