fbpx

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

"Thrills, with Strong Christian Content, But Extreme Caution"

Quality:
Content: -2 Discretion advised for adults.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is an R-rated horror movie loosely based on a real but controversial 1981 case. In the real case, a young man, Arne (“Arnie”) Johnson, is accused of murdering his landlord during a small, alcohol-infused party. Two married Roman Catholic amateur occult experts, Arnie’s girlfriend, Debbie, and Debbie’s family convince Arnie’s defense attorney to plead Not Guilty by reason of demonic possession. The movie adds a plot about a powerful Satanist who’s placed a curse on Debbie’s little brother, which was transferred to Arnie when Arnie challenged the demon attacking the boy to attack him instead.

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is a scary but absorbing, suspenseful and well-produced thrill ride. The performances are excellent. The movie has a very strong Christian, moral worldview. There is prayer, including a recitation of the Lord’s prayer, and biblical citations. In addition, the love between the two Christian occult experts helps save the day. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution, however, because of scary, bloody violence, foul language, and occult content in THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.

Content:

(CCC, BBB, OO, H, FR, LL, VVV, N, AA, D, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview in story set in 1981 where two lay professional exorcists who identify as Roman Catholic but aren’t officially members of the clergy are trying to find and stop a Satanist who’s using a Satanic curse to send demonic powers to attack an 8-year-old boy and then attack the adult sister’s boyfriend when he tells the demon to possess him and leave the boy alone, and story includes Christian prayer, the two Catholic laymen exorcists use prayer, call in a church exorcist, consult with a retired priest, and get help from a prison chaplain who recites the Lord’s Prayer during a climactic demonic attack and gives a prisoner a bottle of holy water to stop demonic attacks trying to force him to commit suicide, and the Catholic laymen and other characters recite or cite Scripture, plus the Catholic ultimately rely on the redemptive power of their love to help them defeat the Satanist (the wife says the Satanist villain thinks the love she shares with her husband is a weakness but says the villain is wrong, adding, “Our love is our strength”), but there’s strong occult content in the movie and the two Catholic laymen seem to accept some occult beliefs and apply some occult or non-religious methods in their fight against the Satanist villain and the villain’s Satanic curses (for example, they decide they must eventually physically destroy the Satanist’s altar to break the Satanist’s demonic curse, the wife is something of a psychic clairvoyant, and they believe that Satan will take the villain’s soul if her curse fails to kill a little boy or the young man who invited the demon to attack him instead of the boy)

Foul Language:
Six obscenities (one “s” word, a “d” word in the context of going to Hell and some “h” words), two strong Jesus profanities, and seven light profanities, but two OMG profanities are borderline and are more like prayers of thanksgiving to God when a person is finally saved from harm and one “oh dear God” appears to be an appeal to God

Violence:
Three instances of very strong bloody violence include Satanic villain attacks a person from behind and slits the person’s throat, a man is stabbed to death, and there is a bloody image of his dead body, and the perpetrator has bloody hands and a bloody shirt when he’s picked up by police, and many instances of intense, strong and often spooky violence involving a Satanic curse and demonic illusions and attacks such as a dead corpse attacks two Christians fighting a Satanic villain, people are given illusions or put into trance illusions and attack people but they think they’re demons, a demon tries to grab a woman and pull her off a cliff and into a deep lake, villain taps into Satanic and demonic powers and tries to force young man to kill himself, demon overcomes young boy in his room during a pause in an exorcism, and the family tries to take him downstairs, and the demons claws damage the stairway as the boy fights, poltergeist demon breaks windows in a hospital ward where a prisoner is being held on suicide watch, demon inside a busted water bed tries to grab young boy, the villain tries to stab the main Christian heroine, but she manages to hit the villain on the head with a rock, and a demonic illusion conjured by the villain causes Christian Catholic man to use a sledgehammer to attack his wife who he thinks is the villain, etc.

Sex:
No sex, but a retired priest admits he has an out-of-wedlock daughter who was born early in his priestly career

Nudity:
Some upper male nudity when a Satanist working from a Satanic altar in a hidden lair uses demonic powers to animate a male corpse to attack two Christians trying to stop the Satanist and later uses the powers to create an illusion of the corpse attacking

Alcohol Use:
Alcohol use in an early scene in which one character appears drunk

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Brief smoking in one scene but no drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
The two married Christian exorcists fighting the Satanist break into a morgue so the wife can clairvoyantly get some clues from the corpse of a murdered teenager in a similar case engineered by the Satanist villain.

More Detail:

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is an R-rated horror, mystery movie about to Catholic demonologists helping a young man in Connecticut who’s suffering under a demonic curse from a Satanist hiding out in a secret lair. Loosely based on a real but controversial case, THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is intense, well-acted and filled with jeopardy, with overt Christian prayers and Christian opposition against demonic forces, but it has plenty of creepy and scary moments, some bloody violence and foul language, and strong occult content that warrant extreme caution.

The movie’s weird subtitle, THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, is based on the sensational way the local and national press characterized the controversial 1981 case. In the case, the young man, Arne (“Arnie”) Johnson, murders another man in a sudden fit of rage, but two Roman Catholic alleged experts in the occult, Ed and Lorraine Warren, convince Arne’s defense lawyer that Arne was under the spell of demonic possession when he committed the crime. They say Arne came under the spell when he and they were helping the family of Arne’s girlfriend, Debbie, stop a demonic attack on Debbie’s 8-year-old brother, David. At one point during various attempted exorcisms of the boy, Arne challenged the demon to leave David and come into him.

Some days later, after a lunch at a local establishment, Arne and Debbie were partying with their landlord, who also owned the dog kennel where Debbie worked. With them were a 15-year-old girl named Wanda, Wanda’s 13-year-old sister and 9-year-old cousin, who had watched Debbie groom a large French poodle at the kennel earlier in the day. According to official and some

press reports, Arne and the landlord drank a little too much and started arguing with one another. Debbie urged everyone to go downstairs, but the landlord tried to force the 9-year-old girl to stay. Arne had returned at this point and, after the landlord released the little girl, suddenly attacked the landlord with a knife Arne was known to carry. Wanda later said she heard Arne growl, and Debbie testified Arne had been possessed by the demon that earlier had possessed her brother. Arne’s defense attorney tried to use that demon possession in a Not Guilty plea, planning to call the Warrens to the witness stand, Debbie and her family to the witness stand, and subpoena several priests involved in the case of Debbie’s brother. However, the judge wouldn’t allow such a defense, and the intense media interest in Arne’s case totally dissipated. The jury ultimately convicted Arne of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced him to 10-15 years, but Arne was let out five years later for good behavior. Arne, Debbie, the defense attorney, and the Warrens still maintained that Arne was possessed well after his release (Ed Warren died in 2006 and Lorraine Warren died in 2019).

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT takes this case and changes some of the details (the young boy, for example, gained a lot of weight before and during the alleged demonic attacks, and the young man’s real girlfriend was older than he was by several years). The movie also embellishes the story with heightened demonic scares. Furthermore, it adds a plot about a secret, powerful Satanist who’s placed a curse on the young boy and Arnie using a scary-looking witchcraft totem. In the movie, the Warrens try to locate the Satanist villain and destroy the villain’s secret Satanic altar to break the curse. Eventually, [SPOILERS FOLLOW] the Warrens must battle the villain while the villain uses demonic powers to force Arne to commit suicide while he’s in a prison hospital under suicide watch.

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is a scary but absorbing, suspenseful and well-produced thrill ride. The performances are excellent, especially by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens and John Noble as a retired priest whom the Warrens consult. The movie links Arne Johnson’s case to a nearby double homicide of two teenage girls, committed by the Satanist who had also placed a demonic curse on them. So, the movie is as much a mystery as it is a supernatural horror movie.

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT has a very strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview. In addition to trying to stop the demonic powers conjured by the Satanist villain, the lead characters pray, cite Scripture, call in a church exorcist, consult a retired priest, and get help from a prison chaplain who recites the Lord’s Prayer during a climactic demonic attack and who gives Arnie a bottle of holy water to stop demonic attacks trying to force him to commit suicide. Ultimately, the Warrens rely on the redemptive power of their love to help them defeat the Satanist. In fact, [SPOILERS FOLLOW] in a crucial moment, Mrs. Warren says the Satanist villain thinks the love she shares with her husband is a weakness, but she says the villain is wrong. “Our love is our strength,” Lorraine tells her husband, Ed.

However, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution because of many creepy, scary moments, some bloody violence and foul language, and strong occult content in THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT. For example, the two Catholic, self-professed occult experts seem to accept some occult beliefs and apply some occult or non-religious methods in their fight against the Satanist villain and the villain’s Satanic curses. [SPOILERS FOLLOW] Thus, decide they

must eventually physically destroy the Satanist’s altar to break the Satanist’s demonic curse. Also, the wife is something of a psychic clairvoyant. Finally, they believe Satan will take the villain’s soul if the villain’s curse fails to kill the young boy or the sister’s boyfriend. In reality, some skeptics of the Warrens, the Catholic occult experts, believe the Warrens are well-meaning but ultimately deceptive. Also, the real-life Warrens apparently believed in occult explanations for ghosts and other theologically aberrant ideas (this movie doesn’t refer to these issues).