Director Michael Chaves teases just how dark The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It gets. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are making their returns as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators at the center of The Conjuring franchise. The franchise has grown exponentially since the original film released in 2013, branching off into different spinoffs that include the likes of Annabelle and The Nun. 2016 was the last time the Warren’s took center stage in the franchise, but The Conjuring 3 looks to be bringing them back in a big way this summer.
Following the case of Arne Johnson, who pleaded insanity by way of possession after committing murder, the Warrens will be investigating the paranormal occurrences surrounding the violence. This includes both Johnson and a young boy who was initially possessed by the demon that eventually inhabited the murderer’s body. The Conjuring 3‘s first trailer teased the film’s darkness and those involved have touted just how brutal it will get. Now, Chaves is doubling down.
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When asked how he approached the case at the center of the movie, Chaves says he wrestled with his own beliefs and how, or if, he should apply them to the film. The director says that while marketing may say that each and every Conjuring movie is “the darkest yet,” he truly believes The Devil Made Me Do It will prove this statement true in more ways than one. Chaves say this is because of the real life aspects of the case, including the murder at the film’s center.
Do you believe the Warrens’ story literally? How do you approach this particular case?
Michael Chaves: Yeah, it’s a really good question. I totally wrestled with that. I think that up to this point, just being a fan of it, the question of whether I believed in it wasn’t really brought to the forefront.When I got the script, and I started reading about the case – this is a very different case than the other Conjuring movies. There’s always the marketing spin of, “This is going to be the darkest Conjuring movie yet,” but in a lot of ways, this really is the darkest Conjuring movie yet. There’s a real victim; there’s a real man who was killed, and we are telling the story of the murderer. We’re telling the story of the other guy. All of a sudden, I had asked myself, especially growing up Catholic, what do I believe and what is going to be my point of view of this movie?That is a question that I honestly still have been wrestling with. I think we all wrestle with our faith and, ultimately, what I believe has to take a backseat. It’s the Warrens’ story and it’s Arne’s story.
While it still remains to be seen just how dark The Conjuring 3 will get, early glimpses have surely shown that Chaves’ comments could be quite accurate. In addition to the trailer’s eerie vibe, The Devil Made Me Do It slyly pays homage to The Exorcist, arguably one of the darkest and most iconic horror films of all time. The Conjuring 3 will surely have elements of that film with its religious overtones and themes of possession.
The Conjuring films have always been about the cases that the Warren’s investigate, but the Warren’s personal connections to these incidences have always been highlighted. Lorraine in particular has been portrayed as being physically and psychically connected to the spirit world and each film sees her more and more drained because of the toll that these literal demons are taking on her. The trailer for the film indicates that Lorraine’s powers may have grown stronger, but with that also comes the fear that the other side has become stronger, too. How strong those demons are will be clearer when The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters this summer.
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