The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It director Michael Chaves explains why this third installment needed to be different from the horror franchise’s past movies. Ever since 2013, the Conjuring universe has been a mainstay of the horror genre. Initially focusing on the cases of real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), The Conjuring produced several spin-offs, from the Annabelle franchise to The Nun. While Wilson and Farmiga made appearances in 2019’s Annabelle Comes Home, The Conjuring 3 will be their first proper franchise return since The Conjuring 2 in 2016.
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The first two Conjuring films largely focused on haunted house tales, but The Devil Made Me Do It is taking a different track. It is once again based on one of the Warrens’ real life cases: The trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor). Johnson was tried for murder, but pled guilty on the grounds that he was possessed by a demon. The Conjuring 3 will follow the Warrens as they are tasked with investigating the truth behind his claim.
At a press conference for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Chaves discussed why this third film needed to branch out from the Warrens’ previous big screen adventures. When it comes to The Conjuring proper, Chaves takes over from James Wan, who helmed the first two movies. However, that directing change isn’t the only difference between installments, as Chaves explained why they decided to break out from the familiar Conjuring mold:
“For any franchise to seem fresh or be fresh there needs to invention and reinvention, and we wanted to tell a Conjuring story but in a way we haven’t seen before. This is in a lot of ways, y’know, more a supernatural thriller. We’re taking the Warrens on the road, and you said it’s “one of their darkest cases”. Y’know, these are always marketed as ‘the darkest Conjuring film’, and I think in so many ways this really is. When you really look at the case, it’s one of their most controversial cases and I think the whole thing is just so fascinating.”
Chaves’ assertion that all franchises need to embrace reinvention is a correct one. Yes, audiences are drawn to a property because of something familiar, but that doesn’t mean projects should stay the same forever. Franchises that take swings and try new things live longer than those that remain in the same place. Chaves previously explained why The Conjuring 3 would be moving away from haunted houses, and it’s much of the same: The previous Conjuring movies have done the haunted house plot before. Now, The Devil Made Me Do It can inject fresh life into this beloved horror world.
The Warrens embarked on several spine-tingling cases, and it remains to be seen if any more of them will be brought to the big screen beyond The Conjuring 3. Should this be the last one, it’s fitting that the franchise will end with what is being described as the Conjuring‘s darkest installment yet. The tale of a murder suspect claiming demonic possession led to his crime is a compelling one, and it certainly takes the Warrens into new territory. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It promises to be a fresh take for this universe, and that’s a thrilling thing.
More: The Conjuring 3 Trailer Confirms A Major Change To Lorraine Warren’s Powers
Source: The Conjuring 3 press conference
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