“The court accepts the existence of God every time a witness swears to tell the truth,” Ed Warren says in the trailer for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. “I think it’s about time they accept the existence of the Devil.” That’s right, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are back as crusading demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, and this time they’re out to convince a court of law of a murder suspect’s innocence. Why is the defendant innocent? Because he was possessed by a demon when he killed his landlord.
This is the third installment of the Conjuring series, films that have collectively grossed over $600 million worldwide to put them among the most successful horror movies of all time. They informed an entire universe of films, spawning three movies about Annabelle the haunted doll, 2018’s The Nun (and its untitled, still-in-development sequel), about a demonic woman of the cloth, and 2019’s The Curse of La Llorona, which was directed by Michael Chaves, who takes over the reins of the Conjuring franchise from James Wan for The Devil Made Me Do It. Fans seemingly can’t get enough of the paranormal, which is beneficial for the filmmakers, because Ed and Lorraine Warren’s case files are chock full of story ideas.
Like its predecessors, the new film is based on a true story. In 1981, Arne Cheyenne Johnson’s defense team sought to prove that he couldn’t be responsible for murdering his landlord because he was possessed by a demon at the time of the act. It became known as the “Devil Made Me Do It” case, and it’s served as the source material for an episode of Discovery Channel’s anthology series A Haunting, as well as a TV movie. But besides all of the spirit world channeling and jump scare haunted housing, the Conjuring films’ best component has always been the relationship between the Warrens, and the onscreen chemistry of Wilson and Farmiga.
From the looks of the trailer, they’re up to their old tricks, discovering witches’ totems in creaky crawl spaces, and probing the otherworldly visions of a precocious little kid. There’s also the matter of “master satanists,” and Lorraine Warren maybe being dragged off a cliff by a scary hand?
However it all shakes out, expect scares galore and some juicy courthouse demon drama when The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It drops in theaters and on HBO Max on June 4. Check out the full trailer above.
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