The Conjuring universe is easily the most popular modern horror universe, and director Michael Chaves has given us the long-awaited third instalment, The Devil Made Me Do It. This time around, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren are fighting for a young man who claims the devil made him commit a murder. This event took the US by storm, and it's safe to say the horror community were excited to see the real-life case put to screen.
Written by Becca Johnson
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson once again give fantastic performances as married couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. They are the glue of these movies working perfectly to hold them together, and they are without a doubt the highlight of The Devil Made Me Do It. We get to know them even more, and seeing them battle Ed's deteriorating health makes this their hardest journey to date. All other performances were also believable, especially from Ruairi O'Connor who portrayed Arne, an individual claiming to be possessed by the devil and therefore not responsible for his actions.
It's a good job the audience loves these characters, as the plot left much to be desired. Although the case being followed is particularly interesting, the script didn't focus in on this enough. The narrative felt very messy and unfocused, trying to accomplish too much at once leaving every plot point severely underdeveloped. With Ed Warren's heart attack, Arne's case going to trial and an apparent witches curse, there is lots of excitement going on, yet at times it fails to feel coherent. That being said, the stakes are probably higher than ever as we have many lives on the line, including our leads, and this was put forward successfully.
Both of The Devil Made Me Do It's predecessors are known for being wickedly scary, using a range of techniques to run a shiver down the audience's spine. However, this installment is probably the least scary of them all. There is obvious tension building filtered throughout, yet this never manages to amount to any genuine scare. The fact the story is based on a real case definitely adds to the ominous feel, and there is some terrifying well-made imagery including a witches totem, but unfortunately it had too much to live up to and therefore fell short.
Ed and Lorraine Warren have an endearing relationship that is always fun to watch on-screen, and all characters this time around have a great dynamic. The acting was believable, the case of Arne Johnson was interesting and returning to this universe is always a blast. However, the plot feels too jumbled and messy to pack a true punch, and it is nowhere near scary enough to invoke fear unto its audience.