The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It: It Conjures Giggly Frights!
The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It
Starring: Patrick Wilson , Vera Farmiga ,Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Rating: * ½
What the devil! The devil’s advocates made me do it. I have no interest in this haunted-house type of trope terror supplier. But the demand for a review was incessant. “You can’t be selective about what your reviews. It’s got nothing to do with personal likes and dislikes.” Blah blah.
So okay then, here goes. The 8th Conjuring movie is a sequel to the last two films in the series. It’s perhaps a tad better than the last Conjuring film the Curse Of La Llorana. And an episode where Lorraine recreates events leading up to the murder of a girl in a forest is savagely sharp in its impact.
But this one is nonetheless a slog unless you are a diehard fan of these devil-may-(s)care films where atmosphere is all. To be fair, cinematographer Michael Burgess shoots the scary scenes in the light of darkness when the flickering-orange colour suggests a diabolic beam rather than any ray of hope.
The film opens with a little child David(Julian Hilliard) possessed by the devil, being exorcized when a young man Arnie(Ruairi O’Connor) offers to host the “devil” in his body. I am sure Arnie didn’t expect the Devil to take up the offer so quickly. But there you have it. Strange are the ways of the twisted. Unwanted guests are the order of the day, Covid or Devil.
Like previous Conjuring films this one too is based on true facts. Apparently a man accused of manslaughter pleaded possession by the Devil. The Judge didn’t swallow that one. But our paranormal investigators see some truth in Arnie’s claim.
What I like about this shiver giving series is the credibility that Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga bring to their roles as the Ed and Lorraine Warren. More than their cases, it is their investigation that I find easy to follow and believe in. This isa couple that believes in their truth no matter how eerie and outlandish it may seem to us heretics/nonbelievers.
While some of the episodes showing Arnie’s anti-gravitational elevation in the prison hospital are more pukey than spooky, some of Ed and Lorraine’s occult trysts with an old priest(John Noble) are bound to give you jumpscares no matter how much of a disbelieving rationalist you might be.
There is a particularly creepy passage in an underground sequence where Lorraine runs for her life as she sees several images of herself running with her. Besides doling out the jitters, there is also some unexpected humour in the overly solemn rites of exorcism. Lorraine tells a snarky police office she has met Elvis Presley. To this the cop sniggers, “Before or after he died?”
“Before…and after,” is Lorraine’s deadpan reply.
You can defeat the demon. But not the exorcist.