Another casualty of the pandemic’s effect on movies, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is finally getting released in just 6 weeks in both theaters and on HBO Max (after getting delayed from its 11 Sept 2020 release date). And with only 6 weeks to go, Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema finally eased the fans’ collective tension and released a trailer to get us all ready!
Courtroom Drama Instead of Haunted House
The first two Conjuring films are considered by many fans and critics to be among the very best haunted house movies in modern times. This is third installment takes a very different turn, which isn’t at all surprising if you’re familiar with the case.
Dealing the infamous 1981 murder trial on Arne Johnson (who infamously plead not guilty for reasons of demonic possession), the trailer gives the impression that this is much more a courtroom drama horror film like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, rather than a straightforward haunted house story.
Which is definitely a welcome change and a subversive shake up to the formula that the filmmakers don’t to become stale. At this point, it’s unclear if the trial will be the “present” while the investigation is told in flashback (which would all too similar to Exorcism of Emily Rose), or if the trial will merely be the third act of the movie. There are pros and cons to both approaches.
Either way, there’s certainly a lot of material to pull from, as this was honestly one of the Warrens’ most infamous cases in their history. The real life case involved a family that was allegedly tormented by supernatural means and the murder that resulted was in many ways the final tragedy in a long line of trauma that the family suffered.
Lack of James Wan
While it was a lot of fun to see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the iconic ghost-hunting married duo, one big name missing from the credits is James Wan, who brilliantly directed the first two films (as well as co-created the Saw and Insidious franchises).
Since The Conjuring 2, Wan has moved up to directing Aquaman and its sequel (also for Warner Brothers). As awesome as it is to see him direct a big budge superhero movie that made over $1 billion, it would be great to see him return to horror one day.
In the director’s chair this time is Michael Chaves, who previously directed The Curse of La Llorona, one of the last movies released in the The Conjuring Universe. Compared to the rest, it was a decent entry, far from the best or worst.
Chaves certainly has big shoes to fill, and based on one scene featured involving Lorraine on a cliff, it looks like he plans to go big and epic with it (which hopefully pays off).
This “cinematic universe” has always thrived most with the actual Conjuring films, rather than the spinoffs, so it’s incredibly exciting to be getting this long awaited sequel that we’ve waited 5 years for. And hopefully it won’t be the last, considering how many other infamous cases there are.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is scheduled for released on 4 June 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max