When The Conjuring was released in 2013, we had no clue that it would open up an expansive shared universe of films. Introducing us to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the series would take us on one frightening ride after the other through various spin-offs. But as their story wraps with a third film The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the momentum behind it is starting to feel stale.
I wrote about the franchise just last year, looking at every film and struggling with the convoluted direction it had gone down. One of my biggest issues with The Devil Made Me Do It is that it didn’t add anything new to the story. Other than further solidifying the relationship between Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) with some heartwarming moments, the film repeats what’s been done before.
From the start, we’re given too much. The opening sequence is long and overly informative, taking away any room for a tense build-up through the rest of the film. It’s formulaic and features the same jump scares we’ve come to expect. The new scares are the same ones viewers would have already seen in the trailer. So you know they’re coming and the effect is ruined.
The featured case in The Devil Made Me Do It is genuinely creepy, but the film doesn’t rely enough on that to sell its point. Instead it tries to stuff itself with so much extra exposition. Combined with the weak horror elements, the film just doesn’t close the series in a strong place.