As cinemas finally re-open the appetite to experience big screen storytelling is no doubt at an all-time high. For horror fans the wait to sit terrified in the dark has been a long one but with the release of THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT genre fans are being rewarded for their patience with the latest entry in the ever-expanding franchise detailing the occult adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren.


Ahead of the film’s release actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga who play Ed and Lorraine Warren, producer and the series original director James Wan and new director Michael Chaves discussed the films real life influence, why audiences worldwide have embraced the Warren’s and the new direction this film takes the Conjuring universe to.


When asked why this case was chosen for the third film Chaves stated exactly why: “I think that for any franchise to seem fresh there needs to be invention and reinvention. And we wanted to tell a Conjuring story, but in a way that we haven't seen before. This is in a lot of ways more of a supernatural thriller. We're taking the Warrens on the road, it's one of their darkest cases.” It was a case that made headlines across America and would go on to have a lasting effect on how such cases were perceived in the eyes of the law as Chaves explained: “We're opening new doors in the franchise of The Conjuring and exploring different things. In the 80’s Lorraine would work with detectives and in police departments. That was something that we haven't been able to explore before. It was a time that people forget, but there was actually a lot of psychics and clairvoyants working with police departments, so much so that the Department of Justice actually issued a handbook in 1989 because so many departments were working with psychics that they were like ““We need to actually formalise some kind of working rules of working with psychics!””



Although the 1980’s have been featured in many recent genre features the decision to take the Warren’s into the decade of Satanic panic was not a commercially driven one. Wan explained such reasoning: “It felt like a natural progression, because we had spent a lot of time in the 70s. Ed and Lorraine’s cases and career went from the 60s to the 90s. It just felt like the natural progression for us to move into. And aesthetically it just felt like it was the right thing to do. We've exhausted the 70’s look, and the 80s was the natural way to go.” Although Wan also admits it may not have been a purely story driven decision; “I remember Vera said to me, “I want big earrings!””


There is more than chunky jewellery however that brings Farmiga back for another round against yet another malevolent entity. “I think it would be that Lorraine loves Ed not only for who he is, but who she is when she's with him.” says Farmiga when asked if she gained any new understanding of the Warren’s and their life’s work. “We get to delve deeper into her. And her abilities as a psychic this time around, the nature of their detective work and seeing what they did as demonologists. Her clairvoyance seems to get put to the test. And we get to see other aspects of her clairvoyancy, different types of cognition, pre-cognition, retro cognition, remote viewing, not only the telepathy and clairvoyance. And she's able to do what she does, because she has his support, and she’s diving deeper into her abilities I think part of that love is her loving who she is, when she's with him.”



The Warren’s are that rare thing in horror cinema; an otherwise normal couple who carry their own franchise instead of a powerful villain. The key to such audience sympathy lies in their relationship according to Wilson. “What happens to a couple that just loves each other? What's so wonderful about this Ed and Lorraine that we've created, I'll say is that we are able to just really let it go with their love for each other. There are so many romantic sequences in this movie that you just wouldn't have in any other movie, but you'd have them in a Conjuring movie. That's what's so wonderful to be a part of, to find possibly the most romantic moments that I've had on screen are with Vera in a horror movie.”


Despite such romanticism this new chapter in the Conjuring still delivers on the scare front, even for those who might be cynical about the storyline and the Warren’s themselves, an issue Chaves is aware of himself. “Our movie opens with this exorcism; we have a recording of it that plays over the end credits. Maybe you’re a total sceptic, maybe you don't believe in demons, or God but you can't listen to that tape and say that something powerful was not going on there. You can't listen to it and not connect to the emotion, the real terror that the family was going through. I was raised Catholic, always a sceptic, but someone who wants to believe and I always go back and forth. James always talks about finding and really delivering the emotion. I think that's honestly the secret to his success and the success of this franchise. In fact, it's really anchoring it in just pure powerful emotion.”


Iain MacLeod.


The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is released in cinemas in the UK on May 26th.


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