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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - Defending the Damned: From Possession to Prosecution

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Released 06-04-2021

Watched 09-16-2023

Reviewed 09-19-2023

Available to Rent or Buy


"The court accepts the existence of God every time a witness swears to tell the truth. I think it's about time they accept the existence of the Devil."



"The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" finds itself venturing into familiar haunted territories, while trying to balance the scales between horror and courtroom drama. Taking inspiration from the real-life trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, the film ambitiously seeks to meld the suspense of its predecessors with a new procedural dimension.


The returning duo, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, as Ed and Lorraine Warren, are as solid as ever. Their chemistry continues to be one of the series' saving graces, providing an emotional anchor amidst the torrent of supernatural chaos. Their performances remind the viewer of the human and emotional stakes at play.


However, the film sometimes stumbles in its execution. By injecting a courtroom drama into the franchise, the pacing tends to suffer. It's a challenge to merge supernatural horror and legal proceedings in a way that maintains tension, and at times, "The Devil Made Me Do It" feels torn between two worlds.


Some of the scares feel recycled from earlier installments or other horror films, reducing their impact. While the visuals remain top-notch, and some sequences are genuinely chilling, others fall flat or feel out of place in the overarching narrative.


Yet, for fans of the series and those intrigued by the blending of horror with real-life events, the film offers enough to be a worthwhile watch. It may not be the strongest entry in the Conjuring Universe, but its unique storyline and the always-reliable Warrens keep it engaging to the end.

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