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Review The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021): Entertaining but not scary!

genre: horror, mystery, thriller

Apparently James Wan realized that The Conjuring 2 was a bit too much and decided to tone down a bit and have events be more focused. However by doing so it completely diminished the dread and terror. 

Now there is some suspense to be had at first but soon you realize it doesn't really matter much since the reveal is a bit disappointing. Or perhaps that is not the right way to phrase it. It didn't do much for me since nothing actually exciting was done with the new take on demon hunting. The Warrens have to deal with a new kind of threat and are a little overwhelmed because the evil entity can't be destroyed in the traditional way and therefore is almost invincible with devastating consequences. I liked this idea because this would mean they would have to approach things differently or seek some help. They do but unfortunately not in the way I had hoped. You might be wondering what this new threat is. Well, it does seem to fit in the universe. And actually could have opened up bigger implications and consequences. If you think about it the definition of the conjuring is more applicable to this new threat. One possible outcome could have been that you could be under the impression you have eliminated the threat but actually only have destroyed a minion and not the boss. I personally would have liked both The Warrens getting in over their head and both almost getting killed only to realize the true battle hasn't even begun yet. Unfortunately they do deal with the boss like they would in your average Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode.  

There are bits of awesomeness happening. Only far too late in the film. Now I don't mind the fact that there is no constant dread present. Although it is something the whole franchise is famous for so perhaps not a good idea to completely remove it from the film. What I do think is problematic if there are no scares whatsoever. I am not talking about jump scares but more those moments where you do feel the fear and because of that feel the adrenalin rushing through you. It's almost an accomplishment that there isn't a single moment like that present. I am not sure if we can entirely blame director Michael Chaves for this. He did quite well with The Curse of La Llorona. Perhaps it's the way the story is told. Not enough is done to build up the threat. It's just there. James Wan is capable of having several evil entities running around in one film and still manage to give each of them their own unique presence and fear factor without detracting from and compromising the main plot. This could imply that Wan wasn't as much as involved with this production as he has been with his earlier productions. Or perhaps there were some other factors plagued the film. Whatever the reason fact remains this last entry in the franchise is not scary. 

Overall adequate for sure but what is the point of a horror film if it's not going to be scary. 

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