The second half of the title “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” could easily be used as your excuse for watching this movie in the first place.
For The Devil, as we all know, makes us do crazy things like watch haunted house movies like this one.
Such crazy things, of course, include us watching the actual Haunted House in which Eddie Murphy’s disastrous performance reminded us that The Adventures of Pluto Nash was not his worst movie ever.
As a whodunit investigative thriller, however, The Conjuring works like those elderly Kampala City street sweeper ladies who make it a point to sweep dust into your eyes each morning.
So you know the commitment is there, but you only wish it were not directed at depriving you of your viewing pleasure.
Okay, then, what are the elements that go into making this movie a must un-see film?
Well, first, we have a darkened basement in which cockroaches probably make love to other cockroaches in order to give birth to rats!
Then, secondly, there’s the creepy old man who takes you into this basement while wearing a look on his face which says “I’m getting too old for shit.”
Then, finally, drums please, you have a white person who barely knows said old creepy old man, but follows him into the basement anyway.
Sure, it has to be a white person since black people don’t venture into basements or water, for that matter.
Did you ever see any shark kill a black guy in Jaws?
Anyway, in The Conjuring, Patrick Wilson andVera Farmigaare back as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren to send chills down your spine with a based-on-a-true-story tale.
The year is 1981, mainly because horrors have to originate from the past because anything more recent might have to include Covid-19 eventually morphing into your Ex.
The first scene in The Conjuring takes place in a house where there’s an exorcism being performed on a child called David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard).
Poor David is inhabited by a mischievous demon that would probably find everything about Bill Cosby unfunny, until Bill starts the mixing drinks.
Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor) begs the demon to leave young David alone and “take me”.
The demon agrees and Arne’s troubles become like the lyrics of a Jay Z song about 99 problems; soon after Arne starts dating David’s lovingly loyal sister Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook).
Arne, now a victim of demonic possession, commits a horrific murder and the Warrens are brought in to prove that something in his Kool-Aid made him do it.
Yeah, I know, the Devil prefers Prada to Kool-Aid. But Arne was actually possessed by something while committing the crime and that something was not Meryl Streep.
Instead, Ed and Lorraine realize that Eugenie Bondurant’s witch-crafty Occultist character is the woman behind Arne’s possession.
This lady certainly doesn’t wear Prada.
She is dressed in the all-black widowy attire she probably got from a flea market organized by a guy from western Uganda who says “free” when saying “flea”. Thereby ensuring she got, in terms of value, what the seller said she’d pay for.
Typically, she has a witch’s brew and wears the sad look of a lady who believed Bill Cosby when he said “take a sip of this; it will take the edge off.”
She and her boss-buddy Lucifer spend the whole movie conjuring up some muscular concoctions to presumably turn Arne into Arnie. So that he can terminate himself without an “I’ll be back” as he gives his soul to the devil.
To enhance the creepy authenticity of the film, a parade of old-fashioned hairdos and knowing leers conspire to create the image of the Warrens as old school gumshoes hot on the trail of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
In this, they remind me of a confused-looking Colombo or the pie-bald Kojak. But the latter has to have hair into order justify the hairy situation Ed and Lorraine keep finding themselves in during this third installment of The Conjuring.
As a paranormal offering, though, this movie falls short like Danny DeVito falling deeply in love with a Giraffe in high heels.