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The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Known as the second most fruitful and successful cinematic universe, The Conjuring series has done so quite effortlessly and as casual as ever. It hasn’t been until recently that it was really even being tagged as such a thing. The Warren-led films as the well to which to return, but Annabelle, The Nun and other upcoming spin offs are making some ground on their own. Entry number three, The Devil Made Me Do It has been one of the films this summer that has shared a day and date theatrical and streaming release to rather solid success as it was available for one month as a part of HBO MAX when it released to theaters. It now comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray, making it the first with the Warrens to be on the format but second in the series after The Nun (Of note: there was a planned but scrapped 4K release of the second Conjuring). This possession horror film will be hitting shelves on August 24th and you can pre-order it using the link below.

Film

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren take on one of the most sensational cases of their careers after a cop stumbles upon a dazed and bloodied young man walking down the road. Accused of murder, the suspect claims demonic possession as his defense, forcing the Warrens into a supernatural inquiry unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

For the first two films in the series, The Conjuring took the Warrens to haunted houses and played with the tropes of that kind of horror in both grounded and grandiose embellished ways. For the third go round, they’ve taken a nice turn and went not just with possession alone, but also the relationship and adversarial nature the Warrens had when it came to the legal system as well as the criminal justice department with their not quite traditional methods of detective work. Which, when presented here, adds a nice layer of drama and character to the Warrens aside from their typical “I love you so much, I’m so worried you might die” stuff we’ve been swimming with them in for the first couple adventures.

Yes, every time a Conjuring movie comes out, Twitter wants to let you know “DID YOU KNOW THE WARRENS WERE OPPORTUNISTS!?!?!?”. To which, yes, but “DID YOU KNOW THESE MOVIES ARE ENTIRELY A BUNCH OF OUTLANDISH FICTION?!?!?!?” Ed and Lorraine, whatever you think in real life, are a different entity in the movies. As any horror enthusiasts knows, slapping “based on a true story” or “from the case files of” will sell people on stuff and get them into it more. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was based on true events in the most loose of fashion. Anyone interested on where the basis of the film came from can easily take to the internet and see that the movie just uses this as its base and fabricates the actual events to extreme degrees to help a film narrative. I don’t think anyone here is trying to convince you of anything other than to make you jump in your seat and disturb you.

While the film deals in different subject matter and the investigation feels much different than before (The Warrens actually START this with an exorcism and already knowing the people involved), it also has a different director at the helm. Michael Chaves takes on the demon passed on from James Wan and does quite an admirable job considering his last output was The Curse of La Llorona. Chaves is able to capture that Wan feel and pretty effortlessly recreates a lot of camera movements, jumps and more while having his own little sheen to it as well. I especially felt like this was a latched film with the other two when we have our first introduction to the apartment with the music and camera following through from outside and into the building.

After two films dealing in places that were haunted by a spirit, The Devil Made Me Do It deals in humans that are haunted by a spirit. This film delivers on everything you enjoy from the first two, including the dynamite chemistry and dynamic between stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. There’s even a perfect actor to join in a supporting role for this series in that of John Noble. The scares craft from a new turn in the series, giving it a fresh feeling and outlook for more to come down the line. The Conjuring series proper is a rock solid base and continues to turn out a good line for its spin offs to jump out of.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail:  The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It arrives to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as a 4K upscale. Regardless, there is a noticeable uptick from the standard Blu-ray, primarily how it handles the blacks in this very dark movie. Colors, texture and details also see a sturdy upgrade over the 1080p counterpart. Its a crisp, sharp picture and wonderfully enough, much of the visual effects work and make-up holds on strong under a more powerful microscope.

Depth: The film features some good depth of field, whether indoors or out. You can see pushback through doorways in houses or capture some real good three dimensional work in the forest as the camera moves around the trees. Movements are smooth and natural, containing no issues with rapid motion and visual distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are what predominately make all the difference here as they hits some strong natural levels with great saturation and scale. No information is lost and its impressive what all the shadows, darkness and surfaces/fabrics can still showcase. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are more natural in their feel, but definitely have a good boldness to them. The contrast on things like candle light and fire help push a nice HDR glow as well as do the street lamps and lit windows from a dark night outside.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and maintain a consistent look from beginning to end of the film. Facial features and textures are distinct and visible from any given distance. Gruesome/spooky makeup proves pretty impressive and flawless as well.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, German 5.1 Dolby Digital, German Descriptive Audio, Italian 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Norwegian

Dynamics: The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It has a Dolby Atmos track that does its very best to claim a top spot in the Atmos presentation hall of fame. Right from the jump, this one shows you all its got. It pounds around the room, surprises you with a loud unique burst from the ceiling, then the right rear channel. Its as excellent in its quiet moments as its most loud. This is a rock concert of a horror movie when it opens and it continues to play through a vicious encore. This Atmos track is the highlight of the entire experience of the third Conjuring film.

Height: This one wickedly plays with the viewer from above with creaks, demonic voices, wooshes and plenty more. A very active channel in the best kind of way for a horror film.

Low Frequency Extension: Loud banging, gusts of wind, slams and plenty more have a disruptive pound from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: This one whirls and swoops all over the film with some powerful rolling sound. Every single environment is cleverly built through all channels giving perfect contributions. Each speaker has something to do and may be called to take center stage at any given more.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are crisp and clean. No matter how loud or intense the situation, verbal output is always clear, never feeling out of place and always floating perfectly in their environment.

Extras

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All bonus materials are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

The Occultist (HD, 4:03) – This brief little featurette talks the different direction of evil this film approaches and how it challenges the Warrens, especially Lorraine.

By Reason of Demonic Possession (HD, 5:24) – James Wans opens up by having the film focus on the Warrens and their dealing with the legal system of the police and the court of law. This touches upon the real life events that informed this movie.

Exorcism of Fear (HD, 5:47) – This goes over the exorcism at the opening of the film.

DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #1 (HD, 12:51) – A motion comic.

Summary

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It is another solid contribution to the modern supernatural horror world from Wan’s “universe” that has built over the last 8 years. This one proves they can tackle things other than haunted houses and have someone other than James Wan take the reigns of the main series and it not even bat an eye. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray presentation features terrific video and the greatest of Dolby Atmos tracks to accompany it. Extras are a bit brief and fluffy, but at least there’s something. Those picking this up won’t be disappointed with the presentation!

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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