The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Since 2013, the ‘Conjuring’ series has turned into a cottage industry. Spun-off with several movies, ‘The Conjuring: the Devil Made Me Do It’ is its eighth instalment. It mirrors the ‘Amityville’ films which had endless sequels and marketing opportunities. Connecting them are the central duo of Ed and Lorraine Warren who investigated the infamous Amityville case. Whether you believe in such things may influence how you enjoy the latest entry in their adventures. Spooky occurrences are assured as the spectre of the film producer’s hands takes money out of your pockets as you enter the dark cinema theatre.

Paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Famiga) Warren face their toughest case. While performing an exorcism on a demonically possessed boy, the evil spirit goes into the body of Arne Cheyanne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor). Months later Arne is arrested for manslaughter. In court he claims his innocence by saying the devil made him do it. Ed and Lorraine are called as witnesses with their reputations at stake. With the world’s media glare upon them, they must fight hearsay and vile demons in a dangerous fight for survival.

Based on a real-life 1981 murder trial, ‘The Conjuring 3’ explores the power of belief. How the Warrens and the evil they confront use their belief system to battle each other is effectively conveyed. Having a grounding in reported facts creates authenticity, adding an air of believability in spite of the outlandish story. This enables ‘The Conjuring 3’’s director Michael Chaves to craft genuine tension, skilfully mixing fact and fiction.

None of this would work without the lead’s strong performances. Wilson and Farmiga bring solid conviction, anchoring the movie with their presence. Despite the expected supernatural pyrotechnics, their well developed characters enable you to care about their fate. The same goes for their co-stars who don’t over-act and keep things at an even level. This is mirrored by the score, showing restraint than bombast, allowing the mood to occur without booming noises and endless false jump scares.

From the look, music, script and acting, ‘The Conjuring 3’ is a strong chapter in the saga. Whilst not quite as good as the first two, the third outing balances the factual drama with fictional thrills well. It’s uncertain whether another movie in the series will surface, but given the ubiquitous nature of horror cinema, another chance to scare audiences will be a temptation too hard for its producers to resist.

Rating out of 10: 7


A Quiet Place part 2

A key to a successful good horror/thriller film is in its delivery of thrills. If none are delivered, there will be hell to pay from an audience paying good money to have their nerves jangled. Delivery of scares is always welcome which is why ‘A Quiet Place’ was embraced by viewers. Now comes the sequel determined to go to the money-making well once more. Burdened with delivering fresh frights while providing more of the same is something ‘A Quiet Place part 2’ does well as its beastly creatures lurk in the shadows.

With her family still trying to flee from the clutches of a race of sound-based alien creatures, Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) is determined to survive. Along with son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Evelyn learns new ways in defeating the creatures. When fellow human survivor Emmett (Cillian Murphy) surfaces, new threats emerge as the aliens close in with lethal precision.

Written and directed by John Krasinski, ‘A Quiet Place part 2’ benefits from his skilled story-telling. Whilst moments feel familiar, Krasinksi adds a few new tweaks to make it interesting. He is more than helped by the talented small ensemble who know how to conjure perfectly pitched performances. They don’t overplay their roles, with their facial features vitally important in a movie having little dialogue. The notion of genuine team work in order to survive is effectively conveyed as are the unique combative abilities of each character.

The question of whether ‘A Quiet Place part 2’ is actually scary is swiftly answered. Most of the time it is, as Krasinski settles more on percolating tension and moody atmosphere than grisly violence. He doesn’t take that easy way out which is welcome. His assembling of a diverse bunch of characters allows the story to be seen from different angles, making it consistently engaging. Kudos also goes to the music score as, with not many words spoken, it strongly carries the weight of the movie’s overall feel.

‘A Quiet Place part 2’ may slightly rest on the laurels of its predecessor but is enough of its own entity to fully stand. It gives what it promises on its poster as the mix of family drama and horror are well blended. No doubt a Part 3 will surface which wouldn’t be a bad thing judging by this entry’s success in agitating viewer’s fears.

Rating out of 10: 7