Feldman @ the flicks

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Peter Feldman: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the third in the series and has by far the most frightening manifestations and impact imaginable.


The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Sterling Jerins, Julian Hilliard, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Cather
Director: Michael Chaves
Classification: 16 HV

The Conjuring supernatural series has provided a fair amount of scary entertainment for fans of the genre, but this addition has by far the most frightening manifestations and impact imaginable.

It delves into disturbing aspects of Satanists and explores, with far deeper meaning, its role in the occult.

We revisit the famous Warrens, the American paranormal investigators, who featured so prominently in the earlier franchise, and receive fresh readings on this unusual couple.

The Devil Made Me Do It, a quote made infamous by a certain corrupt South African cricket captain, is based on a true case.

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) could never have imagined what they were in for when their talents were requested in 1981 to investigate a sensational murder.

The film opens with David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard), an eight-year old member of the family, undergoing an exorcism, much in the chilling vein of the benchmark 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist.

The family had moved into a new home when startling things began to happen to David and a priest was summoned. The house has had a curse placed on it and David is possessed.

Days later a cop stumbles upon a dazed and bloodied young man walking down the road. He is Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), the boyfriend of Debbie Glatzel (Sarah Cather), young David’s sister. He is accused of murder, but claims in his defence that he was possessed by a demon, the first such plea in American legal history. This situation forces the Warrens to undertake a creepy supernatural inquiry where viewers face a rough ride into some seriously dark spaces with the couple.

The production is imbued with an uneasy feeling throughout, moments of disquiet and foreboding. It is a fear of the unknown as elements of pure evil are confronted. This particular demon has been summoned by a Satanist (Rebecca Lines) who has put a curse on the unfortunate Glazel family.

To his credit, director Michael Chaves (of The Curse of La Llorona fame) avoids providing a series of cheap thrills, concentrating instead in the more cerebral pursuit of unravelling the mystery surrounding a Satanist and her morbid interest in the family.

In horror films of this nature, one can expect to find the unavoidable tricks used in depicting exorcisms. Generally, though, the production behaves well and in giving the Warrens full dramatic scope makes the experience far more palatable.


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Peter Feldman has been a journalist and arts critic for almost 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time, he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa’s biggest film and musical events. He was one of only two South African journalists to be invited by Steven Spielberg to the Hook film junket in LA in 1991 where he interviewed the famous director as well as Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. He attended the gala James Bond premiere in London in 1981 and did an iconic interview in a Rolls Royce with Roger Moore who played Bond. He spent a week touring England with Queen prior to their Sun City visit in 1983, interviewed a host of international stars on films sets in Hollywood and London and was the first local journalist to nail an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their SA visit in 1995. He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines, including Artslink.co.za. He has also worked on TV and radio (ChaiFM 101.9) in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He is a recent recipient of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award in recognition for his long-standing journalistic support for the arts. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, “Video Games,” which was released in 1988. He coined the phrase “Local is Lekker”.