The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It cut a demon that was supposed to have a spin-off movie. We break down why the decision was a good thing.
The Conjuring 3 breaks from recent tradition and doesn’t set up a new spin-off. Minor characters from the first two installments of the franchise were pulled to be the focus on their own movies, which created The Conjuring universe. But without an obvious spin-off in the works, the future of the series is wide open.
The popular horror movie franchise creates stories based on the real-life cases of paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. Each Conjuring movie follows a real-life haunting across the decades. The Conjuring 3 chronicles the story of Arne Johnson. After inviting a demon inside him to save his girlfriend’s brother, he committed murder under its influence. The Warrens work with his legal team to try and prove this meant he was not responsible for his actions.
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A woman known as The Occultist acted as the antagonist in The Conjuring 3. She summoned demons that cursed various characters throughout the film. In an earlier version of the movie, a demon she worked with would have been the basis for the next movie. But with that demon cut, The Conjuring 3 breaks from the franchise’s previous patterns, giving it the shake-up it needs to continue on.
As director Michael Chaves told Slash Film, the cut demon was true to the real-life possession of Arne Johnson and his girlfriend’s brother David. The Conjuring movies typically have demonic villains, so inserting this one in the third film felt like a natural part of the process. It would have worked side-by-side with the Occultist. But once the character of the Occultist was more fleshed out, it was clear that she was meant to be the movie’s true villain, much like other monsters in this franchise. Because of that, the relationship between the pair didn’t work anymore. So Chaves and producer James Wan felt the best route was to cut the demon from the story. The director simply felt that the demon wasn’t connecting to the story, so its future spin-off film was dead on arrival.
Breaking from the franchise’s tradition gave The Conjuring 3 a breath of fresh air. As Chaves didn’t have to focus on crafting his villain with a spin-off film in mind, it allowed him to focus on other elements of the film, such as giving the Occultist a personal element through her connection to Father Kastner. As she’s the franchise’s first non-demon villain, it proves that The Conjuring movies still have some surprises left for its fan base. This allows for future movies to stretch and grow, exploring new themes such as Ed and Lorraine’s lives outside of exorcising demons. There are plenty of cases left in the Warrens’ files for future movies to explore and The Conjuring 3 proved the series is willing to get creative to keep those stories going.
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