THEATRICAL REVIEW: Conjuring sequel summons scares, but pales compared to original

As someone who had to sleep with the lights on after watching the first Conjuring film, it’s safe to say I was a fan of the franchise from the jump.

I love being scared, and if a film can affect me long after the credits roll, it’s done its job. Sadly, this whole Insidious universe that’s been created has given credence to the phrase ‘less is more’.

The endless sequels, spinoffs and this third film in the Conjuring franchise alone continue to try to milk money out of this property without giving half the attention to detail the early films had.

Frankly, though its opening and final sequences are terrifying, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It sags in the middle more than any horror film rightly should.

For a movie that follows the unexpected, intense and horrifying shock that comes with the paranormal and strange, the plot-line here is a bit by-the-book.

The Warrens, based on the real-life demonic possession investigator couple, are still interesting and I’m sure there are more stories to tell. But they have to be told with a bit more fervour.

Original creator and director James Wan was an intricate storyteller who put plot and substance before thrills, while still managing to make his audience shriek.

This franchise has been put in the wrong hands. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are still effective as Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The Conjuring 3 isn’t a bad horror movie. It isn’t even mediocre. It’s good and does provide requisite thrills and chills. But based on what we’ve seen in the first two instalments, I know it could have been much, much better than passable.

If you want to feel uncomfortable in your seat, it will absolutely do the trick. But here’s to hoping future instalments get back to basics and opt for earned scares instead of cheap jumpy ones.

3/5 Stars

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