The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Subtitled) (15)Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Julian Hilliard
Author(s): David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
Director: Michael Chaves
Release Date: 26/05/2021
Running Time: 112mins
Paranormal investigators Ed Warren and his wife Lorraine have witnessed multiple manifestations of evil that have tested their strength and resolve to the limit. For their latest case, they must fight for the soul of a boy called Arne Johnson. The assignment gains worldwide attention when, for the first time in US history, a murder suspect claims demonic possession as a defence.
LondonNet Film Review
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (15)
In 1981, Arne Cheyenne Johnson made US legal history when defence counsel for the 19-year-old responded to a murder charge in the sleepy Connecticut town of Brookfield with a plea of not guilty by reason of demonic possession. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren supported Johnson’s case, linking the teenager’s grim fate to the exorcism of his girlfriend’s 11-year-old brother a few months earlier. Disturbing true events are heavily dramatised for the purposes of jump-scare entertainment in the latest chapter of the long-running horror franchise comprising two Conjuring films, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun and Annabelle Comes Home…
Director Michael Chaves repeats many of the tricks of his debut feature, The Curse Of La Llorona, to embellish real-life courtroom drama with almost two hours of satanic rituals, flickering black candles and a reanimated corpse. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as the Warrens, whose unerring love for each other – captured in golden-hued flashback – is more powerful than The Bible and holy water when it comes to banishing demons from whence they came. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It fits snugly into the series mythology and includes an obligatory glimpse into the Warrens’ locked basement of dangerous artefacts.
Chaves’ film begins on July 18 1981 with the fraught exorcism of David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard) under the guidance of Ed, Lorraine and Father Gordon (Steve Coulter). The boy’s parents (Paul Wilson, Charlene Amoia) and older sister Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook) watch helplessly as the darkness within little David resists holy orders until Debbie’s boyfriend Arne (Ruairi O’Connor) intervenes. “Leave him alone and take me,” Arne begs the demon. Ed is the only person to witness the malevolent presence transfer into Arne’s body.
Alas, the paranormal investigator suffers a heart attack and by the time he regains consciousness, Arne has stabbed Debbie’s boss Bruno (Ronnie Gene Blevins) 22 times. The prosecution seeks the death penalty but Ed and Lorraine are convinced they can prove demonic possession. “That kid is either gonna live or die depending on what you find,” Arne’s lawyer (Ashley LeConte Campbell) warns the Warrens as they seek help from a retired police officer (John Noble) with intimate knowledge of satanic practices.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It dips into a grab bag of familiar tricks, manifesting tormentors in dark corners or behind characters as returning composer Joseph Bishara turns up the volume on the string section. A centrepiece sequence on a rippling water bed opts for a predictable pay-off rather than splashy originality. Farmiga takes a more active role since Wilson’s spouse risks a potentially fatal second heart attack from exertion. She drifts between planes of consciousness in search of answers that we have already deduced without the gift of foresight.
– Jo Planter
London Cinemas Showing The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Subtitled)
From: Friday 11th June
To: Thursday 24th June
From: Friday 25th June
To: Thursday 1st July
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