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The Conjuring 3 Director's Latest Tease Should Excite Fans

"The Conjuring" franchise has been built on spine-tingling surprises and twisted scenes of demonic gore that would unnerve the most even-tempered horror fan.  The series of movies focuses on the fictionalized exploits of the real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who try to protect innocents from the forces of evil as they investigate cases of paranormal activity. So far, the films have explored both the Warrens' real life, including the Enfield Poltergeist incident in Rhode Island, and expounded upon possessions locked away in their Connecticut-based Occult Museum, such as the Annabelle doll that inspired the films of the same name. 

With an untitled "The Nun" sequel and "The Crooked Man" — a spin-off from "The Conjuring 2," as is "The Nun" — in the works, there's still a lot to be excited about for those who love the series. In fact, Michael Chaves — taking over the reins from series creator James Wan after having directed 2019's Conjuring-verse spin-off "The Curse of La Llorona" –  has announced that the franchise's latest offering. "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do it" will scare even the pickiest of horror connoisseurs.

Ed and Lorraine will face a new - and personal - challenge

In an exclusive interview with IGN, Chaves stated that "in a lot of ways, this is the biggest 'Conjuring' movie," adding that it is the franchise's "darkest" entry. To further tease audiences, he also released five fresh stills to the website.

Fans who are invested in the fictional adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) will be excited to learn that both characters are back and set to tangle with the paranormal for this chapter, though their relationship will be tested to the maximum, according to Chaves. "There's real events and real tragedies that happen to the Warrens. Something happens to Ed, to both of them, that they struggle to recover and we kind of have to wonder, are they gonna be the same? After this event and even going into future movies, what will the repercussions be?" he told IGN.

The movie is based on another real-life story involving the Warrens

The film's summary reads, "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." 

According to the movie's first-look trailer, the movie will revolve around the real-life case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson (portrayed in the film by Ruairi O'Connor), who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the February 16, 1981, murder of his landlord, Alan Bono. According to The New York Times, Johnson's defense was that a demon had been transferred to his body during the exorcism of a friend of his family, 11-year-old David Glatzel (Julian Hilliard in the film), which then forced him to kill Bono. The real-life Warrens were involved in the efforts to free Glatzel of his alleged possession, and Lorraine later provided testimony to the police about the subsequent possession of Johnson.

An all-too-human antagonist awaits the Warrens this time

The film introduces a new character to the "Conjuring" franchise — The Occultist, whose very human existence heralds a different kind of villainy.

A change in tone can also be expected by viewers. "One of the things that James (Wan) and I connected on while making 'The Curse of La Llorona' was sharing a lot of the same favorite movies, and one of them is 'Se7en,'" said Chaves. "We both love that movie, and so when he came to me with this script, he basically was like, 'It's 'Se7en,' but in the 'Conjuring' universe.' And he knew that was like catnip for me."

Chaves hopes that the film will open a new door for the fictional version of the Warrens and the franchise. "There's some really interesting case files in the '80s and, without giving any of those away, I think it's also interesting to see the Warrens more and more as these public figures under scrutiny, skeptics coming at them, them working with police departments," he expressed. "What (The Devil Made Me Do It) hopefully does is open up this new chapter for the Warrens."

The movie's first trailer is set to drop exclusively on the horror website Bloody Disgusting tomorrow morning. "The Devil Made Me Do it" has already been rated by the MPAA as an R for "Terror, violence, and some disturbing images."

The film will hit theaters and HBO Max on June 4, 2021.