Lots of horror, plus summer’s second John Cena movie are now out
This week’s selection of new VOD and streaming releases is inexplicably packed to the brim with a bunch of horror. August: It’s the new Halloween.
From Neil Blomkamp’s supernatural horror thriller Demonic, VFX artist-turned-director Peter Sefchik’s feature debut Behemoth, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the retro slasher The Last Matinee and more, there are plenty of new premieres this week (Candyman notwithstanding — you’ll have to see that one in the theaters) that’ll leave you gripped to your sofa seat this weekend.
To help you get a handle on what’s new and available — including less gruesome outings like Netflix’s He’s All That and the second John Cena movie of the summer, Vacation Friends — here’s our guide to the movies you can watch on video on demand and streaming this weekend.
THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the third installment in the successful Conjuring horror franchise. Based on the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson — one of the most sensational and terrifying cases involving the real-life Warrens — Ed and Lorraine are pitted in a fight for the soul of a young boy that will bring the pair face to face with evil incarnate itself. From our review,
On paper, The Conjuring movies are pretty old hat when it comes to horror, to the point where they almost sound boring. In the least-generous reading, they return to the same “based on a true haunting” fodder that gave us The Amityville Horror and its many imitators. But watch them, and they make a great case for why originality isn’t nearly as important as execution. James Wan, who directed the first two films, is largely responsible for the franchise’s signature look. He brought a decades-long career in horror and a knack for understated imagery to the series’ portrayal of supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). His talent created a horror franchise that manages to feel richer than most of them, even as it’s continually being mined for spinoffs. Unfortunately, the latest installment, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, lacks both Wan’s direction and the richness that make the first two Conjuring films so enjoyable.
Read; Reminiscence Streaming
Now that The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is on streaming and Blu-Ray, it’s worth looking back at some of horror’s earlier forays into similar territory. With a higher focus on possession than ever, The Conjuring franchise’s third main installment spends a fair amount of time showing the actual possessing occultist herself.
Witchcraft and the occult is territory that’s been covered by filmmakers who either have delved into the horror genre or outright swim in it. Meaning, it’s a topic that’s been included in several genres (outside of straight horror cinema). With over several decades of using the occult as subject matter, there has been plenty of material for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It to mine from.
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