Is This The Warrens Darkest Case Yet In The Conjuring Franchise?
The third film in The Conjuring franchise was released on June 4, after being postponed for months due to COVID. Like the previous two films, this one centers around actual events as this latest installment follows Ed and Lorraine Warren to Connecticut. It is here that they work to save Arne Johnson from the death penalty. Arne, who was living with his girlfriend at the time, murdered his landlord during a dispute and later claimed it was under demonic influence. This case is the first in American history in which a defendant pleads not guilty by reason of demonic possession.
This Conjuring’s story isn’t about the trial of Arne Johnson, played by Ruairi O’Connor, but the struggle to save him from the curse that has upended his life. The Warrens search takes them outside the confines of a haunted house for the first time in the film trilogy and on the road, chasing clues and connections to Arne’s possession. They face the paranormal and the strain of their profession, as it finally begins to take its physical toll on the aging older couple. It’s the acting of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga that carries this film. Both veterans of the Conjuring universe bring the Warrens back to life as if they had been playing the couple their entire lives. Also bringing their A-game is actor Ruairi who plays a kind, hopeful young man with an earnestness and vulnerability that is hard not to sympathize with.
Whereas James Wan helmed the first two Conjuring movies, he is replaced here by Michael Chaves. With large shoes to fill, Chaves executes the style and tone that is now unique to these movies adeptly enough to satisfy both casual moviegoers and long-time fans of this ever-growing cinematic universe. Casual horror fans unfamiliar with James Wan’s style are sure to be pleased with the scares of this film. Long-time fans, however, may find that these scares, as well as certain points in the story-line, have become familiar. James Wan’s vision was a breath of fresh air when he first released The Conjuring (2013). He delivered yet again three years later with The Conjuring 2 (2016). But, as is the case with plenty of film trilogies, it’s not as easy to up the ante on the third installment. Some scenes of terror may not hit fans the same way because they now border on predictability. The climax borders on cliché almost to the point where the viewer may correctly deduce the ending before it happens.
Because of the solid plot, the characters, and the unsettling nature, this Conjuring movie is a great summertime scare. Although it may be a bit of a come-down from its predecessors, it still retains the same aggression and flare. If one hasn’t seen the previous two, then they can safely begin with this movie without the risk of spoilers. This film is now in theaters and on HBO Max until July 4.
Check out the trailer for “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It!”