Jun 02, 2021
6 mins read
Well, would you look at that? There is a new blockbuster horror movie coming out this week! In case you skipped the title or have been avoiding the internet, I am of course talking about the third installment for The Conjuring series - The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - which will be available in theaters and HBO Max June 4th. (FYI I will just refer to it as Conjuring 3 hereafter).
Am I excited about this? Sure! I guess you can say that I am excited. There have not been too many movies released in the past year-and-a-half that I have been anxious for. I think the last two movies I was so excited to see that I paid for the home video price were The Invisible Man and Tenet. I know some other Oscar-worthy films have come out over the last year but honestly, nothing has really grabbed my attention. I will say that I am more excited than normal for The Conjuring 3 because there has been this void of new movie excitement, especially for horror! In order to prepare for the upcoming viewing experience, I have revisited the first two films to reacquaint myself with the franchise. Here are my thoughts on the first two movies (SPOILERS).
The Conjuring (2013)
I saw this movie in the theaters with a big group of friends the summer that this came out. The theater was packed, and on-brand for crappy teenagers, we arrived halfway through the trailers, so we were damned to sit in the front. Even though we had to tilt our heads a good 90° to watch the movie, it was a total blast and a true cinematic experience! This memory reminds me of why it is fun and important to go to the theaters for blockbusters. The audience was so into it. There was lots of screaming, yelling, and you can feel everyone’s buttcheeks clench during certain tense scenes. There were even fun shenanigans! On the way out, a total stranger got one last scare in, as he walked up behind us and did the “clap-clap” as seen in the movie. It was a good time!
My takeaway from revisiting this movie is that James Wan is an incredible director. It is the camerawork that sticks out the most to me. The story itself is good and all, but it is pretty standard for a haunted house movie. My two favorite examples that flex is camerawork are:
1) the long tracking scene we got of the family moving into the house to the tune of an upbeat rock song. It is a fun and cool shot to explore this haunted house that you normally don’t get in these types of movies.
2) the camera flipping upside down as people are running in and out of the house during the 3rd act. There was no real reason to be this cool and hard flexing in a ghost story but James Wan is a bad mofo! [SORRY I could not find clips of these examples :( ]
As soon as the Warrens enter the movie, I am hooked. I know the Warrens irl were probably con artists, but the fictional movie characters are charming and I like them in the movie. I get stoked as soon as they start their investigation. I am not sure if this (or any of the franchise) movie is really offering any messages to take home, besides the blunt religious lesson of the devil is real. I have been rattling my brain to see if it can come up with any allegorical meaning to this (these) movie(s) but I simply cannot. I think these movies are purely meant to scare you and they sure get the job done.
My one knit pick with the movie is that I am not sure if it is a true demonic movie? My Catholic upbringing told me that demons are fallen angels...was that the case here in The Conjuring? I am not sure. I could just be splitting hairs. Regardless, this movie scares me EVERY time and I always have a hard time sleeping afterward.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
I actually watched this for the first time last week, so sorry there’s no fun movie-going tale for this one. I have to say though, I did enjoy it. The film is pretty similar to the first one but there are just enough differences to make it interesting enough and not feel super repetitive. James Wan did not phone it in and definitely gave it the same amount of care as its predecessor. What stuck out to me the most was the creative spin on the story.
The inclusion of the “this might be a hoax” storyline was a smart choice, and probably accurate to the thinking of certain people during the time of the real-life events. It gave the movie time to breathe and made the audience think if they were being conned. While I was watching, I was highly doubting that the movie would end on “oh it was just a hoax the whole time, pack it up, boys!”...but part of me did entertain the idea. So, I guess I will give points to Wan for making that small part of me think that way. It could have also been an interesting response to those who watched the first movie and thought the irl events were all bullshit. I say this because the Warrens (irl) have been called out as phonies and con-artists. (Admittedly, I am not informed enough on the Warrens to be able to have an opinion one way or the other.) However, the unique twist of the movie - a demon holding a human spirit hostage that is holding Janet hostage- attempts to explore why you cannot simply call any haunting a hoax at face value.
My messy interpretation aside, I did enjoy getting to know the movie-Warrens more here. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson bring good performances to the table and I am oftentimes more interested in them than the ghosts. Patrick Wilson's Elvis impression was something that I never knew I needed to see!
I am not sure what to expect from The Conjuring 3. I have not watched any trailers, as I want to go in completely blind. I am worried that the lack of James Wan’s direction will be felt in a bad way. I will be kind of annoyed if it is another demonic possession case. I know, I know! It was the Warrens and that’s what they did….but give me some variety, please! I am expecting to see the nun demon that was following Lorriane in part 2 so I will not freak out over that.
After watching these two movies back-to-back, I have never been more scared being alone in my apartment and I am ready for The Conjuring 3 to completely break me on June 4th! Comment below what you are expecting from the movie and what you thought of the first two films. You will hear my reactions to The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It on my podcast feed.
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