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Review: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

 

An exorcism that goes horribly wrong sets the tone for “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”.

Everything gets progressively worse after that if you enjoy being terrified and horrified. It’s not for the faint-hearted but certainly caters to its targetted audience. It pushed me way beyond my comfort zone and I would happily have left the theatre if somebody else was brave enough to leave before me.

 

THE CONJURING THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (1)
RUAIRI O’CONNOR as Arne Johnson in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Usually, when a horror movie says that it’s based on a true story, you can expect it to be as authentic as a tabloid expose, but “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is based (loosely, I’m sure) on the real-life experiences of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The movie follows their investigation supporting a murder accused’s courtroom defence of not guilty due to demonic possession.

“The Court accepts the existence of God every time a witness swears to tell the truth,” Ed Warren says, “I think it’s about time they accept the existence of the devil.”

Their life story would make for a fascinating drama, but this is a horror movie, so it dispenses with facts and goes straight for the kill to deliver as many bloodcurdling scares as possible- which is a feat in itself considering that we have already seen everything.

I quite enjoyed their subtle homages to “The Exorcist” because in a world where plagiarism is excused as a tribute, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” references “The Exorcist” so purposefully that it creates a frisson for movie buffs.

Initially, I thought the Warrens were missionaries because of their modest clothing, but the movie is set in the eighties when high collars and low hemlines were considered fashionable. Stylistically, the movie maintains a strong visual aesthetic that feels like a polaroid. I could get lost in the colour palette of mustards, greens, and browns.

It’s hard to create a horror movie without being predictable but some of the special effects transform the standard exploding windows and body contortions into an epic spectacle. (I’m not a fan of horror movies so I distracted myself by looking at the details instead of watching the actual movie.)

Creepiest scene: the hand!
(No spoilers here!)

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” delivers what its audience expects brilliantly but you can decide if you want to be part of that audience.

THE CONJURING THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (1)

 

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defence.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return to star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, under the direction of Michael Chaves (“The Curse of La Llorona”). The film also stars Ruairi O’Connor (Starz’ “The Spanish Princess”), Sarah Catherine Hook (Hulu’s “Monsterland”) and Julian Hilliard (the series “Penny Dreadful: city of Angels” and “The Haunting of Hill House”).

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” was produced by James Wan and Peter Safran, who have collaborated on all the “Conjuring” Universe films. Chaves directed from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (“The Conjuring 2,” “Aquaman”), story by James Wan & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, based on characters created by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes. Serving as executive producers were Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Michael Clear, Judson Scott and Michelle Morrissey.

The behind-the-scenes creative team reunited “Conjuring” Universe contributors, including director of photography Michael Burgess, production designer Jennifer Spence, costume designer Leah Butler and composer Joseph Bishara, along with the director’s editor from “The Curse of La Llorona,” Peter Gvozdas, and editor Christian Wagner (“Furious 7”).

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is the seventh film in the “Conjuring” Universe, the largest horror franchise in history, which has grossed more than $1.8 billion worldwide. It includes the first two “Conjuring” films, as well as “Annabelle” and “Annabelle: Creation,” “The Nun,” and “Annabelle Comes Home.”

New Line Cinema presents An Atomic Monster/A Peter Safran Production, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.” It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film opens in theatres internationally beginning 26 May 2021.

 

About The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

 

Bless and Sanctify
“A soundstage is a place where worlds are created, and the cosmos does not know the difference between fiction and non-fiction.” – Bishop Bryan D. Ouellette, Lead Exorcist for the Order of Exorcists, Atlanta Division

“Holy Spirit, we gather in your name. Enlighten our hearts. Give us light and strength. Support us by your power, for you are God.” With those words from Bishop Bryan D. Ouellette of the Holy Nicholean Catholic Church in Atlanta, the newest film in the “Conjuring” Universe was inaugurated.

It has become both tradition and lore for the “Conjuring” films and their spinoffs to receive a blessing at the start of production, to which all cast and crew members are invited to attend. For most, it is a source of comfort, regardless of personal faith, that sets the tone for the remainder of the shoot.

“For anyone who has any kind of hesitation,” says director Michael Chaves, “it puts them at ease.”

“Regardless of your belief in the ever-present battle between good and evil, it genuinely calms everybody down,” concurs producer Peter Safran.

Ouellette claims that actors are particularly vulnerable to the dark archetypes that working on a horror film can bring to life. In order for their performance to be convincing, actors become one with the energy they put into an archetype. The hope is that the ritual set blessing will mitigate the effects of these dark energies.

“It sanctifies the space in which we work so that space is consecrated,” explains Vera Farmiga, who has played Lorraine Warren in the “Conjuring” Universe over the past eight years. “It’s a necessary and beautiful start to production.”

 

A New Chapter and Verse
“It was tough for me to walk away from directorial duties. I have shepherded this world from the very start.” – James Wan

The name James Wan is synonymous with “The Conjuring.” Wan is the creative force behind the entire Universe, developing stories, overseeing spinoffs and directing the core “Conjuring” films to date. Although Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, who portray real-world clairvoyant and demonologist Lorraine and Ed Warren, have been previously directed by Gary Dauberman in “Annabelle Comes Home,” this is the first full feature as the Warrens where Wan is not in the captain’s seat.

Wan almost didn’t direct “The Conjuring 2,” but was persuaded by Farmiga and Wilson to come back. During that shoot, he hinted that he might not direct the third, but the actors thought they could convince him again.

“When I heard that he may be opting out of directing this one,” Farmiga says, “I thought, ‘I’ll just hound him again, and I’m sure it’ll work.”

Through his Atomic Monster shingle, Wan has mentored other directors early in their feature filmmaking careers, including his longtime cinematographer John Leonetti (“Annabelle”), David F. Sandberg (“Lights Out,” and subsequently “Annabelle: Creation”), Corin Hardy (“The Nun”), Gary Dauberman (“Annabelle Comes Home”) and Michael Chaves (“The Curse of La Llorona”). It made sense there would be someone in this roster of talent that Wan could tap to take the reins of the core segment of the franchise.

“I had just worked with Michael Chaves,” Wan says, “and I really liked the guy a lot. I saw him grow as a filmmaker over the course of his first feature and felt his creativity, energy and mindset were exactly what ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ needed.”

“Chaves is an accomplished and smart filmmaker,” Safran concurs. “He really understands horror. There was never anybody other than Chaves for this.”

When Chaves got the initial call to do the third “Conjuring,” he wasn’t expecting it, but he was fully ready to jump on board.

“It was a dream come true,” Chaves, characteristically upbeat, admits. “I’m a big fan of the ‘Conjuring’ films. James is the modern master of horror, so to take the reins on this world he created is both exciting and daunting. There’s a huge responsibility not just to James, but to the fans, to the franchise, and to the characters he created. That was not lost on me.”

“Chaves was a great addition,” Patrick Wilson says, “because he loves these movies, and he has tremendous respect for James. He’s also bold. He’s not afraid to try new things and come up with new ideas. He has respect for this franchise, but he’s also excited to push it forward.”

Chaves contends one of the reasons Wan may have tapped him to direct this latest “Conjuring” instalment is because of their shared love for David Fincher’s classic psychological crime thriller “Se7en.” Chaves and Wan talked about that film on the set of “La Llorona,” and it served as a reference point in the evolution of “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.”

“It was a big influence in my look book,” Chaves reveals, “as I made this film.”

As far back as production on “The Conjuring 2,” conversations were had about what the next case file would be for Ed and Lorraine to tackle onscreen. Wan knew he didn’t want the next instalment to be another haunted house movie, constraining his supernatural superheroes to the same four walls of storytelling that had been covered already in the first two films.

“I remember saying to Patrick and Vera on the set of ‘Conjuring 2,’” Wan explains, “that I wanted to explore the world where Ed and Lorraine helped police solve crimes. I wanted the third movie to feel different.”

In order to achieve that goal, Wan, Safran and screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick turned to one of the Warrens’ most famous case files. Ripped from the headlines, the notorious “The Devil Made Me Do It” case centres on the first U.S. murder trial where demonic possession was used as a legal defence. The “Conjuring” team felt this was the perfect opportunity for Ed and Lorraine to push their skills to the limit, to risk their lives to prove the innocence of the accused and the existence of evil forces. This story would be the most chilling and shocking yet for the Warrens.

“For everyone involved,” Chaves says, “This was the darkest story the Warrens were involved in. They put everything on the line for the accused, Arne Johnson.”

“The Devil Made Me Do It” also gave the filmmakers the perfect platform from which to send Ed and Lorraine out and into the world at large. It was a great opportunity for them to engage the police and investigate the sinister reasons that led to a horrific crime.

“In ‘The Conjuring,’ the deliverance from evil was confined to a single space within four walls,” Farmiga describes. “In ‘The Conjuring 2,’ we got Ed and Lorraine an aeroplane ticket, and we sent them abroad. But again, their mission was confined within the walls of a home. Now, for ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,’ they leave the confines of the haunted house and go to the most depraved and scary places.”

What really sets this ‘Conjuring’ apart and makes it so exciting,’ Chaves says, “is that you have all of the scares and the terror that you would expect from a ‘Conjuring’ film, but it is set against this incredible mystery that is tied into what the ‘Conjuring’ universe is all about.”

 

Composite Reality
“Reality doesn’t have three acts and a thrilling conclusion. We have to provide those.” – David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” faced two main challenges in development: how to keep the “Conjuring” Universe original and fresh and how to balance reality with drama.
“We wanted to keep the elements of the previous films that people love,” says screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who also worked on the story with Wan, “but you don’t want to give them the exact same thing all over again.”

Wan knew before they started that he wanted this new “Conjuring” to be a mystery with Lorraine’s clairvoyant abilities front and centre. Inspired by films like John Carpenter’s “Eyes of Laura Mars,” and David Cronenberg’s “The Dead Zone,” they were looking for a case where Lorraine could shine as a psychic detective, where her gifts would be integral to the story in a way that hadn’t been seen before, using her psychic visions as plot points rather than scare points.

It’s a known fact that the real Lorraine Warren consulted with police on numerous cases. Wan and Johnson-McGoldrick considered those cases but couldn’t land on one they wanted to adapt.

What happened to Arne Johnson in the aftermath of David Glatzel’s final exorcism, however, appeared to be a great springboard for a new story. There was a little-known element of the case where the Glatzels felt that somebody out there had placed a curse on them. No one was ever able to get to the bottom of that suspicion, and it seemed like the perfect real-life angle in a case file from which to launch an investigation. But the fact that the Glatzels’ concerns were never resolved meant the plot would need construction. Although the “Conjuring” films have always taken some dramatic license in order to advance the narrative, this one was different. Wan and Johnson-McGoldrick needed to come up with an idea that was both exciting and authentic.

“We decided to interweave reality with a sort of composite story,” Johnson-McGoldrick explains, “that takes numerous, real-life occurrences that took place in different situations and combines them into one story. We go into a more fictional place in Act II where we’re solving the mystery, but we’re still pulling from the actual interactions that Lorraine had with the police.”

Once that was decided, the next thing to do was figure out how to start things off. The Devil Made Me Do It case, also known as the Brookfield Demon Murder case, has two distinct parts: the torment and possession of David Glatzel, which has been the focus of most interest in the past and for which Ed and Lorraine Warren were called to intervene, and the subsequent torment and possession of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who challenged David’s demon during his last exorcism while being admonished by Ed not to address it directly. Months later, Johnson killed his friend and landlord during what he claims was a demonic possession. In the trial that followed, with the support of the Warrens, Arne’s defence claimed he was not guilty by reason of demonic possession, citing two incidents in England where demonic possession was accepted by the courts as a legitimate defence. This was the first time in U.S. history where anyone had attempted to claim demonic possession as a defence. It was rejected by the judge. This was the part of the story that interested Wan and Johnson-McGoldrick.

How to shift the focus from David to Arne was the prerequisite, but a relatively easy one to satisfy. “We decided to start with what would normally be the conclusion of a ‘Conjuring’ movie,” Johnson-McGoldrick tells, “the haunted house version of this story has already taken place offscreen. We can get straight to the exorcism because we’ve seen this movie before, and that allows us to start Arne’s story right away. We go very quickly to the inciting incident, which is the moment when Arne challenged the demon.”

In order to tell Arne’s tale convincingly, Johnson-McGoldrick embarked on a multi-pronged path of research. The Devil Made Me Do It case was national news. It was a sensational case that everyone was talking about at the time. Johnson-McGoldrick was able to source old Newsweek and Time magazine articles as well as local and regional newspapers that were reporting on the case every day. Those local papers became even more important when Johnson-McGoldrick discovered that the original court transcripts had been lost or destroyed because they revealed who was in the courtroom and what witness testimony was given throughout the trial. Armed with a pretty clear understanding of the case, Johnson-McGoldrick decided it was time to go to the source.

“I interviewed Arne Johnson and also Debbie Glatzel,” Johnson-McGoldrick divulges. “The two came out together. It’s always better that way. On the one hand, you are getting the event, finding out what happened, but you’re also starting to get a feel for who these people are. That’s important because when you have to fictionalize certain elements to make a movie, you still want to replicate what if felt like for them.”Shifting the power dynamic in the relationship between Ed and Lorraine was something the creative team wanted to do to change things up and another component Johnson-McGoldrick had to figure out. There had to be a way to accomplish this from outside the marriage.

“No one ever wants to see Ed and Lorraine fight,” Johnson-McGoldrick says. “I feel like the only arguments we can have for them is who is going to be nicer to the other one. Ed and Lorraine are on the same side all the time.”

This led to another situation of compositing stories. Ed Warren had a real-life heart attack following the Maurice Theriault exorcism that was briefly portrayed in the first “Conjuring.”
“In the video of the actual Theriault exorcism,” Johnson-McGoldrick reveals, “you can hear Lorraine asking if Ed feels ok because he doesn’t look good. Not long after, he had a heart attack. We opted to bring it in here. So even though Ed’s heart attack didn’t happen during the Glatzel exorcism, it does have its basis in reality.”

In previous “Conjuring” Universe films, Ed is always the guy who’s fixing the car or fixing the sink; he’s physical and active. Having his vitality compromised forces him to take a step back and let Lorraine take the lead, which is not easy for him.

“The scene where she goes under the house instead of him,” says Johnson-McGoldrick, “it’s very hard for him to be on the outside, and we get to see Lorraine take action.”
In the haunted house, Ed and Lorraine have always been the authority. They’ve been called in to help because of their expertise. They are not out in the world having to prove themselves to people. In “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” it’s different because Ed and Lorraine now have to try and convince non-religious sceptics in the courts and the police to help them in order to help Arne. They manage to win over Arne’s defence attorney by taking her to the Artifact room. Detective Sergeant Clay is another matter, however.

“Detective Clay is a composite character,” Johnson-McGoldrick acknowledges. “He’s not a real person, but he represents the police with whom the real Lorraine Warren consulted. We’ve taken elements from other cases and brought them together in him. He’s a sceptic to whom she has to prove herself. That was something the real Lorraine encountered regularly.”

 

Someone Old, Someone New
“Each ‘Conjuring’ movie is a love story couched as a supernatural thriller. It all comes down to that relationship between Ed and Lorraine.” – Peter Safran

Over the course of the last eight years, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson have portrayed Ed and Lorraine Warren on screen in three other “Conjuring” Universe titles: “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2” and “Annabelle Comes Home.” During that time, the genuine affection that the two actors have for each other has continued to grow, and it clearly shows in their characters on screen. Like any fine wine or pair of good leather boots, a great marriage only gets better with age, and just as the real Ed and Lorraine Warren’s love for each other grew ever stronger over time, so has the friendship between Wilson and Farmiga.

“It’s amazing growing older with my fake spouse,” Farmiga laughs. “At the risk of sounding corny, my love for old Patrick Wilson continues to run feverish. I adore him. We are such good friends. We mitigate the dark, emotional work that we do by laughing our heads off together. He makes me all kinds of giggly.”

“We’ve trusted each other since day one,” Wilson discloses, “that’s where the chemistry comes from. We’re totally comfortable with each other and we have a lot of fun.”

From a storytelling perspective, the filmmakers have always gone to great lengths to make sure the characters of Ed and Lorraine are in touch with their humanity. In the ten years that have passed in the storyline from “The Conjuring” to “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” Ed and Lorraine are as fierce and unwavering as ever, but they are also more vulnerable to illness and injury. Their love has deepened and so has their concern for each other’s well-being, which is tender and relatable.

“It all comes down to that relationship between Ed and Lorraine,” explains Safran. “One of the great accolades we received early on was from the real Lorraine Warren, who felt we had beautifully captured what existed between her and Ed. We’ve always kept that in mind as we develop these stories. We would want Ed and Lorraine to be proud of what we’re doing.”

“The heart of this franchise is Ed and Lorraine’s connection and love,” adds Farmiga, “that’s what makes it stand apart from other horror films. It’s the love story.”

Fans of Ed and Lorraine are in for a special treat this time around, too, as we get a brief glimpse into their distant past. For the first time, we see the pair as teenagers in love, at the beginning of their relationship. It’s a moving moment atypical of the average horror film. It has nothing to do with evil, just a simple, beautiful story that grounds not only the movie and these characters but the “Conjuring” Universe as a whole. In no uncertain terms, it lays bare what is at stake at the centre of all the maelstrom.

The feeling of warmth, love and light that began with the real Ed and Lorraine and continues to live in Wilson and Farmiga’s portrayal of them, extends as well into the fullness of the production team that bring these stories to life. Working in the “Conjuring” Universe is a family affair. Many of the crew, including makeup, costumes, production design, stunts, musical scoring, unit publicity, prop making, cinematography, assistant directors and set decoration, as well as actors, continue to come back to work in this world film after film. It makes for an easy shorthand, and it’s a resounding testament to the kind of environment that Wan has sought to nurture over the years.

“I want to have a great time making movies even though they can be very stressful,” Wan says. “I want it to be as pleasant as possible of an experience for everyone involved. Making movies is arduous, but it should also be fun.”

Three of the stalwart recurring characters in the core franchise are Steve Coulter, who plays the Warrens’ official Catholic confidante, Father Gordon; Shannon Kook, the Warrens’ dedicated paranormal investigative assistant, Drew Thomas; and Sterling Jerins, the Warrens’ frequently tormented but steadfast daughter, Judy.

“Drew and Father Gordon take a more pivotal role in this film,” Chaves explains, “they’re actively helping to crack the case.”

Tipping its hat to one of the most iconic images in horror film history, Father Gordon’s arrival at the Glatzel house in Brookfield mirrors Father Merrin’s arrival at the MacNeil townhome in Georgetown from “The Exorcist.” After being dropped off by a taxi, Father Gordon pauses under a similar streetlamp for a moment, the frame nearly identical, wearing a black fedora and carrying a leather satchel, he looks up at the window where the possessed boy is tucked away and sees a figure who turns and disappears. Father Gordon then walks resolutely toward the door.

“I’m a huge fan of the original ‘Exorcist’ and absolutely wanted to have a nod to that film,” Chaves says. “It’s funny because it’s actually a combo homage to both the ‘Exorcist’ and ‘Psycho,’ the image where Mother is in the window.”

“Michael Chaves was having so much fun,” says Coulter, “and that enthusiasm is contagious. James Wan was the same. They both just love movies so much and do mini-homages to other films.”
And just as this instalment of “The Conjuring” gets Ed and Lorraine out of the house and more engaged with the larger world, it also lets us see more of how Drew works with them, and how integral to their research he is.

“Chaves tried taking Drew to a deeper level, with less comedic relief and more of a laser focus on the research and pressing danger,” Kook says. “We get more of a glimpse into the relationship with Ed and Lorraine. He’s always watching out for them.”

Despite all the old familiar faces, it’s a new case file, a new family and a new nemesis. At the center of this story are the Glatzels, Carl and Judy, played by Paul Wilson, who is Patrick Wilson’s brother, and Charlene Amoia. Their children, Debbie and her younger brother David, are played by newcomer Sarah Catherine Hook and, at the age of eight at the time of filming, seasoned horror veteran Julian Hilliard. Debbie’s boyfriend, Arne Cheyenne Johnson, is played by Irish actor Ruairi O’Connor.

Finding actors to convincingly portray Debbie and Arne involved extensive auditions and a long casting process. The search paid off with Hook and O’Connor, whose characters have an unbreakable, lifelong bond. The young actors had never met but had instant chemistry that developed into a significant friendship during the course of the shoot, reminiscent of the friendship between Wilson and Farmiga.

“These are two extraordinarily important roles,” Safran says, “they managed to imbue their characters with the same kind of love that mirrors the love that Ed and Lorraine have for each other.”

“Ruairi and Sarah Catherine really capture the essence of these characters and their love for each other,” Chaves agrees. “They have this great warmth and charm that makes you root for them, despite the very dark corner of the world in which they find themselves.”

The real-life Arne Johnson and Debbie Glatzel never wavered in their commitment to each other over the 41 years since they met. Debbie was his fiercest defender and protector, and it was clear how much he adored her to the very end. They were married in prison while Arne was serving his sentence for first-degree manslaughter, and they remained married until Debbie’s death in 2021. The couple remained close to the Warrens until Ed’s passing in 2006 and Lorraine’s in 2019, and as well their daughter Judy and her husband, Tony Spera.

“She is incredibly loyal to all the people she loves dearly,” Hook says about Debbie, “and she loved Arne most of all.”

In the film, Hook’s portrayal imbues that devotion. “During the exorcism, what you hear from Debbie is the perfect setup for who the character is: the unconditional love she has for her family and her admiration and respect for Ed and Lorraine. She’s sticking up for her family—for her little brother—because David would never want this. And you see she has the same faith in Arne as the story goes on.”
Despite that, it was challenging for both Hook and O’Connor, who went to some very shadowy parts of their psyches to play these characters based on real people. Hook frequently asked herself why Debbie supported Arne after watching him stab someone to death and tried to reconcile how that would test her loyalty, how she could overcome it, in order to play the role convincingly.

For O’Connor, it was a much darker hole in which he found himself.

“Arne Johnson is a complex role,” admits Chaves, “layered with a lot of really powerful emotions like regret, anguish and anger, all mixed with fear.”

In such extraordinary circumstances as Arne finds himself, O’Connor still has to find the perspective of his character in order to make him convincing, and O’Connor’s Arne is deeply tortured. That’s a rough place to dwell as a performer for weeks on end.

“You have to find empathy for your character,” O’Connor explains, “and not judge your character. You get to where you can really understand their point of view. So what I’m saying is, I was literally possessed for this. I managed to get myself to that cursed place.”

For most of the shoot, O’Connor dwelt in that dark night of the soul, self-isolating, donning headphones and listening to `80s music between takes in order to remain in the world that his version of Arne inhabited. He didn’t want to break away from the demonic noise in his head. But after a while, it began to take a toll. O’Connor watched Wilson and Farmiga, seasoned pros, who would pivot from very intense and often physically exhausting takes to jocular conviviality and pranksterism between shots. One minute they were screaming at demons or for their lives, the next minute they were cracking up watching funny videos online. It was a reckoning, of sorts, for O’Connor, who was able to witness another way to work.

“It was important to break up the demon-possessed and horrendous physical difficulties I was going through,” O’ Connor says, “all the screaming and thrashing around. So, I started to look at funny videos in between, because Patrick and Vera are so lighthearted about it.”

Hilliard, who is involved in some of the film’s most harrowing sequences, takes a similar approach. He completely understands the role and that his character is being haunted by a demon. “It’s a lot for him to handle,” says Hilliard,” because the beast is inside him. I know for sure he doesn’t like being with the demon.”

Hilliard has done his fair share of horror, and he is very pragmatic about it. He easily distinguishes the scare sequences from reality. He always had fun, even when he was in the middle of an intense, scary scene. His friendship with director Michael Chaves is something very special that also helped him really get into character. “Michael Chaves is a very nice and sweet director that gets acting,” he relates. “We even have a secret handshake. I can’t tell you because it’s secret, but we do have a secret handshake. It’s pretty cool.”

Another special friend that Hilliard made during the shoot is the Transylvanian rescue cat named Pookie that one crew member saved while shooting “The Nun” in Romania. Pookie, another returning member of the “Conjuring” Universe family, goes on location shoots whenever possible. “Pookie’s a cat, and he’s very nice,” Hilliard beams. “He’s kind of shy around new people, but he’s a very nice cat, and I think you would love him. He is very cute. I like to call him Pookie Monster.”

Overall, Hilliard felt shooting the film felt like home away from home and really enjoyed all of the cast and crew. One of his favourite memories from set was when they celebrated his birthday. “It was really cool, they surprised me with two cakes on my first day of shooting to celebrate my eighth birthday” says Hilliard. “The whole cast and crew sang to me, and I got a gift of about 20 yo-yo’s from transportation—it was awesome!”

In another departure from previous “Conjuring” films, the antagonist is not a supernatural enemy. Lorraine meets her match by way of The Occultist, portrayed by Eugenie Bondurant. She is the dark side of the mirror, the opposite of everything for which Lorraine stands. She is a corporeal, tangible threat who mocks Ed and Lorraine’s faith and draws upon Satan to command dark forces. Lorraine’s vulnerability to and challenge of The Occultist raises the “Conjuring” stakes in a powerful new way.

“The Occultist is Lorraine, if Lorraine had gone down a different path,” says Johnson-McGoldrick.

 

THE CONJURING THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (9)

Building the Universe

This is production designer Jennifer Spence’s fourth foray into the “Conjuring” Universe, but it’s her first based on an actual Warren case file. That resonated deeply for Spence, who was drawn to the gravity of the demonic influences and destructive consequences for everyone involved. It was important for her to keep the overall design of the film grounded. Some of her very early choices involved colour tones.

“I fell into a world of earth tones,” Spence says, “greens and blues. I designed the whole movie in that way.”

The most significant built set that we see in “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is the Glatzel family home. It is based on the Travis house in Senoia, Georgia, 1910 Victorian that was ordered out of a lady’s magazine, according to local history. The same home was used in the 1991 film “Fried Green Tomatoes.” From wallpapers and rugs to furniture and curtains, Spence created a maze-like, naturalistic field of greens, blues, wheats and browns, incorporating plant, grass and tree imagery where possible. Everything comes from the earth.

“The Glatzels moved there to find a peace,” she explains, “the house itself is not haunted. It’s just a lovely home where this terrible thing took place. The house suffers the demon’s wrath, too.”

In the past, Spence has used the color red to invoke the demonic and green to imply infection, but she has chosen sickly hues that are typically distressed. She had to keep reminding her painters on this title to be careful with the ageing so that it didn’t wind up looking like a creepy house. This time around, the gentle colour of greens in her palette are meant to evoke innocence.

Spence says she is never off work, even if she’s between jobs. She’s constantly taking in the world around her, going out of her way to travel and absorb as much as possible. Even at home in L.A., if she’s driving around and sees something cool, like a great door or an unusual chair, she’ll stop to photograph it. In her mind, she’s always figuring out how to tell a story, even if she doesn’t have that story yet. She is guided as much by mood as she is by visuals.

“If you can walk into a space that immediately gives you a feeling or chill,” Spence says, “maybe it smells a little damp or it’s chilly or has a dark presence, then that will help to tell the story.”

One of the signature sets Spence was tasked with creating for this “Conjuring” instalment was a new artefact room…of sorts. When Ed and Lorraine visit Father Kastner, played in the film by John Noble, at the recommendation of Father Gordon, Kastner brings them down into his library in the basement of his home. Not only is it crammed with ancient books of terrible, dark power, it is replete with disturbing and ominous artefacts. Decrepit wood shelves packed with skulls, creepy dolls, crucifixes, talismans, totems, carved figures, chalices, old photos, taxidermy and spell boxes gather dust in Kastner’s gloomy lair. Upon entering, Lorraine reacts by telling him, “You should burn all this,” to which Kastner responds, “I’ve thought of it, but I felt it was safer to keep them locked.” Ed glances at Lorraine, and the look that passes between them acknowledges that they do the same thing.

“When I found out there would be a new artefact room introduced in this story,” Spence remembers, “it kind of freaked me out, because the other one is so iconic.”

She spent weekends scouring antique stores with friends from the crew and her set decorator, Lisa Son, who had a particular knack for discovering oddities. They packed the room with replica body parts and creatures, bugs and pigs in jars. They commissioned local artists to create unusual objects. Soon, Kastner’s library took on a life of its own.

“It’s like the dark side of the Warrens,” Spence reveals. “It’s more macabre.”

Much of “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” was shot at Pinewood Studios Atlanta (now Trilith Studios) in Fayetteville, on stages 9, 15, 16 and 18, where a variety of sets were built, including the Glatzel House Interior, the Warren House interior, tunnels under Kastner’s Farm and the Infinite Hallway, and the cliff edge where Lorraine has a true scare. Production also utilized the studio backlot for some of the forest scene components.

Additional scenes were captured throughout the greater Atlanta area, including Stone Mountain, where scenes in the woods were shot on Indian Island and Washington W. King Bridge doubled as a Connecticut covered bridge. Newnan gave the film three locations, starting with the Coweta County Superior Courthouse substituting as the Danbury Superior Court, where Meryl, Arne’s attorney, attempts to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of demonic possession, as well as the Alamo Theater flashback scene of Ed and Lorraine on their first date, and finally the Old Piedmont Hospital subbed as the Bridgeport Correctional Center and the Palmeri Funeral Home interior. Palmetto provided the site where Arne was working as a tree trimmer, and Griffin the site of Bruno Saul’s Brookfield Boarding Kennels. Starrs Mill in Unincorporated Fayette County stood in for Father Kastner’s farm and library. And the city of Atlanta itself gave the production two locations, with the Cheshire Motel serving as the Bruneau Motel and the Westview Cemetery giving the film its Palmeri Funeral Home exterior.

The manner in which director of photography Michael Burgess shoots shows off all of Spence’s work, putting the set pieces in the best light or, in this world perhaps more appropriately, the best shadows. Burgess is another “Conjuring” Universe alumnus with three other films under his belt and exalts the symbiosis between design and photography.

“I like to compliment Jen Spence’s designs, the colors on her sets, to make them really pop,” Burgess says.

One of the ways he does this is by combining warm and cool light to add some grit to the look, which he also feels adds to the scares. At the beginning of the movie, in the Glatzel and Warren homes, he leans more into the warmer spectrum, but when we get into the outside world, he begins to shift to a cooler spectrum, especially in the prison scenes, to evoke loneliness and isolation.

One sequence specifically that used lighting instead of visual effects to produce the desired result was the transition in the forest, where Lorraine has a psychic vision linking the present to the past in two parallel stories. Searching for clues with Ed and Sgt. Clay in the forest, Lorraine bends down and touches the ground. As she does, the changeover from day to night appears to happen magically on screen.

“We wanted it to be a little different than traditional fantasy camera transitions,” Burgess explains. “Chaves had an idea to use moving lights, so we had 20ks on 50-foot Technocranes sweeping across the frame with lights dimming up and lights dimming down to create the illusion from day to night.”

Another shot that Burgess was excited to pull off is something that Wan established as a signature early in his career: the “oner,” an elaborately choreographed, single-take camera move. Wan famously pulled this off in the parking garage chase scene in 2007’s “Death Sentence,” with seven camera operators, two crane lifts, 20 transmitters, a custom-made pushcart dolly and hand-held specialty-rig relay camera. In the “Conjuring” Universe, Wan did it again when the Perron family arrives at their new house for the first time, and John Leonetti did one in “Annabelle.”

“There are always these fun ‘oners’ in the ‘Conjuring’ universe that introduce the characters in a particular place,” Burgess says. “For this one, we had an operator on a crane at Bruno’s kennel. As the crane comes down, he steps off it into a Steadicam shot through the entire house as we follow Debbie, Arne and Bruno all the way and out the back door. That was fun.”

Costume designer Leah Butler is another “Conjuring” Universe alumna. “The Devil Made Me Do It” is her third go-round, following “Annabelle: Creation” and “Annabelle Comes Home,” both period pieces as well. One of the most important things about her work is to develop an authenticity of character through her costume choices and designs. Her approach begins with research, especially with stories set in a specific time period.

“I start with what’s happening broadly in the period,” Butler says, “pop culture, politics, social trends. I read all the periodicals I can get my hands on, from fashion magazines to National Geographic.”

Working on a true case file, Butler also enjoys the reference of archival newspaper, magazine and video documentation, which informs both her understanding of Arne Johnson and Debbie Glatzel as well as Ed and Lorraine Warren. Additionally, this is the second film in which Butler has designed for the characters of Ed and Lorraine, so she understands the nuances of the real-life couple as well as Wilson and Farmiga’s approach to them.

“A lot of people are unaware that the real Ed and Lorraine liked to match actual fabric so his tie would coordinate with her skirt, for example,” Butler elucidates. “We did that quite a few times on this movie, but they did other things, too. Sometimes it was just a similar palette or fabric texture. They were very whole in that way.”

At the beginning of the film, Ed and Lorraine are both wearing black. Their costumes distinguish them from the rest of the household as religious ambassadors, on a mission to salvage young David’s soul. They are like a civilian priest and nun working in concert with the official clergy represented by Father Gordon, who is also dressed in black. Wilson’s black polo shirt with white piping may look familiar, and that’s because he’s worn it other “Conjuring” Universe movies. In addition to being a spiritual uniform, early on in the story the fit accentuates his healthy and vital physique, something that will be compromised shortly; through costuming, for the rest of the film, he’s more covered up, wearing clothes that subtly give the impression that he is older and more vulnerable.

Meanwhile, Lorraine must take up the mantle of strength, and her costuming becomes slightly more pronounced within Spence’s established palette of blues and greens.

With so many shades of any colour and with an array of patterns in both costume fabrics and household textiles and wallpapers, it’s critical that a costume designer work closely with the production designer. For Butler, it helps that Spence is a close friend. This is the 11th film on which they’ve collaborated.

“There is a definite colour palette specific to the late 1970s/early `80s that is important to work into creating these characters,” Butler says. “I work so closely with Jen to understand how the house feels, and how the characters will look in the environment she’s creating.”

Property master Kate Guanci is new to the “Conjuring” Universe but brings a wealth of knowledge and talent to the franchise. Her biggest challenge was having to establish multiple hero props from every segment of the movie in the first week of the production. Those included both The Occultist’s totem and her chalice.

“The totem was a big process,” Guanci remembers. “It went through so many iterations to get right because of its significance. It’s the connective tissue between The Occultist and each of her victims.”

Initially, there were about five versions, made up of myriad small pieces, including frayed jute, snake vertebrae, rodent ribs, deer tails, the centre spine of a fish jaw, and scorpion claws— all replicated, of course; no actual animal bone or tissue. Instead, they used plastic casts, painted and weathered and dyed using such all-natural pigments as crushed raspberries, for example. Everything was fabricated in-house, but you would never know it to look at them on set or on screen.

When each version was presented to Chaves, he would consider the object’s tone, so it wouldn’t sink into the background of a shot but rather pop, visually; how tall and how wide the objects were; symmetry; and what elements he liked or didn’t like. What he liked made it to the next round, combined with new elements and ideas. The team got it just right just in time.
“It was literally completed and approved as we slid it in front of the camera, and they yelled ‘action,’” Guanci laughs.

For The Occultist’s chalice, there was a similar process of trial and retrial, beginning with discussions that included Chaves and Spence.

“We each had our own vision,” Guanci recounts, “and we put them all together.”

The chalice started out as a medieval, jewel-encrusted gold goblet reminiscent of King Arthur, before morphing into a carved, stone-like onyx. That didn’t seem right, and next it became turned olive wood. Nothing was striking the right note. At one point, prop assistant Madeline Grayson was ordering all kinds of things online that could potentially be used as bases and combined with different bowls to create something unique.

“One of the things she ordered was a faux deer antler candlestick,” Guanci recalls. “It didn’t work at all for what we needed, but it introduced the idea of bringing animal and nature elements together to create her chalice.”

At this point, with a solid idea in place, prop fabricator Jen Raine stepped in to sculpt an antler base that would meet their creative needs with modeling wire and clay. Once she had something that everyone liked, another member of the prop team created an elaborate, four-part mold with which to cast the inverted, claw-like antler. After clean-up, paint and layering in generations of life and centuries of spells, the new base was ready to clutch the chosen brass Tibetan bowl to create The Occultist’s chalice.
“What I love about how it turned out,” says Guanci, “is the juxtaposition of the masculinity of the antlers, representing a battle, with the femininity of the bowl, representing peace.”
As he has on the other films in the “Conjuring” Universe, Joseph Bishara returned to compose the score, enhancing not only the themes within the film but, of course, the film’s eeriest and most horrific moments.

In summary, Chaves hopes audiences will enjoy another thrilling “Conjuring” experience, remarking, “I know they’re going to be scared but I hope they’ll be surprised, too—the great thing about these films is that you get something of the familiar, with Ed and Lorraine’s relationship and the fact that they step right into the danger, but also that they evolve with every story. I’m very excited to see how audiences respond.”

 

ABOUT THE CAST

PATRICK WILSON (Ed Warren) is a critically acclaimed and award-winning actor who has quickly become well known for his body of work. Over the years, Wilson has tackled lead roles in major Broadway musicals, as well as starring in big-budget blockbusters.

Wilson has also been set to co-star in the much-anticipated “Aquaman” sequel. Opposite Jason Momoa who plays the title character, Wilson will play title character’s half-brother, Orm, also known as Ocean Master. The DC film is set to begin filming in 2021.

Wilson reached his widest audience to date in the role of Ed Warren in “The Conjuring” franchise. “The Conjuring” is one of the highest grossing supernatural films of all time. “The Conjuring 2,” which released in 2016, grossed an impressive $40 million in its opening weekend.

In 2015, he starred as Lou Solverson in the TV series “Fargo,” opposite Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Ted Danson. Wilson’s performance garnered Critics’ Choice, Gold Derby and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Limited Series.

His additional film credits include “Aquaman,” “Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife,” “The Founder,” “The Hollow Point,” “Bone Tomahawk,” “Zipper,” “Home Sweet Hell,” “Matters of the Heart,” “Jack Strong,” “Big Stone Gap,” “Stretch,” “Space Station 76,” “Insidious: Chapter 2,” “Insidious,” “Prometheus,” “Young Adult,” “The Ledge, Morning Glory,” “The Switch,” “The A-Team, Barry Munday,” “Watchmen,” “Life in Flight,” “Passengers,” “Lakeview Terrace,” “Purple Violets,” “Brothers Three: An American Gothic,” “Little Children,” “Running with Scissors,” “Hard Candy,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Alamo” and “My Sister’s Wedding.”

On the small screen, Wilson also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of the morally conflicted Joe Pitt in the HBO miniseries “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches,” the much-honored 2003 adaptation of Tony Kushner’s award-winning “Angels in America: Perestroika.” He also starred in “A Gifted Man,” and the second season of the award-winning HBO original series “Girls.” The episode, “One Man’s Trash,” became one of the most talked about episodes of the show’s history, as well as one of the most watched episodes of the season.

Wilson has also been honored with two consecutive Tony Award nominations for Best Actor in a Musical, the most recent coming for his performance as Curly in the successful 2002 Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!,” for which he also received a Drama Desk Award nomination. He earned his first Tony nomination for his work in the 2001 Broadway hit “The Full Monty,” for which he also garnered Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations and won a Drama League Award. In 2006, he returned to Broadway to star in the revival of the Neil Simon comedy “Barefoot in the Park,” opposite Amanda Peet. His most recent Broadway credit is the 2008/2009 revival of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” with John Lithgow, Dianne West and Katie Holmes.

Born in Virginia and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Wilson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Starting his career on the stage, he earned applause in the national tours of “Miss Saigon” and “Carousel.” In 1999, he starred off-Broadway in “Bright Lights, Big City,” winning a Drama League Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination. That same year, he made his Broadway debut in Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm,” for which he won another Drama League Award.

VERA FARMIGA (Lorraine Warren) is an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated and award-winning actress who continues to captivate audiences with her ability to embody each of her diverse and engaging roles.

Farmiga will soon be seen in Alan Taylor’s “Sopranos” prequel, “The Many Saints of Newark,” set to be released on September 24, 2021. On the small screen, Farmiga stars alongside Ewan McGregor in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series “Halston.”

Farmiga recently wrapped production on the streaming series “Hawkeye,” in which Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh also star. Farmiga is currently in production on the drama series “Five Days At Memorial,” based on the Sheri Fink book of the same name and penned by John Ridley and Carlton Cuse. It was also recently announced that Farmiga will star in and produce Bryce McGuire’s directorial debut, “Bad Bloom,” a horror fairytale about a family living in isolation on an island to keep an unknown creature at bay. Adding to her producing credits, Farmiga will also produce and star in “Tabloid Dreams,” in partnership with Bron Studios. This anthology series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler’s collection of stories by the same name.

Farmiga received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her work in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 critically acclaimed Netflix limited series “When They See Us.” The limited series, nominated for 17 Emmy Awards, was centered around the 1989 Central Park Five case when five Harlem teenagers were incorrectly convicted to eventually be set free.

In 2017, Farmiga starred in the fifth and final season of the A&E original series “Bates Motel,” a modern-day prequel to the genre-defining film, “Psycho.” Farmiga, who earned a 2013 Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role, starred as the iconic character, Norma, in the series, which gave audiences a glimpse into the dark and deeply intricate relationship Norman Bates has with his mother. The critically acclaimed series went on to win the 2016 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Drama.
In 2011, Farmiga directed and starred in the critically acclaimed independent film “Higher Ground,” which won awards at the Sundance Film Festival, the Gotham Awards, Satellite Awards, Artios Awards, and Alliance of Film Women Journalists.

Farmiga received critical praise and nominations, including an Academy Award, BAFTA, Broadcast Film Critics’ Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe, for her role in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air,” opposite George Clooney.

Farmiga’s past film credits include: Gary Dauberman’s “Annabelle Comes Home” opposite Patrick Wilson; Michael Dougherty’s “Godzilla: King Of The Monsters”; Guy Nattiv’s “Skin”; Jason Reitman’s political drama, “The Front Runner”; Jaume Collet-Sierra’s “The Commuter”; Dee Rees’ “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams”; Shana Feste’s “Boundaries”; Jordan Robert’s “Burn Your Maps” opposite Marton Csokas; Rupert Wyatt’s “Captive State”; David Dobkin’s “The Judge” opposite Robert Downey Jr.; James Wan’s “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2” opposite Patrick Wilson; Adam Rogers’ “At Middleton” opposite Andy Garcia; Nae Caranfil’s “Closer To The Moon” opposite Mark Strong; Daniel Espinosa’s “Safe House” opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds; Christopher Neil’s “Goats” opposite David Duchovny; Duncan Jones’ “Source Code” opposite Jake Gyllenhaal; Malcolm Venville’s “Henry’s Crime” opposite Keanue Reeves; Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Orphan” opposite Peter Sarsgaard; Niki Caro’s “The Vintner’s Luck” opposite Jérémie Renier; Carlos Brooks’ “Quid Pro Quo” opposite Nick Stahl; Miramax’s “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas” opposite Asa Butterfield; and Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But The Truth,” which earned her a nomination for a Broadcast Film Critics Award. For her performance in “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas,” she was awarded the Best Actress Award from the British Independent Film Awards.

Farmiga won the Best Actress award from the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Association for her performance in Debra Granik’s “Down To The Bone,” a revelatory drama about a weary working-class mother trapped by drug addiction. She also won Best Actress awards from the Sundance Film Festival and the Marrakech Film Festival and earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the role.

Additional film credits include: Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning police drama, “The Departed,” opposite Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson; Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking & Entering” opposite Jude Law; “Joshua” opposite Sam Rockwell; and “Never Forever” opposite Jung-woo Ha and David McInnis.

RUAIRI O’CONNOR (Arne Cheyenne Johnson) recently joined Apple’s “The Morning Show” as a series regular alongside Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. He can be seen in “The Spanish Princess” for STARZ and in Max Minghella’s “Teen Spirit” opposite Elle Fanning. He also can be seen as one of the leads of “Postcard Killings” opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
O’Connor trained at The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to make his film debut in 2012 as Niall in Lenny Abrahamson’s “What Richard Did.” He then went on to film John Butler’s “Handsome Devil” alongside Andrew Scott.

O’Connor’s television credits include Netflix series “Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope,” BBC’S “My Mother and Other Strangers,” and he can be seen in series one and two of “Delicious” for Sky alongside Dawn French, Emilia Fox and Iain Glen.

SARAH CATHERINE HOOK (Debbie Glatzel) will next be seen as a lead in the recently announced Netflix Series “First Kill,” produced by Emma Robert’s Belletrist. Hook is also known for her guest appearances in “Law and Order: SVU,” Hulu’s “Monsterland” and AMC’s “NOS4A2.” In addition, she is the face of the national ad campaign Living in Harmony SodaStream. “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” marks Hook’s feature film debut.

JULIAN HILLIARD (David Glatzel) already has an impressive resume for someone of his young age. He can currently be seen in the global hit limited series “WandaVision” playing Billy Maximoff, one of the twin sons of Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olson.

His first major role was starring as Young Luke in the Netflix hit series “The Haunting of Hill House,” which premiered to rave reviews. He was recently seen in a major arc on the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.” Hilliard was in the indie hit “Greener Grass,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and “The Color Out of Space” with Nicolas Cage that premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Hilliard loves coming up with his own stories, drawing cartoons, and working daily to become a LEGO® master builder. He resides with his family in Dallas, Texas.

JOHN NOBLE (Kastner) can be seen in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of “Cowboy Bebop,” NBC’s “Debris,” Amazon’s “The Boys,” and also “Hunters,” opposite Al Pacino.
In the last few years, Noble recurred on “Blacklist,” “Elementary,” “Salvation,” and “Legends of Tomorrow.” He is best known as the beloved character Walter Bishop on “Fringe,” as a series regular on “Sleepy Hollow,” and of course from “The Lord of the Rings.”

EUGENIE BONDURANT (The Occultist) has had a long and slightly eccentric career that has taken her from the runways of New York and Paris to featured roles in film and television, including her breakout role as the feminine and feline cult icon Tigris in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.” Bondurant’s uniqueness was instrumental in booking “Fear of Rain” alongside Harry Connick Jr. and Madison Iseman. Bondurant received high praise for her role as Dani McConnell.

Tall and angular, with knife-blade cheekbones, Bondurant, a fifth-generation resident of NOLA, was “discovered” after a bout with cancer left her looking especially exotic and androgynous. Soon she became a working model in the U.S. and Europe. A modeling trip to Los Angeles led to an acting career that’s included a string of bizarre characters in TV and film, including “Fight Club” with Ed Norton, and “Saturday Night Live” with Madonna and Mike Myers. She tossed around comedian Gene Wilder while playing Alice Cooper’s favourite Dominatrix on the TV series “Something Wilder.” And on HBO’s “Arliss” she played a transvestite who lured a strait-laced athlete into a night of sin. In the indie feature, “Donald and Dot Clock,” her character bonded with a house-full of rodents.

Last year, Bondurant shared screen time with actor/director Pollyanna McIntosh in the horror hit “Darlin,’” which debuted at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. Her short film “Tiny Bacteria” was shown at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival; her numerous other film and TV credits may be viewed on her IMDb page. Her recent awards include 2018 Arts Alliance Ambassador MUSE Award and Women in Film Award of Excellence.

Bondurant’s first directing project last year, “Leave Those Kids Alone,” with Pitch Her Productions, opened the door to her directing “My Dinner With Steve” and the collaboration on “Happy New Year.”

“Elegant Chanteuse” with the sultry alto voice, Bondurant finds cabaret the best medium to tell a story in song. You can hear her performing with her husband, Paul Wilborn. She is also a working voice-over artist. She is also a founding member of The Radio Theater Project.

A well-known On-Camera and Meisner Acting Coach, Bondurant, loves teaching at Andi Matheny Acting Studios in St Petersburg and the prestigious Patel Conservatory in Tampa, Florida. Along with acting, she has a BA in Finance.

SHANNON KOOK (Drew) was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, splitting his time between family in Cape Town, Swaziland and Mauritius. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver have each been homes for several years for Kook, his mixed ethnicity, as well as experiences as an immigrant, have had a strong impact on his sense of identity.
Kook can be seen as Season Regular Jordan Green in Seasons 5, 6 and 7 of “The 100,” recurring Guest Star Grant on “Nancy Drew” for the CW and recurring on “Woke” for Hulu. He will also be recurring in a new show, yet to be officially announced.

Kook recurred on many series in the Canadian market, which included “Being Erica,” “Rookie Blue,” “The Border,” and HBO’s “Durham County.” He got his first break at a young age playing a leading role in the hit series “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Kook went to the US to join “The Conjuring” franchise, where he appeared in the first two films and returns once again as Drew Thomas for this third instalment. Kook starred opposite Chloe Moretz in Gillian Flynn’s “Dark Places,” led by Charlize Theron.

Kook won an ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance in Voice. He was selected as one of TIFF’s 4 Rising Stars at The Toronto International Film Festival, and he received a Trailblazer award from The Reelworld Film Festival.

Aside from acting Kook, built a school in Udaipur, India with Free the Children and spends his free time practising several forms of martial arts, dance and playing musical instruments. He is currently a Brown belt in Taekwondo and attends Salsa and Bachata congresses around the world, including Spain, Seattle and Vancouver. Kook has a passion for photography and videography, and you can find his work through the Instagram hashtag #ShookReel.

KEITH ARTHUR BOLDEN (Sergeant Clay) is a native of Los Angeles, California. He earned his MFA in Acting from the University of Illinois and is currently an associate professor of Theatre and Performance at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. He considers himself a tri-coastal actor, which is demonstrated in his work and in his ability to transform and embody a variety of characters based on his life experiences and travels.

Bolden’s directing credits include “Hands Up!” (Alliance Theatre Fall 2021), “Pipeline” (Horizon Theatre), “Two Trains Running” (Triad Stage), “Topdog/Underdog” (NC Black Rep), “Hands Up” (Hattiloo Theatre), “Hoodoo Love,” “Seven Guitars,” “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning,” and “The Piano Lesson” (Spelman College).

Bolden’s stage acting credits include “Paradise Blue” (True Colors Theatre), “Fetch Clay Make Man” (Dallas Theatre Center), “Between Riverside and Crazy” (True Colors Theatre), “Dreamgirls” (DOMA Theatre), “Gem of the Ocean” (The Fountain Theatre, Rubicon Theatre), “A Raisin in the Sun” (Kirk Douglas Theatre, Hartford Stage, Cape Fear Regional Theatre), “CROWNS” (Texas Southern University-Guest Artist), “Neighbors” (Matrix Theatre), “Fences,” “Take Me Out” (Human Race Theatre), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis), “Ragtime” (Penn State-Guest Artist), and “The Exonerated.”

Bolden’s recent film and television credits include “Genius: Aretha Franklin,” “Games People Play,” “Creepshow,” “American Soul,” “Mile 22,” “Cobra Kai,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Behind the Movement,” “Underground,” “Black Lightning,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Nashville,” “Greenleaf,” “A Baby for Christmas,” “Swamp Murders,” “Containment,” “Your Worst Nightmare,” “Saints and Sinners,” “The Have and Have Nots,” “Goosebumps,” “Vampire Diaries,” and “Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.”

STEVE COULTER (Father Gordon) was born in Canada but grew up in South America and Cleveland Heights, Ohio. An actor and writer, he has appeared in over 100 film and television projects. His television appearances include recurring roles on “House of Cards,” “The Walking Dead,” “P-Valley,” “Brockmire,” “The Purge,” and Kevin Costner’s “Yellowstone.” He also appeared in two HBO films directed by Barry Levinson: “Wizard of Lies” with Robert DeNiro and “Paterno” with Al Pacino.

Coulter’s film appearances include “The Hunger Games,” “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2,” “Birth of a Nation,” “Insidious: Chapter 2” and “Insidious: Chapter 3,” Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” “The Front Runner,” and Charlie Day’s “El Tonto.” Most recently, he has appeared in Damon Lindelof’s “The Hunt” and “Watchmen” on HBO, Eddie Huang’s “Boogie,” and in 2022 will be seen in Lionsgate’s “Shotgun Wedding,” starring Jennifer Lopez, as well as a recurring role in a new series.

He was the head writer for both of Tyler Perry’s television series, “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns,” where he supervised over 100 episodes and won two consecutive NAACP IMAGE Awards for Best Comedy Series. He wrote and directed the award-winning short film “The Etiquette Man,” which premiered on the Sundance Channel. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

VINCE PISANI (Father Newman) has over 20 years of experience as a professional film, television, and stage actor, with a reputation for exceptionally authentic character work. Recent credits include “The Hunt,” “Jumanji 2: The Next Level,” “TAG,” “The Glorias,” and “Office Christmas Party.” In addition to appearing in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Stranger Things,” “Good Behavior,” “Watchmen,” and “The Act,” he’s played recurring roles on the hit shows “Halt and Catch Fire,” “The Gifted,” “Brockmire,” and “SIX.” An esteemed on-set coach for television series and film productions, Pisani is also a highly sought-after private coach. He is married to actress Sara Torres and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

STERLING JERINS (Judy Warren) is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young actresses. Jerins was last seen in HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Divorce,” alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Hayden Church. She can be seen in the lead role of Daisy in the independent feature film “Daisy Winters.” Jerins has guest-starred on “Bull” for CBS and “Almost Family” for Fox. She also starred in Boaz Yakin’s thriller film “Boarding School” from Endeavor Content and Momentum Pictures. Jerins was featured in the 2016 Cannes competition feature, “Paterson,” for director Jim Jarmusch opposite Adam Driver.She reprised her role as Judy Warren in “The Conjuring 2” for New Line Cinema. Jerins starred in Weinstein Company’s “No Escape” opposite Pierce Brosnan, Owen Wilson and Lake Bell, and was also featured in Gilles Brenner film “Dark Places” playing the younger version of Charlize Theron. Jerin’s long list of credits includes leading roles alongside Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton in “And So It Goes” for director Rob Reiner, the Paramount blockbuster “World War Z,” playing Brad Pitt’s daughter, and “5 Flights Up” opposite Morgan Freeman. Jerins was named in the 2013 Variety Youth Impact Award as part of the Next Generation of stars. Jerins was born in New York City, where she still lives with her family. Jerins mother, Alana Jerins, was an actress in experimental theatre in both NY and Europe. Her grandfather is Latvian artist Ansis Jerins, and her father is artist Edgar Jerins. Older sister, Ruby Jerins, is also an actress (“Shutter Island,” “Nurse Jackie”). Surrounded by an artistic family, and a city of high art and culture, it is no surprise that Jerins would step into the creative arena as well. Besides acting, drawing, and ballet, she also very much enjoys school and cooking.

PAUL WILSON (Carl Glatzel) made his professional stage debut at nine years old as the lead in Gian Carlo Menotti’s operetta “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” He studied Shakespeare and acting in London and later at Florida State University, and at the University of South Florida where he graduated with honours from the College of Fine Arts in 1993. He spent two seasons acting with the famed regional Equity (AEA) theatre group, American Stage in their Shakespeare in the Park performances of “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

He made his first feature film appearance in “Citizen Verdict” (2003) with Armand Assante and Roy Scheider. While on the set of “Angels in America” visiting his brother, Patrick Wilson—who has said he was inspired to become an actor when he saw his older brother, Paul, perform—director Mike Nichols thought it would be “fun” for Paul Wilson to appear with his brother, Patrick. After that experience working with the legendary director, the elder Wilson took a break for a decade to run his own advertising and PR firm, but when writer/producer/director Adriana Trigiani wrote a part for him in the movie “Big Stone Gap,” Wilson returned to acting and co-starred with his brother, Patrick, Ashley Judd and Whoopi Goldberg in the 2014 rom-com that was shot entirely in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, where the brothers’ father was born and raised.

Since then, Wilson’s been steadily acting and producing in film and TV, with roles in the upcoming Showtime Series “The First Lady” (playing President Richard M. Nixon), and “Blair Witch” director Dan Myrick’s upcoming series “Black Veil.” Wilson also has multiple projects in development with Lonesome Pine Pictures, the Wilson family’s production company.

CHARLENE AMOIA (Judy Glatzel) is an American actress born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She began her career as a model before making the transition to acting.
Amoia is noted for the recurring roles of Wendy in the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” and Ellie in “American Reunion.” Most recently she can be seen as the young Huntress’ mother in “Birds of Prey,” as well as in the upcoming film “Fear Street.”
Upcoming for Amoia is the new show “Just Beyond,” coming in the fall of 2021.

INGRID BISU (Jessica) is a Romanian-German actress well-known in Romania for her work in film and television. She was introduced to international and American audiences with a prominent role in Maren Ade’s Oscar- and Emmy-nominated Foreign Language Film “Toni Erdmann,” which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Palme D’Or.
Born in Romania, Bisu began her career at the age of 16 when she signed a four-year modelling contract. Within days, she booked an international commercial on her first audition, and on her second, a series regular role on the sitcom “Castatorie de Proba,” for Romania’s biggest network ProTv, Mediapro.

Additional television and feature roles soon followed, including series regular roles in Romanian sitcoms “In the Building” and “Arrested at Home,” and the feature “Bloodrayne,” where she starred alongside Sir Ben Kingsley.

In 2006, she was cast in the lead role of Alice in the drama telemovie “A World of Pain,” which garnered the attention of director Cristian Mungiu. He then cast her in the part of Viviana in his “Tales of the Golden Age,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2007, Bisu enrolled in the Hyperion Academy of Dramatic Arts in Bucharest and began starring in theatre work with lead roles such as Nina in “The Seagull,” the title role in Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,” and Mona in “The Star Without a Name.”

Bisu continued to work in both television and film and, in 2011, became one of the youngest television presenters for the national morning show “Cafeaua de Dimineata,” for the Turkish network Kanal D. Bisu was also a writer, director and executive producer on the daily two-hour live infotainment show.

Her other film credits include the horror feature “Slaughter,” the Christmas comedy “Ho Ho Ho,” “What War May Bring,” directed by Academy Award-winning Claude Lelouch, the true-life tale “The Portrait of the Fighter in His Youth,” directed by Constantin Popescu, the award-winning “Outbound,” written by Christian Mungiu, and the award-nominated Romanian films “Sunt O Baba Comunista,” directed by Stere Gulea, and “Roxanne,” directed by Vali Hotea. She also had supporting roles in “Dracula: The Dark Prince,” starring Jon Voight, and Terry Gilliam’s “The Zero Theorem.”
Bisu’s other television credits include the drama series “17” and the comedy series “Nobody’s Perfect.”

Bisu most recently was seen alongside Demián Bichir and Taissa Farmiga in “The Nun,” which was released on September 7, 2018 and earned over $365.6 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film in the successful “Conjuring” Universe. She can next be seen in James Wan’s new horror film, “Malignant.” Bisu is also an executive producer and has a story by credit on the film.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

MICHAEL CHAVES (Director) made a splashy entrance into the world of horror with his directorial debut feature film, “The Curse of La Llorona,” produced through James Wan’s Atomic Monster label. Chaves garnered Wan’s attention with a short film he wrote and directed called “The Maiden.”

Chaves began his career directing commercials for clients such as Google, Microsoft, Ford, Facebook, Oculus, and EA Games. He also directed the 2019 Billie Eilish music video “Bury A Friend.”

DAVID LESLIE JOHNSON-MCGOLDRICK (Screenplay and Story By) developed an early interest in storytelling and began writing plays in the second grade. He later became interested in film and, at age 19, wrote his first screenplay. He attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography and Cinema.

He began his career in film as a production assistant on Frank Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption,” which was shot on location in Johnson’s hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, at the historic Mansfield Reformatory, where Johnson’s great-grandfather had been a prison guard. Johnson spent the next five years as Darabont’s assistant, using the opportunity to hone his craft as a screenwriter.
His first produced credit was the 2009 thriller “Orphan” for Leonardo DiCaprio’s producing shingle, Appian Way. He later wrote, “Red Riding Hood” (2011) and “Wrath of the Titans” (2012), the latter with collaborators Greg Berlanti and Dan Mazeau. He also reunited with mentor Frank Darabont to write for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and TNT’s noir crime drama miniseries, “Mob City” (2013). He has also teamed with director James Wan on “The Conjuring 2” and “Aquaman.”
He currently has several feature projects in development, including “Aquaman 2.” He also served as producer on the upcoming films “Til Death,” starring Megan Fox, and “Orphan: First Kill,” a prequel to 2009’s “Orphan,” for which he also co-wrote the story.

JAMES WAN (Producer / Story By) is regarded as one of the most creative filmmakers working today. His most recent film was the box office smash “Aquaman.” Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, four-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe, Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, and two-time Golden Globe nominee Patrick Wilson star in the DC superhero film, which was released December 21, 2018. Number 1 at the U.S. box office for three weeks, the title has become DC’s highest worldwide grossing film of all time. With “Aquaman,” Wan entered an elite group of directors with two films that have earned over $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office, his other film being “Furious 7.”

Next up for Wan is “Malignant,” an original horror/thriller that takes him back to his indie filmmaking roots. Wan directed and produced the film which stars Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, and Jake Abel. “Malignant” will be released on September 10, 2021. Additionally, Wan has a story by credit on the film.

Wan directed “The Conjuring 2,” with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson reprising their roles as famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Released in June 2016, the film opened at #1 at the box office in 32 territories, including the U.S. Wan also served as co-writer and producer. He previously directed the critically acclaimed “The Conjuring” (2013), starring Farmiga, Wilson, Lili Taylor, and Ron Livingston.

Additionally, Wan directed the critically acclaimed “Furious 7,” which was released in April 2015 and was #1 at the U.S. box office for four weeks – currently #9 of all-time at the worldwide box office.

Wan’s production company, Atomic Monster, launched its slate with “Annabelle” (2015) and followed with “Lights Out” (2016), “Annabelle: Creation” (2017), “The Nun” (2018), “The Curse of La Llorona” (2019), “Annabelle Comes Home” (2019), and “Mortal Kombat” (2021). All included Wan as producer. He also has a story by credit on “The Nun.”
Upcoming for Atomic Monster beyond Malignant is “There’s Someone Inside Your House” for Netflix. Wan serves as producer.

Atomic Monster’s television slate kicked off with “MacGyver,” a re-imagining of the classic television series, which premiered on CBS in the Fall of 2016. Wan directed the pilot and served as executive producer for the series, which ran for five seasons. The company’s second series was “Swamp Thing,” which streamed on DC Universe in May 2019 and premiered on the CW in 2020. Wan was an executive producer on the project. Atomic Monster is currently in production on “Archive 81,” based on the podcast, for Netflix and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” for Amazon. Wan serves as executive producer on both.

Co-creator of the popular “Insidious” franchise, Wan served as producer on the latest instalment, “Insidious: The Last Key,” which was released in January 2018. He also produced “Insidious: Chapter 3,” which was released in June 2015. Wan directed “Insidious” (2010) and “Insidious: Chapter 2” (2013). He also had a story by credit on “Insidious: Chapter 2.” The next chapter is currently in development with Patrick Wilson directing.

Wan is also the co-creator of the “Saw” franchise. In addition to directing the first “Saw” film, which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Wan served as executive producer for the entire franchise. The latest instalment, entitled “Spiral: From the Book of Saw,” features Chris Rock with Wan again as executive producer. It will be released May 13, 2021.
A member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Wan is the recipient of the Australians in Film 2016 Fox Studios Australia International Award.

PETER SAFRAN (Producer) is the president and founder of The Safran Company, a leading Hollywood production company.

Safran’s eye for talent and diligent work ethic has made for a prolific body of work that includes megahits “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2,” directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Safran also produced “The Conjuring” spin-offs: “Annabelle,” which earned over $250 million globally; its prequel, “Annabelle: Creation,” which grossed over $300 million; “Annabelle Comes Home” which grossed over $230 million; and “The Nun,” which earned over $365 million, making it the most successful film in the franchise. To date, the entire “Conjuring” Universe has generated over $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office.

Safran re-teamed with James Wan for the 2018 megahit “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Patrick Wilson. It is the highest grossest DC film of all time. He and Wan are currently in pre-production for the highly anticipated “Aquaman” sequel. Safran produced the 2019 DC Super Hero film “Shazam!,” which paired him again with “Annabelle: Creation” director David F. Sandberg. Safran is also currently in pre-production with Sandberg on “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

Safran continues his long-time collaboration with filmmaker James Gunn by producing his highly anticipated “The Suicide Squad.” The DC film has already spawned a spinoff series for HBO Max, “Peacemaker,” on which Safran is an executive producer.

MICHAEL BURGESS (Director of Photography) most recently served as the cinematographer on the horror films “Annabelle Comes Home,” from director Gary Dauberman, and “The Curse of La Llorona,” directed by Michael Chaves; both were produced by James Wan. His work will next be seen in Wan’s original horror film “Malignant.”

Burgess previously shot additional photography for Corin Hardy’s “The Nun,” as well as James Wan’s blockbuster “Aquaman.” He has also shot additional photography for “Wonder,” “Monster Trucks,” “Ted 2,” and “The Avengers.”

His other credits as camera operator include “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” “Divergent,” “Rock of Ages” and “Logan.” In addition, Burgess shot the 2nd unit photography for “The Conjuring 2”; “The Muppets” and its sequel, “Muppets Most Wanted”; and “Flight.”

PETER GVOZDAS (Editor) most recently cut the horror mystery “Polaroid,” Michael Chaves’ horror film “The Curse of La Llorona,” and the superhero horror film “Brightburn,” directed by David Yarovesky, produced by James Gunn and starring Elizabeth Banks. Gvozdas’s notable credits include James DeMonaco’s “The Purge,” Andre Øvredal’s “The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” and McG’s “The Babysitter.”
Earlier in his career, Gvozdas worked as an assistant editor on numerous feature films including Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” Joe Johnston’s “Captain America” and Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” before making the jump to the editor.

Gvozdas is a native of Northern Virginia and a graduate of Virginia Tech.

CHRISTIAN WAGNER (Editor) is a veteran editor who has cut five films in the “Fast & Furious” franchise; such blockbusters as “Face/Off,” “Mission: Impossible II,” “Die Another Day” and “Kong: Skull Island”; and such box office hits as “Men in Black: International,” “Total Recall,” “Battle Los Angeles,” “The Island,” “The Amityville Horror” and “Bad Boys,” among others.
After working as an assistant or additional editor on Tony Scott’s “Revenge,” “Days of Thunder” and “The Last Boy Scout,” Wagner became the director’s go-to editor, working on “True Romance,” “The Fan,” “Man on Fire,” “Spy Game” and “Domino.”

His other work includes “The Negotiator,” “Chasers,” “Fair Game,” “Next,” “The Uninvited,” and more. His work will next be seen in this summer’s “The Suicide Squad” from director James Gunn.

JENNIFER SPENCE (Production Designer) is originally from Canada. Art has been her greatest passion since she entered the creative world through painting when she was young. Early in her career, Spence worked on many music videos with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and Sheryl Crow, to name a few. She has also worked on countless commercials.

Spence developed her early career by embracing all aspects of the art department, honing her skills and setting her sights on designing films herself. Spence designed her first full-length feature with 2008’s “Splinter.” She was immediately infatuated by the horror genre, in which she has steadily worked ever since. 2010’s sleeper hit “Paranormal Activity 2” solidified her place as a designer, however, and she subsequently collaborated on “Paranormal Activity 3” and “Paranormal Activity 4,” followed by Rob Zombie’s 2012 hit “Lords Of Salem.”

Spence has also been a part of James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s “Insidious” franchise from the beginning, and designed both “Insidious: Chapter 2” and “Insidious: Chapter 3.”

Spence’s creative talents caught the attention of Wan, and she has continued to collaborate on films he has produced since then, including David F. Sandberg’s “Lights Out” and a host of “Conjuring” universe titles, among them Sandberg’s “Annabelle: Creation,” Corin Hardy’s “The Nun,” and Gary Dauberman’s “Annabelle Comes Home.”

In 2017 she leapt into a new genre, collaborating again with David F. Sandberg on the DC film “Shazam!.” Spence’s other credits include the pandemic thriller “Songbird,” and the cult classic horror films “Stephanie” and “The Bye Bye Man.”

Upcoming for Spence is the highly anticipated “The Forever Purge,” the fifth and final instalment of the popular “The Purge” film series, and “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” a reboot of the action-horror franchise based on the video game series.

Spence loves designing and telling stories visually, and she plans to one day direct her own films.

LEAH BUTLER (Costume Designer) is a second-generation Californian who has parlayed her love of fashion into a career in film and television costume design. Butler’s sharp insight and fastidious research translates into a keen understanding of how to facilitate storytelling through the clothing and styling of a character.

Butler draws from her eclectic experience to create fascinating visuals for some of the most exciting characters in the horror genre. Her long-time association with director Rob Zombie has given her the opportunity to design a multitude of music videos, commercials, and feature films with eccentric and creative styles.

Collaborating with director David F. Sandberg on his wildly successful instalment of the “Conjuring” Universe, “Annabelle: Creation,” Butler made an indelible mark on the 1940s and 50s period film. She was delighted to work with Sandberg again for his first DC film, “Shazam!,” which provided her with the opportunity to dive into the exciting and challenging world of superheroes with her characteristic verve. Butler returned to the “Conjuring” Universe with Gary Dauberman’s feature directorial debut, “Annabelle Comes Home.”

Among Butler’s other credits are “Paranormal Activity 3,” “Paranormal Activity 4,” Tara Miele’s “Wander Darkly,” Rob Zombie’s “The Lords of Salem,” and the 2018 Hulu series “All Night” from Director Brian Dannelly.

Upcoming for Butler is the highly anticipated “The Forever Purge,” the fifth and final instalment of the popular “The Purge” film series, and Iris K. Shim’s “Umma.”

KATE FORRY GUANCI (Property Master) has had an eclectic career in the entertainment industry for over two decades, beginning in commercials before transitioning to film and television. She worked as a carpenter, set dresser, art director and production designer before finding her passion in the property department.

Guanci’s credits as a property master include three seasons of “Survivor’s Remorse” for Starz and four seasons of James Wan’s Atomic Monster production of the wildly popular “MacGyver” reboot with Lucas Till for CBS. Her first feature as property master was Adam Shankman’s “What Men Want,” with Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan. “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is her second feature as Department Head.

Guanci has a long history as an assistant property master, as well, with feature credits including Antoine Fuqua’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” “Homefront,” “Mr. Right,” and “Fist Fight.” In television, Guanci was the assistant property master for the first season of AMC’s hit “Halt and Catch Fire,” Fox’s “The Following,” with Kevin Bacon, ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels,” and USA’s “Necessary Roughness.”

Guanci grew up on a farm, where she learned the value of hard work and ingenuity, bringing it into her professional life. She’s also proud to have served our troops for close to a decade as an integral part of designing and implementing real-world training scenarios for our men and women in service.

JOSEPH BISHARA (Composer) is a composer and music producer known for his darker flavour. Drawn to music and film from a young age, Bishara began his career as guitarist and keyboardist for the L.A. industrial metal band Drown, moving to soundtrack work on “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” “Heavy Metal 2000,” and John Carpenter’s “Ghosts of Mars.” Since that time, he has scored films including “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Annabelle,” “The Prodigy,” “The Other Side of the Door,” “The Curse of La Llorona,” “Annabelle Comes Home” and many others. He often appears onscreen as a creature performer in roles such as the Lipstick-Face Demon in “Insidious” and the witch Bathsheba Sherman in “The Conjuring.” Bishara also scored the Trench creature sequence in “Aquaman.”
Bishara’s music production work includes the soundtrack for the cult musical film “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and its successor “The Devil’s Carnival,” as well as production, programming and remix contributions for artists such as Gvllow, Tech N9ne, Bauhaus, Rasputina, Danzig, Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Megadeth, and Prong.

Perhaps best known for his work scoring the horror franchise “Insidious,” Bishara earned the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Score on that film. He has since composed the music for its sequels “Insidious: Chapter 2,” “Insidious: Chapter 3” and “Insidious: The Last Key.” Among his upcoming projects is t

The score for James Wan’s highly anticipated new feature, “Malignant.”

 

FILM FACTS

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

⦁Father Gordon (Steve Coulter), Judy Warren (Sterling Jerins) and Drew Thomas (Shannon Kook) are the only characters other than the Ed and Lorraine Warren that recur in all three films – except Annabelle, of course.

⦁References to other “Conjuring” universe titles are replete throughout the movie.

⦁It’s revealed that Father Kastner was responsible for exposing the Disciples of the Ram cult from “Annabelle” and “Annabelle: Creation”

⦁The colour wheel from “Annabelle Comes Home” is seen in the Artifact Room, as is the portrait of The Nun from “The Conjuring 2.”

⦁The Perron family from “The Conjuring” sends Ed and Lorraine flowers.

⦁The Palmeri Funeral Home is a nod to Executive Producer Victoria Palmeri, whose name also appears on the Palmeri Apartments in “Annabelle” and the Palmeri Market in “Annabelle Comes Home.”
⦁“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” shot almost half of its work on location and utilized more stages than any previous “Conjuring” film, making this one the most ambitious logistical endeavour to date.

⦁“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” Production Set Blessing took place just before production began on the first day of shooting and was conducted by Bishop Bryan D. Ouellette of the Holy Nicholean Catholic Church, assisted by Sister Maximilian and Sister Mary Joan. The main set blessing took place on the Warren House set with all the cast and crew. Bishop Ouellette proceeded to bless the other sets, stages and the production office.

⦁Immediately following the initial set blessing, blood appeared on Vera Farmiga’s script pages (sides), although she was not bleeding.

⦁Bishop Ouellette returned to the set at the request of Eugenie Bondurant (The Occultist) before her role required her to perform Satanic rites at an altar.

⦁The production procured 350 bottles of holy water from the Holy Nicholean Catholic Church as wrap gifts for the crew.

⦁In addition to blessing the sets, Bishop Ouellette blessed the official “Conjuring” Universe rescue cat, Pookie from Transylvania, who was discovered at Bethlen Castle on the set of the “The Nun.”
⦁As has happened on previous “Conjuring” films, Vera Farmiga experienced unexplained bruising on her legs.

⦁Ingrid Bisu, who played Sister Oana in “The Nun,” plays Jessica in “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.”

⦁During the exorcism scene, there were three people playing David Glatzel: the actor, Julian Hilliard, a stunt person and an 11-year-old contortionist Emerald Gordon Wulf.

⦁The character of Carl Glatzel, Sr. is played by Patrick Wilson’s older brother, Paul Wilson.

⦁The real Arne Johnson and Debbie Glatzel visited the Atlanta set during production. They came on the same day as Judy and Tony Spera, Ed and Lorraine’s daughter and son-in-law, with whom they remained close friends.

⦁The courthouse scenes were shot in a real, operating courthouse, the Coweta County Probate Court in Newnan, Georgia, a neoclassical revival building constructed in 1904.

⦁Eugenie Bondurant, who plays The Occultist, made friendship bracelets for the crew as wrap gifts. She wrote amor vincit omnia (love conquers all) in the accompanying thank you cards.

⦁Some of the original prop books from “The Nun” are used in Kastner’s library.

⦁There is a dinosaur toy in David’s bedroom as a nod to one of the ways the demon spoke to the real David in real life.

⦁Patrick Wilson asked production designer Jennifer Spence to make a new painting for Ed’s office set because he liked the one she did of the Mullins Farmhouse for “Annabelle Comes Home” that now hangs in the Warren’s living room.

⦁A 1983 NBC Movie of the Week called “The Demon Murder Case” is based on the same case file and stars an as-yet-unknown Kevin Bacon, as well as Cloris Leachman, Andy Griffith, Eddie Albert, Harvey Fierstein and Ken Kercheval.

⦁Tony Spera interviewed his in-laws Ed and Lorraine Warren about the Brookfield Demon Murder Case on his show, “Seekers of the Supernatural,” back in the late 1990s.

⦁Eugenie Bondurant, who plays The Occultist, teaches a Meisner method acting class in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she currently lives and where, coincidentally, Paul and Patrick Wilson were born and raised.

⦁The Warren House set was rebuilt at the Pinewood Atlanta stages for “Annabelle Comes Home” additional shooting, then reused for “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.”

⦁Julian Hilliard, who plays young David Glatzel, gave handmade thank you cards out to all the crew when he wrapped.

⦁Vera Farmiga gave candles as wrap gifts with drawings from scenes in the film that she did herself.

⦁It took four hours to do the full-body make-up on the Linebacker, the cadaver that menaces Ed Warren.

⦁The property department handmade more than a dozen of Lorraine Warren’s rosaries on stage because they were so fragile and with the demands of Farmiga’s physical performance they would frequently break.

⦁A separate set had to be built just for the waterbed scene because of all the water that erupts and had to be cleaned up.

⦁Steve Coulter and several crew members attended a demonology seminar in Alpharetta, Georgia given by Bishop Bryan D. Ouellette.

⦁Sarah Catherine Hook kept a character journal during production. She got the idea to keep an in-character journal from reading diary entries that the real Debbie Glatzel kept during the time her young brother was being tormented and possessed.

⦁Production designer Jennifer Spence put a nun puppet and a small painting that looks like a nun in David Glatzel’s bedroom.

⦁The real Debbie Glatzel Johnson wore her hair up like Lorraine Warren because she admired her so much.

All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Visit www.theconjuring movie.net.

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