What is Conjuring 3: Under the Devil’s Power? [critique]

A suite which, without renewing the genre, is carried by the interpretation of the duo Vera Fermiga- Patrick Wilson

With the first two opus of Conjuring, James Wan had consolidated his place in the small world of horror film, acquired with Saw and Insidious. For this third part, he entrusted the realization to Michael Chaves, with whom he had already worked on The Curse of the White Lady, and took the place of executive producer. And we must admit the couple of exorcists embodied by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, always has its small effect.

In this film which hardly revolutionizes the genre (the sets – typical of a horror film, namely the big house lost in the middle of a small town without any problem – the screamers, some overdone dialogues …), we are first hooked by the story from which it is inspired, namely the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, in 1981. And where at the time, the real couple Warren had been accused of over-publicizing the trial, in order to raise as much money as possible. Michael Chaves’ film never ventures into this field: we are simply faced with two investigators, wishing to help at all costs the young Arne accused of murder.

James Wan wanted this film to look first and foremost like a police investigation. And from that point of view, the goal has been reached. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson go all out in their roles and are believable from start to finish. Ditto for the young Julian Hilliard, just 9 years old, who plays possession in an impressive way. The special effects are perfectly exploited and obviously essential to immerse the spectator in this somber atmosphere essential to a story which, by turning more around the notion of madness than of possession, makes the story more human. Without completely erasing the impression of déjà vu.

By Michael Chaves. With Patrick Wilson, Vera Fermiga, Julian Hilliard… Duration: 1h52. Released on June 9, 2021

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