The Conjuring 3 is a 2021 American supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves and written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick from a story by Johnson-McGoldrick and James Wan. The film serves as a sequel to The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. It is the eighth installment in the Conjuring Universe and is based on the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles with Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard also starring.
Ed and Lorraine Warren take on one of the most sensational cases of their careers after a murder suspect claims demonic possession as his defense, forcing the Warrens into a supernatural inquiry unlike anything they've ever seen before.
The two Conjuring films are amongst my favorite horror films. I thought both were masterpieces in horror filmmaking. When it comes down to entertaining horror, I truly believe both films are amongst the best ever. With that being said, I do think this is the worst of the three, but being the worst amongst great films isn't that bad, and this film in its own right is still great.
I was worried for this film. James Wan is one of the best horror directors from the last two decades, and him not directing this one really worried me. Franchises after his departure typically don't do too well after, such as Saw and Insidious. There is also the fact that, as a whole, the Conjuring Universe wasn't great outside of Wan-directed films, with Annabelle 2 being the only one I loved. And to top it all off, Michael Chaves was directing. He made The Curse of Llorona, which I believe is one of the worst horror films to come out in some time. I truly hated that movie and his directing, while certainly not the worst part, did not enthuse me in the slightest.
However, with all that being said, The Conjuring 3 can proudly stand next to the other two films. This film had the horror and especially the characters. One of the best things this series does is make actual characters. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga were excellent as always, but the other characters were also very good, especially considering this story focuses a little more on the Warrens.
My one problem with this film is also one of the things I respect it the most for. The previous two films were both haunted house stories that followed the same formula. It worked and it was very effective for the story they were trying to tell. Here they don't follow that formula and do things differently. I really respect the film for doing it, but it didn't work 100%.
The original formula starts with the infestation and works its way up to the climatic exorcism. It's a great structure for building tension and horror. This film starts right in the middle of the action. I usually love that in films, but here it really takes away from the horror. That's my biggest problem, this film just isn't as scary as the others. The tension was fine, but that had a lot more to do with the characters. The original two had classic memorable scares that I will remember for a long time, but this one not so much. There were some great sequences, but overall not nearly as good of scares.
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Overall I still loved this film despite it being the weakest link. The film had great mystery aspects and I love that they tried something different. Everything they tried didn't necessarily work for me, but this is still one of the best horror films I've seen in recent memory.
The acting was fantastic as expected. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are the Warrens. They relish in these roles and are the heart of this film. If there was a film just about them living their everyday life, I'd probably watch it.
The supporting cast was also great, especially Ruairi O'Connor, who really shined for me. Overall, the acting was exactly what I was expecting.
The plot is where the film shows its weaknesses but also its strengths. I would definitely consider this the best written film in terms of plot. It opens up with the possession and the rest is a mystery to future out where the evil is coming from.
From the opening scene, you know what the horror is, but it developed in a way I didn't see coming. They go on a full blown investigation and it was actually really creepy especially towards the end of the film.
Overall, I really liked the film, but I'm not sure how other people will like it. If you're looking for straight up horror, I don't think this film is for you. However, if you're looking for well-crafted film, you will enjoy this.
The Conjuring 3 might be the weakest entry, but it's still a worthy ending to this trilogy.
© 2021 Royce Proctor Jr