Blu-ray: Skip It
1 Stars out of 5
Release Date: June 4th, 2021
Movie Release Year: 2021
MPAA Rating: Restricted
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It - Theatrical Review

Review Date June 4th, 2021 by
Overview -

When The Conjuring was unleashed upon the world back in 2013, a new breed of horror was permanently written in blood with its terrifying story of the real lives of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Director James Wan went from the gory horror of Saw and made a physiological horror masterpiece with the first Conjuring film. That film has spawned multiple spinoffs and sequels set in the Warren universe that have more or less been consistent in its quality of producing some fine scares and interesting stories that have all been documented and are told to be true. That is until now with The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It, which is by far the worst film of the entire franchise. Due to its silliness and blatantly unoriginal storytelling, it's more focused on winking at other films than telling a compelling story and conjuring up any real scares. What a shame.  

Watch The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It in Theaters or on HBOMax - Order Your Tickets From Fandango!

 

OVERALL
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Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

1 Stars out of 5

As Kevin Smith says, "In Hollywood, you fail upwards", which is the case with director Michael Chaves, who directed the equally awful The Curse of La Llorona, but somehow got the job to direct this third Conjuring film, replacing Wan, which was a huge mistake. What worked so well with the last two Conjuring films was its simplicity and ability to tell a complex and scary story without highly stylized camera work or quick cuts. The action was solely focused on the characters, the family, and the horrific events that riddled their lives. With this third film, Chaves uses Saw-like quick cuts, blurred vision camera work, and odd edits to convey the scares - or lack thereof - taking the actual horror out of the movie and making it look like a ridiculous over-the-top music video. It's painstakingly awful.

The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It follows the real-life trial of Arne Johnson in 1981 Connecticut, where Arne was convicted of murdering a man by stabbing him to death. This was one of the first cases in the United States where the defense stated that their client was possessed by a demon and had no recollection or control of their actions. The film opens up with an exorcism of a little kid where the first terrible rip-off is made with the famous shot of a priest exiting a cab and looks up at the house a la The Exorcist and is entirely presented as on-the-nose and not subtle at all. As this little kid is receiving some scripture and bending his bones in disgusting ways, Arne, the boyfriend of the boy's sister tells the demon to leave the boy alone and to enter his body. The acting here is atrocious and laughable and of course, has been done so many times. The demon enters Arne's body and several months later, the murder occurs and he's brought to trial as Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) try and help this family and reveal the supernatural truths. 

None of this is scary anymore, at least in this particular film with how's it's shot and edited. The quiet segments with a scary, dark figure standing in the background and suddenly running at the protagonist just doesn't work anymore and happens several times throughout the film. The performances and shoddy CGI whether it is a monster, demon, or rats in a basement don't help its cause either. If this film wasn't satisfied enough with its multiple rip-offs of other demonic and possession films, Chaves turns to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is one of the film's worst sequences in recent memory. Just like Jack Nicholson and his ax trudged through the snow-covered maze as he tried to murder his family, a possessed Patrick Wilson and his sledgehammer roam underground tunnels in search to kill his wife. It's a wonder this type of stuff was allowed to get made. 

Video Review

N/A Stars out of 5

Audio Review

N/A Stars out of 5

Special Features

N/A Stars out of 5

Final Thoughts

Whatever sense of horror that was involved in the first two films is completely lost in this third film, due to its bad acting and horrific camera editing, as it leaves nothing entertaining or fluid for the viewer. Wilson and Farmiga do turn in great performances and it seems they still love these characters, but it's more of the same old story from their past several films together, never really expanding or furthering any of their traits or dynamics. If this is how The Conjuring franchise is going to be in the future, maybe it's time it gave itself an exorcism? 

Watch The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It in Theaters or on HBOMax - Order Your Tickets From Fandango!