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How The Conjuring 3 Director Michael Chaves Left His Mark On The Franchise

We're seven entries deep in the "Conjuring" film series with an eighth installment, "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It," arriving on June 4. Plenty of thought seems to have gone into keeping the movies fresh, with stories taking place across the mid- to late-20th century and featuring an array of ghoulish nightmare instigators — from demonic dolls to roughly accurate representations of nuns, if descriptions of Catholic school are to be believed.

More than that, though, the "Conjuring" universe keeps itself from going stale thanks to a revolving door of talent, both behind the camera and in front of it. "The Conjuring 3" brings director Michael Chaves back into the fold, following his feature-length directorial debut with 2019's "The Curse of La Llorona." Looper had the opportunity to attend a press conference for the upcoming film, and the cast was asked "what new flavors" Chaves brought to the sequel. 

"If there's a flavor," series star Patrick Wilson replied, "it's little oranges. What are those called?" 

"Cuties," said everyone participating in the conversation. "I eat a lot of those cuties. I go through a bag a day," Chaves explained, with Wilson joking that the director had suffered from scurvy in the past. 

With the citrusy tomfoolery out of everybody's system, the conversation moved forward to more serious territory.

Positive attitudes and the importance of vitamin C

Patrick Wilson, who plays real-life demonologist Ed Warren in the "Conjuring" films, offered high praise to director Michael Chaves' passion, dedication, confidence, and commitment to "leading with love."

"I speak to his passion and reverence for the series, but also his ability to swing a big stick [and] make some choices. Whether they work or not, we don't know yet. ... It's always coming from an organic place of wanting to scare the audience, wanting to make the audience feel something back to the emotional throughline that they were speaking of and also that ability to pivot and go, 'That's not working. Let's try this,'" said Wilson. "It was, again, leading with love and not fear, which is a good lesson for us all."

Vera Farmiga — who portrays Wilson's on-screen wife Lorraine Warren, a real-life paranormal investigator — agreed with Wilson's remarks, and regarded Chaves' positive attitude as the perfect fit for the franchise's stars. "When we met Chaves, I knew exactly why he was picked. I knew why he was hand-chosen for us ... Even aside from his technical savvy and his honoring division of the movies beforehand, I just I also think he's just absolutely adorable, energetic personality fits so beautifully into the mix," she said.

The glass-is-half-full energy was real on set, according to "Conjuring" newcomer Ruairi O'Connor, who plays accused killer Arne Cheyenne Johnson in "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It." He recalled Chaves' sunny disposition during long days, saying, "He's the only person on set that at the end of 12 hours of shooting is still clapping and hollering when you do a take well, and as much as I'm delving into dark places and trying to torture myself, having Michael be behind the camera and making me feel assured was essential. Otherwise, I would have crumbled for sure."

As for Chaves himself, he said during the presser, "We work really long days and it's really stressful and you're always pushing yourself to the limit, but I always just try and remember what a privilege this is — no matter how tired we're getting. ... I grew up loving movies, and honestly, being a part of this has just been such a pure pleasure. I just never want to forget that."

"The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" is scheduled to hit theaters and HBO Max on June 4. Heed the signs of its arrival: vengeful spirits, restless dolls, and scattered piles of tiny orange peels.