Even in a sea of horror franchises, there’s something that really stands out about THE CONJURING and its offshoot, the ANNABELLE series. Like with many features this year, THE CONJURING has been delayed for quite a while and finally enjoyed a successful theatrical release. The Warrens (the always terrific Patrick Wilson and Vera Farminga) return to this story to investigate a demonic possession tied to a murder case, and THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT does unfold more like a who-dun-it throughout.
This is based on a true story, even though it’s just an atmospheric “boo!” movie at times, which I am also fine with. There’s even a clever nod to THE EXORCIST that makes me want a 4k restoration of William Friedkin’s classic. You kind of know what you’re getting here, and filmmaker Michael Chavez, who also did the recent THE CURSE OF LL LARONA, is a very visual filmmaker with atmosphere to spare. It’s not as “scary” (that’s completely relative, however) as the first two, but it IS superior to the ANNABELLE spinoffs. Take that as a recommendation, I suppose?
About the 4k release:
Looking BETTER than what I saw in theatres a few months ago, Warner has done a stellar job with this ultra high-def, 2160p presentation. The majority of the movie has a film-like, lived-in look to it, despite being shot digitally on the Arri Alexa, and particular elements like the warm colors bathing the dark house to the level of black detail is very impressive. Even the typewriter-like titles stood out; when I saw this theatrically they looked flat and unappealing due to the cinema projector’s low resolution. Lately I have been seeing quite a few titles on 4k that proves to me that more theatres need to up their game on the projection front.
There is a pretty solid Dolby Atmos mix here too, along with a standard Dolby 5.1 track. This is something I wish more 4k discs would emulate as Atmos mixes sound great on both my sound system along with my headphone use; the latter of which was surprising on how immersive it was on a pretty decent pair of Bluetooth phones.
On the features front, all on the additional Blu Ray disc, it’s a pretty simple inclusion of a few production featurettes detailing this picture’s continuation of the series, an interesting look into the opening exorcism scene, and a DC Horror video comic that delves even further into the film series. I also redeemed the included Digital Copy code, which is just on Google Play with no features in Canada, although it is 4k/HDR.
Overall, THE CONJURING doesn’t hold the intensity of the first two after the initial thrilling exorcism sequence, but it’s still solid enough for a few really good scares late at night. On 4k disc the black level intensity along with the mighty Atmos sound mix, along with a few neat features, makes for a really nice presentation on disc.
THE CONJURING 3: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT is now available on 4k disc, along with separate Blu Ray and DVD versions along with availability on digital retailers. Thanks as always to Warner PR for sending along a copy for review.