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The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) Review

You've got to hand it to him.

You've got to hand it to him.

MPAA Rating


Running Time

112 minutes


Michael Chaves

Screenplay by

David Leslie and Johnson-McGoldrick

You had hope that the new Conjuring movie would not be like other dull “horror” movies of the obtuse ConjurVerse as the first two Conjuring movies had cheap but relatively effective scares as opposed to the tepid milk that is the rest of the ConjurVerse.

The only thing that most of the ConjurVerse movies share with each other is a distinct lack of actual frights. Unless you’re in Jr. high. Or grade school. Or scare easily. Or are a little b*tch.

Unfortunately, you’d be much better off watching the first two Conjuring movies again than sitting through this uninspired and derivative threequel.

As you watch it, you’d think the devil wanted to get you with boredom.

Satanic Synopsis!!!

The Conjuring Three (because I’m not wasting my time with such a long title for such a mediocre movie) opens in 1981 at the Glatzel household. There’s a mother and a father and a daughter. They all have actual names but no one really gives a f*ck about them because all we really care about is little David Glatzel (tiny Julian Hilliard from The Haunting of Hill House).

David is eight years old, likes race cars and puppies and is currently being possessed by a demon.

But if there’s something strange, in the Glatzel hood, who you gonna call? Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera “Near” Farmiga, trading 70s bell bottoms for 80s Michael Jackson zipper jackets).

They have a particular set of skills that make them extremely useful in demonic situations. They’ve brough their trusty priest friend Father Gordon (Steve Coulter) with them. Remember, it’s 1981 so we don’t know it’s a bad f*cking idea to have a priest around an eight year old boy.

Ed and Lorraine are up to their popped collars in demonic possession. We want them to save little David because he’s just so darned cute. He looks like that kid from Jerry Maguire. You know, the one that says, “Bees and dogs can smell fear”.

You know who else can smell fear?

She looks like she's enjoying the movie.

She looks like she's enjoying the movie.

David has a big sister Debbie (Sarah “Captain” Hook). Debbie has a boyfriend Arne (Ruairi O’Connor). Arne is such a good boyfriend that he’s willing to hang out with Debbie at dinner, pick up tampons, and wash dishes whenever there’s a family exorcism.

Arne is so upset that he forgets that there’s an ‘I’ in Arnie. Also, he tells the demon to inhabit him instead of David, like a dumb*ss.

Ed and everyone in the audience says that’s a terrible idea.

Arne doubles down on the devil-take-me-instead proposition because Arne rhymes with chili con carne and chili is just what the devil will make out of Arne’s soul and entrails.

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Thanks to Lorraine’s supernatural superpowers along with some basic exorcism special effects, she is instrumental in saving David. #SaveDave

But not before the devil turns little David Glatzel into a little bendy pretzel.

Arne begs the devil to take him.

Ed tells Arne to shut the f*ck up.

Lorraine makes it so David is okay.

Ed has a heart attack, but he’ll be fine later.

After stuffing the next five minutes with exorcism cliches, everything having to do with the Glatzel household is hunky-dory because we’re only fifteen minutes in the movie.

Days later, Arne and Debbie are reminiscing about moving to another town together and what a fun exorcism that was the other night. Their landlord Bruno (Ronnie Gene Blevins) boards dogs for a living and will soon be dead.

No, because in a fit Arne decides to stab Bruno twenty-two times in the chest.

Arne then walks down the street with his clothes and hands all bloody. A cop notices this. Arne confesses he may have done something really, really bad. He doesn’t remember what he’s done. He’s taken to jail.

Arne is accused of murder.

When Lorraine and Ed hear of this, they think it’s something else. They think the devil made him do it. Unfortunately, no one has been able to argue demonic possession successfully in a murder case. Ed and Lorraine know that Arne killed someone, but is it murder if a demon made you do it?

And can they prove it in court, especially when the prosecution wants the death penalty?

Ed and Lorraine will have to find the truth. But can the court handle the truth? Especially since it involves forces you don’t usually find in a courtroom that Aaron Sorkin can fancy dialogue his way out of.

In order to save Arne from death, Ed and Lorraine will have to deal with a retired priest—

A retired priest, a midnight excursion to a morgue and Lorraine will say the line, “Something terrible happened here”. Possibly referring to the other ConjurVerse movies.

She's trying to hit that buzzer because she knows the answer.

She's trying to hit that buzzer because she knows the answer.

What Works With The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It

  • Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson’s unforced chemistry keeps this bloated and uninspired movie afloat. Through two Conjuring movies and 2019’s idiotic Annabelle Comes Home, Farmiga and Wilson enhance the positive and make the negative a little more bearable. It takes all of their considerable still to make The Devil Made Me Do It not make you want to walk out/switch to another movie on HBO Max.
  • The closing credits of any Conjuring movie are scarier than the movie preceding it. This is especially true of Devil.

What Doesn’t Work With The Conjuring The Devil Made Me Do It

  • Director Michael Chaves (taking over for James Wan) stages a middle act full of blocky exposition and forced jump scares. Scenes don’t build upon each other or have any real payoff other than making you wonder when the movie will get better. Spoiler- it doesn’t. It feels like Farmiga and Wilson are in a pilot for a police procedural (a scene in a morgue is especially clunky) that will be canceled after four episodes. Then again, Michael Chaves last film was the worst movie of the ConjurVerse, the insipid The Curse of La Llorona. In 2019, you felt cursed after you saw it.
  • A Shining reference that makes you just want to watch The Shining. You’re always better off doing that anyway, especially of your only other options come from the ConjurVerse.
  • One of the worst villains in the ConjurVerse, and that’s saying something. All he/she/it does is show up…behind you…or in front of you in ways that never happen in real life but only happen in pedestrian horror movies.
Any book would be better than this movie.

Any book would be better than this movie.


Should you conjure up a reason to actually sit through this and have the memory of the previous Conjuring movies tainted? The power of this review compels you to not.


Conjure the movie here! Or Just Buy It!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2021 Noel Penaflor


Noel Penaflor (author) from California on June 07, 2021:

No I don't. Paimon is a reference to Hereditary.

Caila Daniels from Chicago on June 07, 2021:

You play Genshin Impact? I saw the word 'Paimon' and flipped out for a minute there. Lol!

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