The Conjuring universe completely changed the way audiences saw horror movies. Over the past seven-eight years, whenever a film releases from the franchise, audiences have expectation that it will send chills down their spine and give them sleepless nights. Sadly, the latest part in the franchise is not a scarefest in any way.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are back to playing Ed and Lorraine Warren, but their characters seem to have taken a nosedive from the previous movies. Their love story has been given more importance than their fights with the supernatural. Forget about their character arcs not growing, in the latest installment both the actors seem to have underplayed themselves. Thereby, the larger-than-life Warrens suffer and they look like commoners who are trying to profess they have psychic powers. They are no longer the superheroes who are not scared of the devil, rather they seem so very vulnerable to the paranormal.
The other major thing that harms the movie is the story by Johnson-McGoldrick and James Wan. The lack of actual ghosts stares startlingly at you at the end of the film. In addition, Michael Chaves is no James Wan when it comes to sitting on the director’s chair and calling the shots. His direction is amateurish, to say the least. Coupled with that, the screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick is devoid of any jump-scares throughout the movie. Except for a waterbed scene, there’s hardly any scene in the movie when you would want to close your eyes in fear. The screenplay and the direction is definitely the soft spot in this part.
The expectations from The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was sky-high, but it turned out to be a complete dud. The franchise was built upon well-tread stories from the Warrens’ case files that made the previous movies so compelling, but this installment wasn’t made with enough craft to make it a darling for the horror movie connoisseur. This one is no scare-fest. It’s a big letdown. I am going with 1.5 stars.
Title: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Sterling Jerins, Julian Hilliard, Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and several others
Director: Michael Chaves
Platform: HBO Max
Rating: 1½ stars