|The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It|
|Directed by||Michael Chaves|
|Screenplay by||David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick|
|Music by||Joseph Bishara|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$112.2 million|
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (also known as The Conjuring 3) is a 2021 American supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves, with a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick from a story by Johnson-McGoldrick and James Wan. The film serves as a sequel to The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016), and as the eighth installment in the Conjuring Universe. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as paranormal investigators and authors Ed and Lorraine Warren, with Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard also starring. Wan and Peter Safran return to produce the film, which is based on the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a murder trial that took place in 1981 Connecticut, in addition to The Devil in Connecticut, a book about the trial written by Gerald Brittle.
Initial development for a third Conjuring film began in 2016, though Wan stated that he would not be directing another film in the series due to scheduling conflicts with other projects. Safran confirmed that the next film would not be a haunted house film. By June 2017, it was officially announced that a third installment was in development, with David Leslie Johnson hired to write the screenplay. Michael Chaves was announced as the film's director, after previously directing The Curse of La Llorona (2019). Filming took place in Georgia in summer 2019.
Originally slated for a September 2020 release, the film was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was released by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema in the United States on June 4, 2021, where it also has a simultaneous month-long release on the HBO Max streaming service. The film has grossed $112 million against a budget of $39 million and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances of Wilson and Farmiga, but noted it as weaker than previous Conjuring installments.
In 1981, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren document the exorcism of 8-year-old David Glatzel, attended by his family, his sister Debbie, her boyfriend Arne Johnson, and Father Gordon in the town of Brookfield, Connecticut. Desperate to save the little boy, Arne invites the demon to enter his body instead. Ed witnesses the demon transport itself from David's body to Arne's whilst suffering a heart attack brought on by the demon.
Ed wakes up at the hospital and reveals that he witnessed the demon enter Arne's body. Arne ends up murdering his landlord, Bruno Sauls, by stabbing him 22 times under the influence of the demon. With the support of the Warrens, his case becomes the first American murder trial to claim demonic possession as a defense, resulting in an investigation into David's original possession to gather evidence. The Warrens discover that David was cursed through a witch’s totem, and the curse has now been passed to Arne; the demon was summoned by a Satan worshipper rather than possessing by its own will. They meet with Kastner, a former priest who previously dealt with the Disciples of the Ram cult. He explains that an occultist had left the totem, casting a curse on the family to use the possessed person as a human sacrifice.
The Warrens travel to Danvers, Massachusetts to investigate the death of Katie Lincoln, who was also stabbed 22 times. Detectives had found a similar witch's totem at the home of Katie's friend Jessica, who is missing. Through a vision, Lorraine discovers that Jessica had stabbed Katie under demonic possession before falling off the cliff to her death, which allows detectives to recover her body. In a vision from touching Jessica's corpse, she witnesses the occultist attempting to influence Arne to kill himself but stops her. Lorraine warns Ed that the occultist now knows who they are.
Ed is influenced into almost stabbing Lorraine but is stopped by their assistant Drew. They find the same witch's totem in their house, left by the occultist to curse them. Drew learns from a book of Stregherian witchcraft he found from Kastner's things that in order for the curse to be broken, the altar upon which the occultist summoned the demon must be destroyed. Lorraine returns to Kastner for help. Kastner wearily reveals that he had a daughter named Isla in violation of the requirement of clerical celibacy in the Catholic Church. During his research of the Disciples of the Ram cult, Isla's fascination toward his work grew into an obsession, leading to her becoming a Satanist: the occultist responsible for the curse is Kastner's own daughter, which he had kept from Ed and Lorraine to protect her.
Isla's curse needs three sacrifices: the first was Jessica, the second Arne, and the third Ed. As Isla arrives, Kastner gives Lorraine access to the tunnels underneath the home, where she finds Isla's altar. Isla kills her father and gets Ed possessed. Arne is possessed at the same time, close to committing suicide. Ed attempts to kill Lorraine but she begs him to remember their love. He regains consciousness and destroys the altar, breaking the curse and saving Arne. Free from Isla's bidding, the demon kills Isla, damning her soul after she failed to complete the curse.
In the end, the cup from the altar is added to Ed and Lorraine's room of artifacts, along with the Valak painting and the Annabelle doll. Arne is convicted of manslaughter and serves five years in prison wherein he and Debbie got married.
In 2016, regarding further potential sequels, James Wan stated, "There could be many more [Conjuring] movies because the Warrens have so many stories." Screenwriters Chad and Carey W. Hayes also expressed interest in working on a story for another sequel. However, Wan stated that he may be unable to direct the film due to his commitments to other projects. He told Collider, "Assuming we are lucky enough to have a third chapter, there are other filmmakers that I would love to sort of continue on the Conjuring world, if we are lucky enough". Wan also noted that, if a third film were to be made, it would ideally take place in the 1980s. Wan later stated that the sequel could include lycanthropy, "Maybe we can go and do it like a classic American Werewolf in London style. [...] The Warrens set against the backdrop of The Hound of Baskerville". In May 2017, Safran said it would be unlikely that a third installment would be a "haunted house" film.
In June 2017, it was announced a third installment was in development, with The Conjuring 2 co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick hired to write the screenplay. In August 2017, Wan told Entertainment Weekly that the filmmakers have "been working hard on The Conjuring 3 ", and that "we're in the midst of working on the script, and still hashing [it] out. We want to make sure that the script is in a really good place. With how much people have loved the first two [Conjuring films], I don't want to rush in to the third one if possible." By September of the following year, producer Peter Safran stated that the script was near completion and that production would begin sometime during 2019. In May 2019, it was revealed that James Wan co-wrote the story with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick.
– James Wan on his decision to choose Michael Chaves as The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It director
In October 2018, it was announced that The Conjuring 3 would not be directed by Wan, but instead would be directed by The Curse of La Llorona director Michael Chaves. Wan stated that he was impressed while working with him on The Curse of La Llorona. In December 2018, Wan confirmed the film's plot details. Wan spoke with Bloody Disgusting, saying, "I think it's the first time in America's history where the defendant used possessions as a reason, as an excuse." In October 2019, Joseph Bishara—who composed the scores for The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Conjuring 2, The Curse of La Llorona and Annabelle Comes Home—was confirmed to be returning to score this third Conjuring film. In December 2019, the film's official title, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, was revealed.
In December 2018, it was confirmed that Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga would reprise their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren respectively from The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. In August 2019, actress Megan Ashley Brown announced that she and Mitchell Hoog will portray young Lorraine and Ed Warren respectively. In December 2019, Sterling Jerins, Julian Hilliard, Sarah Catherine Hook and Ruairi O'Connor were all confirmed as part of the film's cast by director Chaves.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It entered production on June 3, 2019, with filming taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. On August 15, 2019, Farmiga announced that she had finished filming her scenes for the film.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was released in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2021, and in the United States on June 4, 2021, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. In the United States, as part of its plans for all of its 2021 films, Warner Bros. will also stream The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It simultaneously on the HBO Max service for a period of one month, after which the film will be removed from the service until the normal home media release schedule period. It was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on theaters and the film industry, after previously being scheduled to be released on September 11, 2020. Following its opening weekend, Samba TV reported the film was streamed in 1.6 million American households over its first three days of release.
As of June 13, 2021[update], The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has grossed $44.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $68 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $112.2 million.
In the United States, the film was released alongside Spirit Untamed, and was projected to gross $15–20 million from 3,100 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $9.8 million on its first day, increasing estimates to $25–27 million. It ended up debuting to $24 million, the second-lowest of the Conjuring Universe but still marking the third-best opening of the pandemic and topped the box office. The film fell 57% to $10.3 million in its sophomore weekend, finishing third at the box office.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 57% of 208 critic reviews for the film are positive, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "The Devil Made Me Do It represents a comedown for the core Conjuring films, although Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson keep the audience invested." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100 based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported 78% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 58% saying they would definitely recommend it.
Carlos Aguilar of the TheWrap wrote: "The Devil Made Me Do It opens with a disturbing sequence, set in 1981, that stands as the scariest part of the supernatural saga to date. That's not to say that the nearly two hours that ensue are devoid of tension and well-paced jump scares, but the sheer chaos and malevolence on display right out of the gate are unmatched elsewhere." In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman praised the performances of Wilson and Farmiga but wrote: "The new film lacks that kinetic haunted-house element. It's the most somber and meditative and least aggressive of the Conjuring films."
From The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney said: "This one offers plenty of lurid fun and some genuine scares. But the grounding in dark spirituality that made the previous entries focused on the Warrens so compelling gets diluted, despite the reliably dignifying double-act of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson."
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