Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren return to the Conjuring universe, this time titled #3 despite being #9 in the series. In this based-on-a-true-story, the Warrens are helping a demonic exorcism when Ed suffers a heart attack jusr as the possession victim, David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard), is perilously close to giving up. David is speaking in tongues, experiencing body deformation, and causing psychic damage all around him with his family, the Warrens, and the priest unable to do anything. To save David, his sister’s boyfriend Arne (Ruairi O’Connor) challenges the spirit to attack him instead. The demon leaves David and all involved believe the incident is over, until Arne attacks and kills his landlord a few days later. Arne believes he was a follow on victim of the demon and the Warrens agree to help prove it. Their investigation leads to additional possessions and deaths, and into the orbit of an Occultist (Eugenie Bondavant) pulling the strings and setting Arne and others up to be possessed.
The Production: 3/5
Without getting to much into my own belief system, I feel that most of these exorcisms and occult / paranormal investigations are complete BS. That said, the folks at Blum have got this formula nailed and have been mining the Warren’s history to great effect. You know you are in deep when you have a set of 10+ tabs open to try to figure out where the historical record ends and Hollywood begins. Here’s a sampling:
And like so many horror movies, there’s a big gap between critics and audience scores, currently 55 to 85:
So, what’s good here? There’s awesome practical effects and amazing sound (more on that below) and environmental effects that are truly creepy, even if you think the whole thing is bunk. The plot is pretty dry tho, and we’ve seen most of this done better before in other Conjuring movies. I kept wanting to check my phone throughout. There’s a few set piece experiences that are fun, but in between the exposition just takes way too long and the vast majority has nothing to do with the original case. It’s all made up filler junk to try to tie things back to the Satanic Panic of the early 80s.
3D Rating: NA
Very good, sharp and nice use of HDR to bring out highlight details in dark scenes. Minimal noise throughout a very dark film.
Per IMDB, shot on Arri Alexa Mini and SXT in 2.8K with Panavision Primo, PVintage, Super Speed MKII and Ultra Speed MKII Lenses.
As much as I felt the plot and original “true” story were bogus, this audio track is seriously the real deal. It’s definitely a top 10 Atmos track and you should own it for demo material. The environmental effects are creepy as hell and substitute in well for the usual scare tactics that are anchored in on screen action. I definitely jumped at a few of the audio cues. But it’s the absolutely bombastic bass effects that are the heroes here. Clean, fun and found throughout the film from beginning note through the end, this is a bass head’s soundtrack. There’s a scene midway through with water rippling that had standing waves in my room jolting me around like I was floating on a pond in my basement. There are explosions in the early exorcism scene and at the dramatic ending that must be felt to appreciate. And the soundtrack makes use of a creepy synth bass throughout that will have your pants legs buzzing just when the action is about to break. Definitely check this one out if you want to hear all Atmos is capable of.
Special Features: 3.5/5
The Occultist (~4 Mins.)
By Reason Of Demonic Possession (~6 Mins.)
Exorcism Of Fear (~6 Mins.) An all too short look at the practical effects of the contortionist during the exorcism.
The Conjuring: The Lover #1 (~13 Mins.) – A weird motion comic with terrible voice acting.
It would be easy to completely write off TDMMDI if it weren’t for the absolutely stunning soundtrack and the occasional creepout and jump scares that had me hanging on despite completely dismissing the original source material. If nothing else, rent this disc just to experience the great bass, and pick it up once it hits the bargain rack to show off your system to all your friends.
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