Conjuring, The: The Devil Made Me Do It 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 259, January/February 2022

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Terror, violence, and some disturbing image
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Michael Chaves
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"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 Loraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). 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 defense. (Gary Reber)

Special features include four featurettes: "By Reason Of Demonic Possession" (HD 05:24), "The Occultist" (HD 04:03), "Exorcism Of Fear" (HD 05:47) and "DC Horror Presents The Conjuring: The Lover #1" (HD 12:51) and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini and Arri Alexa SXT camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The picture appearance appears filtered, which translates to a darkish visual experience. Colors appear muted, though, nuanced upon careful scrutiny. Fleshtones appear unnatural at times. HDR contrast is capped with bright highlights daunted. Black levels are deep and generally natural. Shadow delineation is inconsistent in terms of resolution. Resolution in general is good but not pristine. Still, the imagery is compelling and the visual experience engaging. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack features an almost constant orchestral score with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds for envelopment. Dynamics are good and the score is haunting and full of tension. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with generally good spatial integration. Sound effects are effective and often create shock jolts. Atmospherics sound perfectly natural. Deep bass can extend to sub-25 Hz such as in thunder bursts, which with the effects and music create tension. Directionality is effective in the sound effects.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of jolting sound effects that are designed to scare and shock viewers with sounds of disturbance evoked by the evil spirit. These shock segments are infrequent. There are the occasional atmospherics. The music score is nuanced and for the most part completely absent. While more could have been done to enhance dimensionality on a more consistent basis, when active the height layer is an effective element.

Overall, this is an effective holosoonicŪ spherical surround mix with the entire presentation viewed in blackness for maximum scare effect. (Gary Reber)