The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It 2021 Movie Review and Trailer
The third Conjuring film is almost here, and it promises to be the darkest chapter of the franchise yet. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to their roles as the Warrens, while Ruairi O’Connor, John Noble, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard round out the cast.
The horror film releases in theaters and simultaneously on HBO Max on June 4 and has already screened for some critics. They’ve started to share their thoughts on social media, so let’s check them out.
Let’s start with the home team. Our very own Eric Eisenberg saw the supernatural movie, and considers it a “solid” installment in the franchise. Though he does outline some issues in the storytelling, he enjoyed the scares and thought it was great to see the investigating duo of the Warrens do their, well, investigating.
Erik Davis of Fandango really enjoyed The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. He calls it “freakishly demonic” and “bone-chilling,” which is exactly what you want to hear. He also especially praises the opening sequence and waterbed scene, arguing that the latter rivals any creepy moment we’ve seen in this franchise so far. I am personally getting pretty hyped for the movie as a result.
The 1981 murder case was the first known court case in the United States where the defendant sought to prove their innocence by claiming demonic possession to deny responsibility for the crime. In Brookfield, Connecticut, Arne Cheyenne Johnson murdered his landlord, Alan Bono (in the film, he is renamed Bruno Sauls) with no recollection of doing it. Johnson claimed that a demon took possession of his body, while he was trying to help another family, The Glatzels, expel a demon out of their son, David.
According to The Discovery Channel’s A Haunting episode “Where Demons Dwell,” The Glatzel family claimed their 11-year old son David was possessed by a demon after the family went to clean up a rental property they acquired. David said he had visions of an old man who would also appear as a demonic beast muttering in Latin, threatening to steal his soul. He started to exhibit strange behavior — growling, hissing, and speaking in otherworldly voices, and reciting passages from the Bible or Paradise Lost. He also had unexplained scratches and bruises and suffered through spasms and convulsions. The family called for the Catholic Church to help perform an exorcism, but the church refused to authorize it. That’s when they called the Warrens to help remove the spirits.
The Warrens suspected multiple possessions controlling David and attempted to perform exorcisms. Arne Cheyenne Johnson was the boyfriend of the Glatzels’ daughter, Debbie. After Johnson attempted to coerce one of the demons out of David during one of the exorcisms, the family claimed the demon focused its attention on Johnson. He claimed that days after the exorcism, he was attacked by the demon. It was only when he went back to Glatzel’s rental property that he was possessed by the demon after making eye contact with it on the property.
According to an article by the Washinton Post on the murder case, while at an event at Bono’s, something triggered in Johnson, causing him to stab Bono multiple times. Johnson’s sister Wanda claimed she heard her brother growling like an animal and then a shiny flash in the air. After Johnson killed Bono, he walked in a trance-like state straight into the woods. He had no memory of the murder.
The Warrens became involved when they claimed Johnson was possessed by the Devil. It sparked a media frenzy. Johnson’s lawyer Martin Minella didn’t have an interest in the supernatural but believed Johnson was possessed due to the deep wounds in Bono’s body that could not have been made by a human. Minella attempted to submit a plea of not guilty during the trial but was rejected by the judge. The judge argued that the defense could not exist in a court of law due to the lack of evidence. Johnson was eventually convicted of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 10-20 years in prison, but only served five.