The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

Michael Chaves directs Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Ruairi O’Connor in this period horror sequel based on a true story where paranormal investigating couple, The Warrens, try to help a possessed boy accused of murder.

A brave but unsuccessful attempt to open the franchise out and away from the haunted house genre. Farmiga and Wilson seem underserved by the script, the moments of gentle wholesome campness in their ghostbusting marriage are markedly absent. Where James Wan would put you through the wringer with 15 to 20 minutes of sustained scares as one sequence, Chaves goes for little regular bursts which lack the patient escalation that is the series’ hallmark. There’s plenty of shock imagery seeded throughout the investigation narrative but these arrive with minimal tension. You’ll remember the possessed contortions, the rats and a charging corpse. Whether the lack of chills also had something to do with our continually chatty, whispering audience can’t be discounted. It appears that cinema etiquette has vanished over lockdown going by my last two visits. And here was a movie that needed optimum silence and darkness at points to work.

6

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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