I confess I was dragged to this movie by a friend who just wanted to celebrate things opening up again. I’ve spent two hours in a lot worse ways, and I always enjoy movie theater popcorn.
First, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are great actors, are always entertaining to watch, and make a good cinema couple. Any resemblance between their personalities and relationship and those of the Warrens is most likely pure fiction, but that’s Hollywood for you, right?
As for the story – it’s a change from poking around haunted venues, since it gets us into the courtroom. I haven’t read the trial transcript, so I don’t know how closely the movie sticks to the reality, but I suspect there’s a lot of literary license being used to keep the story moving along. I won’t say it’s a stellar courtroom drama, but when your defense is literally “the devil made me do it,” you’re in for a tough slog. I did find myself hoping that SOMEBODY would absorb the demon and then throw themselves down a flight of stairs, a la “Exorcist,” but alas – I was disappointed. Would have livened things up a bit.
I write this as someone who is convinced that the Warrens hit on a very successful con years ago, and managed to maintain it for over half a century, so I wasn’t expecting to be convinced that actual demons run around possessing humans (or Raggedy Ann dolls, for that matter). Suspend your disbelief and take this as a fairly entertaining ride, and you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget the popcorn!