The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the latest entry in The Conjuring franchise, will drop its spooky trailer tomorrow. For now, though, some new images have found their way online, along with some comments from director Michael Chaves. Like most of the Conjuring films so far, The Devil Made Me Do It is drawing on a true story (although you can expect things to be heavily fictionalized): the murder trial of Arne Johnson. In 1981, Johnson murdered his landlord, claiming demonic forces lead him to commit the crime.
IGN has a first look at The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the latest Conjuring movie. Once again, it will star everyone’s favorite ghost-hunting mom and dad, Ed and Lorraine Warren, played again by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. And according to director Michael Chaves, this is going to be the darkest experience yet for the Warrens – and also the biggest. “In a lot of ways, this is the biggest Conjuring movie,” Chaves said. “I showed the final cut to [star] Vera [Farmiga] and her husband and they agreed, and they were like, ‘This is the darkest Conjuring movie.’ It digs into some really dark material. This is definitely a case where there’s real consequence, there’s real victims.”
That “real victims” angle is making me uneasy. While the previous two main entries in the Conjuring films drew on supposedly real stories, neither of those stories involved people being murdered. That’s not the case here, as The Devil Made Me Do It is based on the true story of Arne Johnson, who murdered his landlord and claimed demonic forces were driving him. Taking a real murder and using it for a movie like this runs the risk of bad taste, to say the least. But I’m willing to give the film the benefit of the doubt because I’m such a fan of the series.
Chaves adds: “This is really taking the Warrens into uncharted places. Being a fan of the franchise, I was honestly really nervous at first breaking with convention, breaking with a lot of things that are tradition, but I think that what we’ve done is really woven the language and the things that you do want from a Conjuring film – the scares, the Warrens, their relationship – [and [pushed them] to the limits in this really fresh and exciting new direction.”
He also says the film is like David Fincher’s Se7en set in the Conjuring universe. “One of the things that [series creator] James [Wan] and I connected on while making The Curse of La Llorona was sharing a lot of the same favorite movies, and one of them is Se7en,” said Chaves. “We both love that movie, and so when he came to me with this script, he basically was like, ‘It’s Se7en, but in the Conjuring universe.’ And he knew that was like catnip for me.”
And while previous films introduced multiple supernatural forces – many of which got their own spin-off films – Chaves says that’s not going to happen here, adding: “There’s something fundamentally different with this one and I think that’s honestly what I’m most excited about.” Head on over to IGN for more images from the film, and more quotes from Chaves.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4, 2021.
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