I really haven’t kept up with the whole Conjuring series. I watch the first one and haven’t really been able to keep up with the crazy amount of sequels and spinoffs that have been put out. Honestly the only reason I watched The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was because it was on HBO Max. I watched it before it left HBO Max on the fourth of July. Thankfully having not see any of those didn’t really affect my enjoyment of this movie. It was directed by Michael Chaves and written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, which is a hell of a name if I may say so.
The plot is based on a trial from 1981. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are back as The Warrens, who I can’t tell if they’re supposed to be nearing old age or just middle aged. Ruairi O’Connor stars as Arne Cheyenne Johnson, the person on trial for murder. Julian Hilliard also stars as David Glatzel, the original target of the possession. John Noble also stars as Kastner. That’s not even half of the cast but just some of the primary cast and the ones that I recognized.
I do want to talk a little bit about the issues that I had with the movie. The plot is pretty basic and it very much seems steeped in the satanic panic of the time that the movie takes place. I say that as someone that grew up in the bible belt and had to deal with the lingering effects that it had. The ending also brings to mind the Hayes act because all of this terrible stuff happened but its okay because the bad person got their comeuppance in the end. Honestly the only thing missing was Dungeons and Dragons and heavy metal music being involved to get the satanic panic trifecta.
The production design was great in this movie. It felt like it was the 80s which is a feat considering that it’s been forty years. The costumes also helped it feel like the 80s, especially the early 80s since some of the clothes looked like they were from the 70s. The FX people did an amazing job in what they did. The only jarring part were some scenes on a cliff, but you can’t really have your two leads dangling off a cliff so you can’t necessarily fault them for doing it digitally. Honestly a couple of scenes with questionable CG isn’t really that bad. The direction and cinematography is great.
When this comes out The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It will no longer be on HBO Max but it might still be in theaters. I’m sure if you’re a fan of the series you’ll have already seen it. If you’re looking for a fun movie to watch with some scares I’d say give it a watch. If you like it maybe you can check out the rest of the series.