7/10 The third film in the main Conjuring timeline, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” wisely treads new ground for the franchise and keeps what works in this series intact. While some of the Conjuring extended universe movies have been a mixed bag (“Annabelle”, ”The Nun”) the main set of films have always been the strongest, partially due to not being rushed and taking three to four years between sequels, giving the writers time to get the script right. While “The Conjuring 2” was still a solid film, it essentially took the first film’s premise and applied it to new people in a different house. Instead of continuing that trend and simply fighting demons, this third film doesn’t deal with any haunted houses and the biggest antagonists are all human Satanists. The film touches upon Satanism and although I would have liked it to have dug deeper, perhaps if there is a fourth film we can explore more Satanic panic, which did spread across America in the early 1980s. Although much of the story was obviously changed to add drama and horror, the root story being a true one is absolutely fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Although the overarching story did work for me, I had a few complaints. For starters, the Warren’s daughter is nonexistent after having been pretty important in the last film. Even a supporting character who works with the Warrens doing camera and audio work gets zero personality and just comes off as the Warren’s personal servant. Any development at all for some supporting characters and the mention of the Warren’s daughter would have improved the film. There are also roughly three bad edits that I caught while watching this film that only eagle eyed film goers would spot. They are all very minor but still distracted me. A couple moments seemed a bit farfetched and ridiculous but not egregious enough to bring the film down that much. The cinematography and use of lighting was really well done and the score/soundtrack transports the audience back to the 1970s. The real anchor of this film though has to be Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga who deliver great performances as they have throughout this franchise and their characters get a little extra backstory as well as the emotional weight that sucks us in. While the film may not have been scary, had some underdeveloped supporting players and a couple of off edits, the grounded performances, emotional strength, creepy vibes, fascinating story and solid pacing make this another winner for the Conjuring franchise. Grab some deviled eggs, say your prayers and conjure up a good time at the movie theater.
#WarrenPeace / #EdDeadNReady / #TheDeparted2 / #RunningImparied / #ArneYouGonnaKillMe? / #SilenceOfTheRams

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