Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren return to take on another supernatural evil in Warner Bros. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Michael Chaves directs the film, a threequel to the previous two Conjuring films and the eighth installment in the overall universe. The Warrens have numerous adventures, but for their latest one, screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick adapts the couple's role in the true-life trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson.
The film opens with Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) assisting in the exorcism of an eight-year-old boy by the name of David Glatzel. Things get out of control when Arne (Ruairi O'Connor), the boyfriend of David's older sister Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook), makes a life-changing decision. He invites the demon possessing David to enter his body to take him instead. Arne's bravery leads to a chain reaction of events that include Ed suffering a heart attack and Arne later going to jail for murdering his landlord. The Warrens then decide to help Arne with his case while investigating what appears to be part of a larger conspiracy.
I had briefly heard about The Warrens growing up, but was not genuinely invested in their story until 2013's The Conjuring. The original film still holds up, and while good, the sequel was a bit of a cash grab. Therefore, I had to wonder how the third film would match up. For the most part, the third adventure for The Warrens is a solid yet routine effort. Director Michael Chaves's debut The Curse of La Llorona, the sixth installment in The Conjuring Universe franchise, was terrible. So I initially had low expectations of what he would do with another film.
Thankfully, he has the stellar acting talents of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. They do not miss a beat in their third portrayals of Ed and Lorraine Warren. It was also great discovering the acting talent of Irish actor Ruairi O'Connor. He shines in the role of Arne, a young man who has to suffer the consequences of being a nice guy. I also liked the background that David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick gives the film and turns into more of a murder mystery, unlike the previous films.
There were a few good jump scare moments that got the audience in the theater I was in, but nothing freaked me out. While The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It isn't as strong as the previous two Warren adventures, the film is worth checking out. Here's hoping we see The Warren's take on the Smurl Haunting next.
Final Grade: B-