The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Parent Guide
What's the point of a horror movie that isn't scary?
Parent Movie Review
Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have been to more than a few exorcisms – in fact, it’s a big part of their job. Participating in the exorcism of eight-year-old David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard), the Warrens find themselves in trouble when the priest is incapacitated by flying objects. Though they try their best to complete the ritual, Lorraine is being assaulted with unusual visions, and Ed has been directly attacked by the demon, giving him serious heart problems. Only Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), a family friend, can do anything: He goads the demon to leave David and possess him instead. And while it seems to work initially, it’s not long before Arne finds himself soaked in blood and wandering the highway, having slaughtered his boss (Ronnie Gene Blevins) in a trance. Arne’s only hope is that the Warrens can find evidence to support his unusual defense strategy: “The devil made me do it.”
We’re eight films into The Conjuring franchise and it’s very apparent that the filmmakers are running out of steam. This entry has abandoned the tension and intrigue that made other entries more successful in favor of a more action-oriented investigation. The advantage of the haunted-house approach in other films is that it constrains the story, forcing the characters into contact with the supernatural and into increasingly dangerous situations. This film tries to use the trial to provide enough motivation to keep the characters doing the usual horror movie stupidity – nosing into ominous crawlspaces, wandering around crime scenes, and breaking into the city morgue – but it feels hollow.
Worse still, the villain isn’t all that frightening. I mean, cursed doll Annabelle isn’t exactly nightmare-inducing either, but at least she made other villains do interesting things. The best thing this particular evil being can manage is to give Vera Farmiga nightmares and re-animate a 400lb corpse to send after her enemies – which would probably have been a lot scarier if they hadn’t kept him naked. It’s hard to be scared when you’re laughing at the dead guy’s butt cheeks.
Apart from the undead plumber’s crack The Devil Made Me Do It comes with strong occult themes and some standard supernatural violence. As in real life (yes, this is based on a 1981 Connecticut manslaughter case), the Warrens are fairly devout Catholics, and that seems to head off a lot of the sex and profanity that populates other horror movies. While that does make my job easier, it doesn’t really make a difference in my opinion of the film. It fails to be scary, which is the primary goal of the franchise, and anything after that is just icing. I got a worse scare when my alarm went off this morning than anything this film could throw at me.Directed by Michael Chavez. Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and Ruairi O'Connor. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release June 4, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It rated R? The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is rated R by the MPAA for terror, violence and some disturbing images.Violence: Several people are fatally stabbed and one individual has their throat cut. There are scenes of physical violence during exorcisms which include people being shoved and thrown around, people attempting suicide with broken glass, and people suffering severely broken bones. One individual is hit in the head with a plate and knocked unconscious. Some dead bodies are seen. A showerhead is shown spraying blood.
Sexual Content: There are several scenes of non-sexual posterior nudity.
Profanity: There is one use of scatological profanity and infrequent use of terms of deity and mild curses.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking, and one is portrayed as an alcoholic.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Parents' Guide
What actually happened in the case of Arne Johnson? What was the Warren’s involvement? How did the trial proceed with Arne’s claim of demonic possession? Ed and Lorraine Warren have been involved in a number of cases. How do their accounts of what happened compare to other accounts? Do you find them believable?
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There are eight films in The Conjuring franchise, including The Conjuring, The Nun, Annabelle, Annabelle Comes Home, and The Curse of La Llorona. This movie borrows a lot of aesthetics from The Exorcist. If you’re looking for some better scares, try Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, A Quiet Place, or It Comes At Night. More arthouse horror includes The Lighthouse, Midsommar, and The Witch.