Horror Cinema: The Conjuring 3 — The Devil Made Me Do It

The latest installment of The Conjuring provides lots of jump scares and spooky characters, which I love about this franchise. I also like how these movies are inspired by the real life paranormal cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren without becoming docu-dramas.

The Conjuring 3 focuses on a murder case where the Warrens argued that the defendant was possessed by a demon. In the real case, the judge of the trial rejected the defense plea of not guilty by demonic possession stating that such a defense would be impossible to prove, also stating it would be “irrelative and unscientific” to allow testimony in support of the possession defense .

The jury were not legally allowed to consider the demonic possession defense and the defendant’s lawyer then instead argued self defense. The defendant was found guilty of first degree manslaughter on November 24, 1981. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in jail, but only served 5 due to good behavior.

The court case does not make a major appearance in the movie, which, instead, focuses on the Warrens tracking down the demon itself … among other guilty parties — I’ll leave it at that to prevent spoiling it for you.

When I embark on a sequel, I am usually nervous about what to expect. But, The Conjuring sequels have proven so far to be great!

Find more behind-the-scenes facts about The Conjuring 3 at IMDb Trivia.

Chaves, Michael. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2021.

Horror Cinema Trivia: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Lois Clark Duncan notoriously hated Kevin Williamson’s slasher reinvention of her relatively non-violent young-adult novel classic of 1973, and she did not hide her hostility to the media. She said she was “outraged” at how bloody Williamson made her story. Nobody died in her version, so, in that sense, her story was more like an old-school mystery, not a slasher. The movie was a blockbuster though, spawning several sequels and even talk of a tv series, and all this did not hurt Duncan’s book sales, which quadrupled 10-fold after the classic 90s slasher came out.

Did you know that Melissa Joan Hart was up for the role of Julie James? She turned them down, saying, “It just seemed like another Scream ripoff.”

Find more facts about this 90s slasher classic at IMDb Trivia: I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Great Tips for Writing Horror

I started working with a friend to help encourage me to write because, although I love writing, I was getting stalled by plots with weak endings and not making my writing a priority. In one of our discussions when we were reviewing each other’s work, she asked me about mine, “What makes your story horror?”

My only answer was, “There’s murder in it and a killer who creates suspense and fear.” Not the strongest answer. So, after our meeting, I did some research to see if I could find a resource to help me better define what could make my story a horror story.

I stumbled upon a great webpage, Secrets of the Horror Genre. In most other resources I could find online, the information was vague and did not add anything to what I already knew about the genre. This webpage, in contrast, precisely outlines what is expected from a horror story, and it provides alternatives so that you can pick and choose what type of horror story you want to write. I highly recommend it if you are looking for some direction in your horror writing.