The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It: Movie Review

For a film franchise that has been topsy-turvy, "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" was the ultimate middle ground experience. It's not as great as the main line "The Conjuring" films before it but it is certainly better than most of the standalone films littered throughout the franchise. And while there are powerful and interesting performances from "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It", this honestly felt more like an action film than a horror film at certain points.
 It is 1981 and Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are trying to save a boy from a demonic possession. But the exorcism goes awry and the malignant spirit is able to transfer itself from the young boy to Arne Johnson (Ruari O'Connor). Only Ed was able to witness the transfer but since he experiences a heart attack, he becomes unconscious and taken to the hospital. Days after the failed exorcism, Arne finds himself being haunted with scary and violent visions so much so that he accidentally murders his landlord. With the life of Arne at stake both in supernatural and physical terms, the Warrens decide to help with Arne's plight which also marks the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense. Can the Warrens find the root of evil once again and can they convince the jury that the devil is real? 
Out of the three "The Conjuring" films, this is the weakest of the bunch. But considering its pedigree, that's not so bad at all. What set this apart was that it tended to concentrate more on its less horrific aspects. For example, Ed and Lorraine Warren go on an investigative trip across towns to discover the real reason of the hauntings that happen to Arne. With this "out-of-town" setup, the claustrophobic and suffocating dilemma that a haunted house typically provides gets lost in the process. What we get is still interesting but with lesser haunts to thrill audiences. Since were talking about the film's narrative, we also felt that Arne's story and character takes too much of a backseat with his character coming out as filler or sideshow material. The film also takes a heavy-handed fictional twist that might turn off some audiences seeking for a more grouneded story. For us though, it wasn't a big deal as the way the story turned out was actually quite enjoyable. On the acting department, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga delivered well with powerful performances in tow. At the end of the day, "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" does enough to cap "The Conjuring" films properly. If it ends now, there will be regrets considering the plethora of material they can still work with, but at least it ends on a high note.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- powerful performances from Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga
- the first scene was awesome and showed why this franchise has been well-received

Why you shouldn't wathc it:
- exchanges horrors for some action

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