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Monday, November 1, 2021

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It 2021 * * 1/2 Stars


I saw the first Conjuring flick and I thought it was meh. I've never seen the second Conjuring installment (aptly titled The Conjuring 2). Now it's Halloween and yeah, I might as well watch a little fright fare. Why not The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. I mean why not. 

Anyway "Devil" is a modern-day horror pic even though it takes place in 1981. I say it's modern-day because it has those jump scares that are seen so often and don't really terrify you internally. There's also that MTV-style editing we see so much of in today's fear fest assembly line (in MTV's defense, they did start their inception in '81). 

Finally, there's that whole follow-up faze and revisiting of stuff from years past. Examples: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has an opening shot that feels like something out of The Exorcist. Added to that, the possessed dude in "Devil" looks like the possessed dude in Amityville II: The Possession (Sonny Montelli). And just for kicks and giggles, the afreet in "Devil" targets a family just like in those Paranormal Activity vehicles. Need I say more.

"Devil" is a June 2021 release that has the look and texture of an episode of Paranormal Witness. It chronicles the Warrens (who else?) as they investigate the demonic bewitching of a young, contortionist man who committed murder. "Devil" is directed by Michael Chaves, a sort of meat and potatoes filmmaker whose 3rd Conjuring is decently well-made and suitably plotted. Sadly though, we've seen this whole movie before (no pun intended). 

"Devil" is a sequel of a sequel that knows it's a sequel. It's a continuation of something prosaic, a new chapter of real-life paranormal investigators who just happen to stumble upon some more demonic mumbo jumbo. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga do a decent job in their Warren portrayals. But if what's on screen isn't bone-chillingly scary, there's no need to "conjure" up anything but a mixed review. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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