The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It is the worst film in the entire Conjuring universe. Maybe that's because James Wan was not in the director's seat for this demonic possession movie about a young man who kills another person then goes to trial with a defense of possession from a sinister force. It's silly rather than scary and would rather wink constantly at other horror movies than tell a compelling story and further the exploits of the Warren family. The 4K with HDR video and the Dolby Atmos track are both very good, but the bonus features are all too quick, promo fluff, and don't offer any real insight other than surface material. It's a Rental At Best.
James Wan cemented his. name in the annals of horror cinema when he released Saw in theaters all those years ago. That low-budget indie horror movie became an instant hit both critically and financially and has spawned as many sequels like Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, and Halloween. Due to the success of that franchise, Wan went into the spiritual/psychological horror world with The Conjuring that followed the real-life paranormal investigators' Ed and Lorraine Warren and their sinister cases they solved. Wan served as director for the first two films, but with The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It, the horror maestro stepped aside and had Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona) take the reigns, which resulted in a silly, uninspired, and truly terrible movie in the horror genre. Luckily, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga still bring some credibility to the franchise with their brilliant performances, but it's doubtful anything could have saved this film without James Wan at the helm.
The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It centers on the Warren case that happened in 1981 where Arne Johnson of Connecticut was convicted of murdering a man via stabbing him brutally to death. This case made big headlines and marks the first time a defendant argued that he was possessed by a demon, which made him kill. The Warrens came on board to investigate and got more than what they bargained for as they usually do in these films.
The story itself is scary and haunting for sure, but the execution here is downright awful and painful to watch unfold on screen. Even the first scene of a young child possessed by an evil spirit comes across as funny rather than even remotely scary. And instead of telling a proper story full of character development and creepy atmospheric scares like the previous films, Chaves spends the whole movie tipping his hat at other horror films, which comes across as lazy, unoriginal, and again - silly.
For our Theatrical Review...CLICK HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It possesses its way to 4K Ultra HD with a 4K Disc + Blu-ray Disc + Digital Code from Warner Bros. The discs are housed in a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve that features the artwork of Vera Farmiga with an upside-down cross. There is an insert for a digital copy inside as well as an insert for a FREE month subscription to DC Universe comics. That was nice of them.
The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It comes with a new 2160p 4K UHD transfer with HDR with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 that serves as a slight upgrade from its 1080p Blu-ray counterpart.
This film is set in the early 1980s, therefore there are certain color palettes to give it that nostalgic visual style, like the previous two installments did. The colors through most of the interior scenes have somewhat of an amber yellowish tint to them with the late '70s - early '80s color patterns. Yellows, browns, oranges, and tan colors are the more vibrant colors in houses, barns, and other interiors. Every lamp or ceiling light has a haunting orange glow to it as well. Exterior shots in well-lit conditions reveal natural blue skies and various shades of green pastures and tall grass.
The HDR ability enhances these nuanced colors very well from the already decent 1080p transfer. With this 4K image though these colors are more pronounced through the darker and low-lit sequences which tend to be the more predominant theme throughout the film. The black levels are deeper and richer in this 4K package whether down in a deep dark basement or underground tunnels of sorts. There are rarely any murky shadows or bleeding in these scenes, but there was a time or two they crept up with the soft lighting creeping in. Skin tones are mostly natural as well if not a little on the amber side of things.
The detail is exquisite and sharp, revealing great practical effects in demonic makeup, wounds, blisters, gore, and more. Individual hairs, facial pores, and textures in the costumes look good here as well. Wider shots of the darkly-it sets and farmhouse look wonderful as well. The low lighting factor doesn't hinder the fantastic detail on display, but with the HDR-enabled in this 4K presentation, it only upgrades it. There were no other major issues with this picture.
This release comes with a great Dolby Atmos track that utilizes the full spectrum of all speakers for those equipped. This audio mix defaults to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 option for those who are not Atmos ready. The sound design is pitch-perfect for those haunted houses that go bump in the night scenarios. The sound effects are boisterous and loud when there are jump scares or a crescendo of music that relates to the carnage and possession that is happening on screen. Vehicle engines revving, weapons sounding on, and hitting another object always sound powerful as well.
The rear speakers get a workout with the ambient noises of the creaky houses and other supernatural elements that creep into the soundscape. This causes an immersive and scary listening experience for any viewer. The height speakers come through on a rare occasion with haunting sound effects from above or during the heavier action scenes of possession. Other than that, this Dolby Atmos track plays on the front speakers most of the time. The score is a big factor here, which always enhances the scares and suspense at a high level. The dialogue is always clear and presented cleanly, free of any audio problems.
There are only 29 minutes of bonus features, most of which are EPK fluff and then a digital comic. Not much to see here.
The Conjuring III: The Devil Made Me Do It is a big step back in the whole Conjuring universe. It's not scary but comes across as silly and over-the-top ridiculous. Plus Chaves is more concerned with winking at older horror films than telling a great, horrifying story here. James Wan really needed to be in charge again. The 4K presentation and Dolby Atmos tracks are mostly satisfying, but the extras are something less than desired. This is a Rental - or wait for it to come back to HBO Max.