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The Opening Of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Will Terrify You

Since the original film's debut in 2013, "The Conjuring" franchise has been consistently terrifying and entertaining horror buffs. Now, fans have another installment to look forward to, with "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" set to premiere in theaters and on HBO Max on June 4. However, this latest film is a bit different than the previous films in the "Warrenverse."

This time, instead of ending the movie in a terrifying exorcism scene, director Michael Chaves jumps right into the horror, starting the flick off with a malevolent spirit infiltrating the body of an unsuspecting victim. The first 11 minutes of the film were recently shown at a virtual press screening event, and Chaves shared his reasoning for this bone-chilling first act. "We've seen the Warrens go on these adventures before, and there's the expectation that they're going to face a demon," he said (via Fangoria). "They're going to exorcise that demon by the end of the movie. And we thought, let's just turn that whole idea on its head. Start with the thing that you think the movie is going to end with, and then have it go horribly wrong."

This terrifying opening scene references many classic horror films

This frightening first scene shows the young David Gatzel (Julian Hilliard) battling an evil spirit. Impressively, his unsettling movements are not the result of CGI, but the work of talented contortionist Emerald Gordon Wulf, onto whom Hilliard's face is superimposed, according to director Michael Chaves (via Fangoria).

Horror enthusiasts will also note several nods to famed movies of the genre. These references include the very intentional powder blue pajamas worn by Gatzel, and the initial shot of the priest arriving to perform the exorcism, which delighted those lucky enough to have access to the screener. "Without a doubt, a shameless 'Exorcist' reference there," said director Chaves, referring to the shot (via Fangoria). "Also putting the figure in the window was another shameless nod to 'Psycho' ... When we screened it, I was on the verge of cutting [the scene] out. I was like, 'it's too on the nose, you're just shamelessly stealing from the greatest movie of all time.'" Chaves elaborated on his choice saying, "But I kept it and I was glad I did because when we started screening it, people loved it, they loved being able to see those references and make those connections." More "Psycho" references appear later, too, including a scary shower sequence full of blood.

The Devil Made Me Do It is based on a chilling real-life story

The terrifying 11-minute opening scene climaxes with Arne Cheyanne Johnson (Ruairi O'Connor) receiving the horrifying spirit from Gatzel into his own body. In the real-life story the film is based on, Johnson murders his landlord and claims he was possessed by the devil as his defense. "The Devil Made Me Do It" is a fictionalized version of these events. Chaves spoke of the difficulty of creating a film based on something real, saying, "I was elated and excited to do this movie, [but] I was also conflicted by the fact that there's a real victim in this. And that was something, from the very beginning, I thought, 'I hope I get this right' ... because I don't think you can downplay that at all." Chaves continues, "I have struggled to decide what I believe actually happened. But what I ultimately decided is, my belief needs to take a back seat to their story. And ultimately, it's the story of their faith and the faith [these characters] put in each other" (via Fangoria).

If this opening scene is any evidence, "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" will be another chilling installment into "The Conjuring" universe.