It’s been a long 5 years wait for another Conjuring movie (not counting all of the spin-offs, of course) and I was excited to see what the Warrens would get up to this time. Many horror fans were sceptical if they would like this, as it was to be the first film in the main series not to be directed by James Wan. The fact that Michael Chaves, who had previously helmed the unfairly maligned (in my opinion) ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ stepped in to fill Wan’s really big shoes, didn’t exactly help to allay those fears.
‘The Devil Made Me Do It’, opens with a special effects tour de force and then changes tack, giving us time to get to know our protagonists and catch-up with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga’s Ed and Lorraine. I try never to include spoilers in my reviews, but given that the film is based on true events, it’s probably safe to say that the story follows likeable everyman, Arne Johnson who murdered his landlord and then claimed that he was possessed at the time of the killing. What I wasn’t expecting was the twisty turny tale wrapped up in the movie.
For me, the second Conjuring film wasn’t as strong as the first, largely due to the fact that the source material has been done to death here in the UK, as it’s a British story. We’d also just had ‘The Enfield Haunting’ on TV the year before the film was released.
Thankfully, despite having an overall awareness of the main storyline, this film had a few surprises up its sleeve and wasn’t really what I was expecting at all.
Wilson and Farmiga are always a treat in these movies and their likeability factor adds so much to proceedings. They are well supported by an able cast (especially Ruairi O’Connor, John Noble and Eugenie Bondurant) and a good storyteller in Michael Chaves. The soundtrack was an unexpected delight, as were most of the visual effects and the director’s nods to other horror movies.
I went in expecting something akin to ‘The Exorcist’ meets ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ and got something unexpected and for that I was thankful. I would welcome another sequel in a few years but first, I’d really like to see that long promised Crooked Man spin-off movie. All in all, I thought this was a solid continuation of the series. One which had taken it’s time in the development process to ensure the continued success and longevity of the universe.