WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.
Let’s be honest with each other, ok? The best part of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Both have carried this franchise on their shoulders and given us a pair of characters that we ship to the moon and back. Seriously, my love for Lorraine and Ed Warren in this movie has skyrocketed and we need to talk about why before delving into why this movie barely scrapped by if we’re going to be honest.
Each movie featuring Lorraine and Ed Warren is essentially a love story. Yes, it’s spooky and all that jazz. But love and plenty of heart is at the core of these movies. Because no matter what ghost, demon, or possession they battle, they always do it at each others side, creating a framework that carries these movies. This teamwork is what gives viewers hope that their love will prevail in the face of the evil snapping at their heels.
And we’ve learned from previous movies that their love is strong enough to face every evil imagined. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It expands on that love by showing us how they met all those years ago. And somehow, in the middle of a scary movie, you feel your heart grow three sizes at the sweetness that is their first meeting and the moments that led up to their first kiss in that gazebo.
As the movie progresses, it’s plain as day that the most important part of this movie is Lorraine and Ed. No one matches up, no matter how hard this movie tries. And that is where the problems start pouring in. Not with Lorraine and Ed. They’re perfect. The problems have to do with the fact that this movie did such a good job with Lorraine and Ed that everyone else was inconsequential in comparison. Basically, I didn’t care for anyone else.
The first two Conjuring movies were grounded in family, and not just the Warrens. We cared for the Perron family in the first Conjuring and wanted for them to be ok. We felt their pain, their sadness, and how defeated they were by the spirit that was tormenting them. In the second Conjuring movie we felt for the family as well. We wanted the Hodgson family to thrive and survive the demon that had chosen to torment them.
In The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It we didn’t care for the family. Sure, it was sad that Arne gave himself up for David. But that’s where it ended. We didn’t care for the Glatzel’s at all and once they were off screen we kind of forgot about them completely. Even Debbie and Arne and their love felt forced and not enough to give this movie the family element that it needed to stay afloat on it’s own.
The family aspect that was missing in all of this could’ve been fixed if Judy Warren had a more prominent role. They could’ve established her as a core character as a way of cementing the future of this series. Personally it would’ve been cool to see her working with her parents to solve what was going on. Plus imagine her being taught how to tap into her own powers by Lorraine? I’d be down.
Also, Judy Warren being more heavily involved in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It would’ve acted as a juxtaposition between the Occultist and Judy. The Occultist had fallen into the darkness that surrounds these movies. Judy is the exact opposite in that she respects what her family is doing. And if given the chance, it would’ve been cool to see these two opposing forces come face to face.
Personally, having Judy more heavily involved would’ve saved this movie. It scraped by because Lorraine and Ed were perfection as usual. But bringing them together as a family unit would’ve given this movie something it desperately needed. Here’s hoping that this series learns from its mistakes in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and gives us something more grounded in whatever sequel comes next.