In order to generate terror, a film uses numerous resources, such as the special use of sound and silence, the construction of a particular atmosphere, the creation of certain images, the montage of sequences or the exploration of different themes. But to the bad luck of the fans of the saga The spell, the new film that closes the trilogy, Conjuration 3: The Devil Made Me Do It – 85%, misses almost every opportunity to cause tension to the viewer and prefers to favor the action show with easy and effective scares that are far from the legacy of its predecessors.
Directed by Michael ChavesIncantation 3 tells of another case involving the demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson ) and Lorraine Warren (Vera farmiga). On this occasion, after a failed exorcism, the pair of paranormal investigators must help the young Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), who murdered his landlord due to demonic possession. In order to avoid being the subject of the death penalty, the protagonists must find proof that such a supernatural event is real and, in their search, they will come across a threat that they had not faced before.
Unfortunately, viewers will soon find that, unlike The spell – 86% Y The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case – 80%, the third installment lacks sequences or memorable creatures. Almost all the scares that Chaves prepares in his film are forgettable because of how poorly prepared they are and how disconnected they are with respect to the different points of the plot. Although there are rare exceptions, unless the audience is very fond of the main characters, there is no real reason to want to see the movie.
What does it mean that the scares are not prepared? In the two previous films in the series, James wan, its director and who returned as producer for this installment, perfected an editing style that favors tension and that, although it gives way to the famous “jump scares” (the effect of putting something unexpected on screen and increasing the sound), increases the impact of the sequences and keeps the viewer on their toes for longer. This is achieved through assembly. This director places his characters at a certain distance from the supernatural object from which the shock will “emerge”. As he approaches it, he puts the movement of the camera (or the lack of it) at the service of the perspective of one of the protagonists through panning, follow-ups or close-ups and almost always without cutting the shot or with minimal cuts. Thus he manages to maintain the tension until breaking it with some visual or sound effect.
An example that you surely remember is one of the first appearances of the witch Batsheeba from the first movie. In one sequence, two of the protagonists are in a room. One of them gets up and, like a sleepwalker, begins to bang her head against the door of a closed closet. We see this from the perspective of her sister, at a distance from her bed, who wakes up and stops to put her sister back to bed. When you walk towards it, there is already a sense of “danger” that you are walking towards, but nothing happens. It is not until they are both about to go to bed that the door begins to slam on its own. One of the girls approaches again, the camera follows her and there is an approach to the closet, when she opens the door there is nothing inside. The viewer seems to have been spared until it is revealed, through two other close-ups interspersed with a more open shot of the character in front of the closet, that the witch is on top of the furniture. Enter the “jump scare” and the creature throws itself on the heroine. There is a similar scene in The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case – 80% when one of the children starts tossing a toy car into a mini-tent in another room and something returns it to him. The camera follows him, through a long corridor, when he decides to go to investigate what is inside it, he throws the stroller back inside and when it is returned, and it seems that nothing else will happen, suddenly a guttural scream surprises the character and the viewer.
This kind of sequences and montage style are not present in Conjuration 3: The Devil Made Me Do It – 85%. Even when in some scenes Chaves seems to try to imitate Wan’s steps, he does not achieve the same effect. The closest he gets is a morgue setup. Ed and Lorraine, she is in a trance, are at different points in the room when a grotesque body appears between them. He tries to wake her up as the creature prepares to attack, which puts a state of tension, but when it is launched by the protagonist (the “jump scare” her husband manages to get her out of the way. Although there is a clear suspense here, which resides in who will reach Lorraine first, the duration is not enough to make it more intense and give more impact to the fright of seeing the creature pounce on her. The rhythm, the constant repetition, and sometimes misleading, of certain elements on stage are key to lengthen the tension, as in the examples we mentioned, but the new director of the saga did not realize it. There are many other moments when Chaves wants to surprise us, but the lack of tension causes easy scares and worse still, by suppressing the anticipation and lacking a red herring before the effect (like opening the closet and nothing is inside, or the car that returns to the character without major problem), they become predictable, which also ruins the surprise to the public and gives the feeling of being familiar and therefore boring.
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On some occasions, the use of light is used to create a gloomy atmosphere, particularly in the final sequence, but the lack of tension makes it more of a barely aesthetic detail rather than a resource for horror. Although it should be noted that Chaves strove to try to consolidate almost all his scenes in broad daylight or in well-lit rooms, leaving aside the commonplace that everything happens in the dark or in a room where lights explode.
Thematically, the horror saga uses demonic forces as threats to family relationships. In the first tape, The spell – 86%, the witch owns a mother and tries to make her murder her own daughter, while in the second, The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case – 80%It is the little Janet who is used as a pawn by a demon to assassinate Ed and cause harm to Lorraine. In the third, all the themes are in the background against a satanic twist that also feels disjointed from the two main subplots, the relationship of the protagonists and that of Arne (Ruairi O’Connor) and his girlfriend, who are the victims this time. Although Wilson and Farmiga do wonders with their roles, the little development that the script gives them leaves The Conjuring 3 as the flattest of the franchise.
Conjuration 3: The Devil Made Me Do It – 85% it is simply boring and is possessed by the demon of predictability and endurance of its scares. It’s all the more disturbing when it’s finally revealed to us that the real Arnie was barely sentenced to five years in prison after stabbing a man 20 times and ironically creates a scarier atmosphere during his final moments when the original audio of the exorcism is played. of the Warrens from which he was allegedly possessed. The film is already in theaters.