The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It: Watch it or skip it?

RUAIRI O’CONNOR as Arne Johnson in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
RUAIRI O’CONNOR as Arne Johnson in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures /
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The eighth movie in The Conjuring Universe has arrived. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, or for this review, The Conjuring 3, brings the focus back to the Warrens. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as the demon-chasing couple but could they recapture the magic of the first two movies? Both were ‘Certified Fresh‘ with ratings on Rotten Tomatoes of over 80% from both critics and the general audience so expectations were high.

In The Conjuring 3, the Warrens are faced with an exorcism that ends dramatically and strangely. Neither of the Warrens leaves unscathed and this exorcism is just the beginning of the story in this film. I liked that the movie jumped right into the action with the Warrens and then spent some time introducing us to the extended cast instead of wasting time setting up our players before getting down to business. It made the movie flow better and kept the raised from the very beginning.

It would be impossible to give you any more plot without spoiling the film so I’ll simply explain what worked and what didn’t work in this movie.

What didn’t work in The Conjuring 3?

The first thing that I have to address, because it is one of the first questions people ask when a new horror film comes out, is the jump scares. There are a lot of them and most of them are predictable.

There is a good bit of misdirection to make the actual action less predictable but the movie thrives off of letting you know something is coming and taking its time to deliver. To the point that I had time to roll my eyes waiting for the payoff several times. Some people don’t mind jump scares but it was too much for me.

The Conjuring 3 sticks to what works and tells a solid story in the process

The second thing about this movie that I didn’t enjoy was the effort to try to make this entry a love story. Again, I don’t want to spoil it but there are small, forced moments that make it clear that the writers wanted to make the romantic connection between the Warrens matter and it was too uneven to land for me. It felt forced every time they brought it up.

This movie throws a lot of exposition out there and it takes away from the experience. At some point, you have to trust the audience to be able to figure things out without forcing it into the dialogue.

The Conjuring 3
EUGENIE BONDURANT as The Occultist in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures /

What worked in The Conjuring 3?

One of the good things about the Conjuring 3 is that we don’t get caught up chasing one thing. This film takes a simple story and manages to make it a much larger one with things happening in multiple places. This is why the movie is almost two hours long and it earns every minute of that runtime. We get to see both of the Warrens at their best whether it be Lorraine feeling a tragedy that occurred or Ed’s investigative skills.

Finally, the climax and the main villain. This might be one of my favorite main villains and I only wish we had gotten to spend more time with them. The climax is intense, fun, and while you know things can’t get but so bad it still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

There’s a solid twist and a good story at the core of what is happening. I feel like there was a piece missing that could have taken things to another level but even without a perfect story, it is entertaining.

Next. A Quiet Place 2: Watch or skip?. dark

Overall, I do agree with the critical consensus (so far) that this is the worst of the three Conjuring films, but it is still a solid watch for horror fans and especially fans of the franchise. I don’t think we’re getting any closer to the end of the franchise after this entry. Enjoy the surface level scares and the slightly deeper than the surface story for what they are and hope for another home run later in the series.

The Conjuring 3 is currently in theaters.