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The Horror Movie That Fans Say Originated This Conjuring 3 Shot

Whether they admit it or not, it's common practice for movie and TV directors to borrow ideas from each other. Sometimes this can be a specific shot; other times it can be an entire scene or even a plot. Some might call this practice "paying homage," while others might just call it "stealing," but one thing is undeniable: Filmmakers influence each other, even if they're not consciously aware of it.

A fan on Reddit noticed one example of this kind of "borrowing" in the trailer for the upcoming horror thriller film "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It." Directed by Michael Chaves, it's the third official film in James Wan's "The Conjuring" series and the eighth overall in the "Conjuring" universe, and it will premiere on June 4, 2021. "The Conjuring 3" hasn't even come out yet, but one shot is very reminiscent of a similar one from a Polish horror film that came out just one year ago. And when you compare the two scenes, it's quite easy to believe that one influenced the other.

We've seen that shot before

The shot in question comes about a minute and a half into the trailer for "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It." In the scene, Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) is investigating a demonic presence in the woods when the sun suddenly goes down. Then a creepy hand emerges from behind a tree and scratches at the bark. Is it a witch? Most likely.

That shot reminded Redditor u/DrimboTangus of another shot from the 2020 Polish horror thriller "Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight," which is about a group of technology-dependent teens who get lost in the woods with a couple psychopathic mutants and have to survive without their smartphones. At just over the 21-minute mark, the main character, Zosia (Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz), spots an eerie hand reaching around a tree. ("But isn't the tree too small to hide a person?" you ask. Yes, yes it is.)

Whether "The Conjuring 3" deliberately borrowed this shot from "Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight" or whether it's just a coincidence is uncertain. But what's interesting is the fact that someone noticed at all. Now that we live in a world with multiple worldwide streaming networks, it's easier than ever to get access to international titles. That makes it harder and harder for filmmakers to "borrow" shots without anyone noticing. So, the next time the director of a big-budget American thriller mimics a smaller international title, odds are somebody will point it out.