The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It [4K]
(Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, et al / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital / R / 2021 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.
Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the highly enthralling The Conjuring 3 coming to 4K Ultra HD video format this August 24th, 2021.
For my money, this The Conjuring 3: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital combo packs sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is The Conjuring 3 presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: HDR10 and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHDs, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what is more is that it is enjoyably noticeable.
For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; such as when, in the woods, as it goes from day to night extremely quickly, Lorraine gets attacked by a pissed off demon!
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material - notably the fine detail to the faces of the characters in one of the opening scenes where Arne kills the very scared, very confused Bruno!
As for the audio, well we have just the choice of: English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit), English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1).
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
OK, well, as for the actual movie, well, the story is based on the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a young man who murdered his landlord and claimed that demonic forces made him commit the act.
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as ghost-hunting supremes Ed and Lorraine Warren who set out to make sense of the case and prove that demons can and do in fact take possession of people whilst convincing the high court that supernatural forces can be used as mitigating circumstances.
The formula for the third entry moves away from the haunted house tropes that drove the narrative of the first two films and veers towards the possession court room drama/crime investigation and witchcraft theme and as such the film feels fresh (how many more times do we really want to see Ed and Lorraine poke around old and dusty houses?).
Wilson and Farmiga prove once again that their presence is what makes these films so enjoyable and watchable. Amongst the jump scares and deafening score they offer substance and an element of humanity that really makes you root for their characters.
This time around we learn even more about the Warrens, how they met and how these cases affect them on a physical and emotional level.
Farmiga as Lorraine Warren in particular is put through the wringer and takes center stage. A phenomenal performer who can act her way out of a paper bag, she offers one of the best character drives in the series.
After a particularly intense opening scene involving the exorcism of a young boy (with nods and throwbacks to William Peter Blatty’s original Exorcist) complete with some body horror that would have Cronenberg wincing the story moves along swiftly onto the case of Johnson who believes that a demon is responsible for the downward spiral his life has taken.
The same demon is alleged to have caused the possession of the young brother of his girlfriend and so Ed and Lorraine Warren are drafted in to solve the mystery.
The set pieces are what you’d expect from The Conjuring universe, with the camera panning away in some dark and dimly lit basement or morgue before a big reveal that hits you square in the face like a crescendo.
Unlike Chaves previous effort this one comes with greater care for the scares, with the tension mounted up to extreme lengths and therefore the payoff feel earned.
The central performances also add a layer of craftsmanship which makes up for the cheapness of some of the earlier spinoff entries. Ruairi O’Connor gives a moody performance as Johnson and really captures the sense of dread and unnerving unknowing that befalls a character that faces a life behind bars if the burden of proof is not challenged.
Alongside genre greats such as Wilson and Farmiga he more than carries the film when required to do so. The score from Joseph Bishara (who penned the score for both Conjuring films and Wan’s other ghost spinner Insidious) is a powerhouse of orchestral greatness, with shrieking violins coming to life when the scares are meant to catch you off guard.
Indeed, the ingredients all form together to deliver yet another fantastic Conjuring film.
If I had to give some criticism then the ending is a little slapdash and the resolve is a little sloppy and the final antagonist isn’t particularly scary, however by that point most people will be entirely entertained so you are still likely to leave your sofa either smiling or calming down from having screamed so much!
Taking a peak at one of the Special Features and for me the stand out is “By Reason of Demonic Possession” where we get an in-depth look at the true story that inspired the movie.
As James Wan explains, they found a very interesting case file that the Warrens had investigated and was this very same story about a young man who claimed he committed murder whilst under the cloak of demonic possession.
Throughout this captivating video are interviews on set with the Johnsons themselves, the now-adult children of the young man (their father) and both Debbie and Arnie relate their own personal recollections of what they had seen and been a part of.
This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
• “By Reason of Demonic Possession” - An in depth look at the true story that inspired the movie
• “The Occultist” - Meet the terrifying new addition to the Conjuring Universe
• “Exorcism of Fear” - Delve into the making of the movie and the chilling exorcism scene that opens the film”
• “DC Horror Presents The Conjuring: The Lover #1” – A video comic that takes you deeper into the Conjuring Universe
Witness the chilling terror and unknown evil when The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It arrives for Premium Digital Ownership at home on July 23rd, 2021
The film is directed by Michael Chaves (“The Curse of La Llorona”) and stars Vera Farmiga (“Annabelle Comes Home,” TV’s “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (“Annabelle Comes Home,” “The Nun”). The film will also be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD beginning on August 24th, 2021.
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It was produced by James Wan and Peter Safran, who have collaborated on all the “Conjuring” Universe films.
The film also stars Ruairi O’Connor (Starz’ “The Spanish Princess”), Sarah Catherine Hook (Hulu’s “Monsterland”) and Julian Hilliard (Wandavision, TV’s “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” and “The Haunting of Hill House”).
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of The Conjuring 3 will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR, which dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range, and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.
It will also feature HDR10+TM, HDR technology that optimizes brightness levels and contrast for each scene, making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker to deliver a lifelike viewing experience.
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