The well-regarded horror franchise enters ho-hum territory, spilling out a story of a man who uses ‘it wasn’t me, it was the devil’ at his murder defense.
Based on the true story of an exorcism plague, this one sees paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) help out on a dispossession which ends with a man (Ruairi O’Connor) asking the possessor to enter his body instead of his girlfriend’s little brother. Later, when he murders his landlord, the Warrens attempt to prove the young man’s claims.
If films were awarded full stars based solely on performances, “The Conjuring : The Devil Made Me Do It” would snare full marks. Unfortunately, while Wilson and Farmiga are dependably solid as the ghostbusting Warrens, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick’s script and Michael Chaves’s direction is conspicuously weedy when compared to previous instalments in the series. Like the “Saw” franchise, which suffered greatly after director James Wan handed over the reigns to less capable point-and-shoot types, “The Conjuring” brand suffers when not steered by Aussie prince of horror.
If the “Conjuring” franchise is to survive an inevitable future of forgettable late-night cable fodder, Warner might want to convince Wan back into the director’s chair.
As a standalone horror, one that didn’t follow two exceedingly well-crafted supernatural horror films, “The Conjuring : The Devil Made Me Do It” offers plenty to hold fans of the genre over. From some well-executed, physically-crafted moments of terror to a reasonably compelling storyline, it’s anything but dull – well, most of it anyway.
The newly-released Blu-ray includes a couple of featurettes, and most markedly, a video comic – that’s worth a peek.