The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is one of the most anticipated horror films for 2021, and director Michael Chaves recently talked about the homage he paid to a 1980s genre film.
In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Chaves says The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It owes a disturbing scene to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. If you have seen the trailer (which you can watch at the bottom of this piece), you might know exactly what he is referring to.
But, there also appear to be a couple of shout-outs to a very well-known possession film, The Exorcist.
There is a brief shot in the trailer, with a figure standing outside a building at night, that looks very much like the iconic shot of Father Karras standing outside of Chris and Regan’s abode in The Exorcist. That particular shot was actually used for the poster when The Exorcist was released in 1973.
Bloody Disgusting was also able to watch the first 11 minutes of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and according to them, the exorcism scene features some pretty disturbing possession-instigated contortions.
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Interestingly, a 12-year-old contortionist named Emerald Gordon was a stand-in for young Julian Hilliard (who plays David Getz) during this scene.
That means that the grotesque contortions (only a brief shot is seen in the trailer) are real, they are not CGI. The only added “extra” was the fact that Julian’s face was superimposed over that of Emerald. According to Chaves, the bit in the trailer, where David jumps up from laying down to a position where his body is folded in half backward, was shot in real-time.
The sharp-eyed will note that David’s light blue pajamas also bear some resemblance to Regan’s nightgown in The Exorcist.
Homage number two is the waterbed scene (also shown in the trailer). It’s a very effective shot, with David seeing a creepy face within the bed, followed by whatever is in there bursting out and grabbing him. Fans of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise may recognize that one from A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
Julian Hilliard tweeted about that waterbed scene right after the trailer was released. As young as he is, he had probably never even heard of waterbeds before filming The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It!
Genre fans may know nine-year-old Julian from his roles in The Haunting of Hill House, Color Out of Space, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and WandaVision.
Are you a fan of The Conjuring franchise? Will you see The Devil Made Me Do It in a theater, or will you watch on HBO Max? Let us know in the comments section.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It releases June 4 in theaters and on HBO Max (where it will be available for 31 days).