Horror fans quickly spotted the visual homage to The Exorcist in the trailer for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It but when the film arrives this summer that won't be the only instance in the sequel. Speaking in a press conference to promote the upcoming movie, director Michael Chaves, fresh off The Curse of la Llorona, opened up about including these visual winks and nods to the horror films that came before him, noting that "I think that The Conjuring movies are from the very beginning, they are love letters to the genre, and I see so much."
Chaves continued, "The first Conjuring stands on its own. It's an amazing horror movie, but then you can see its inspirations, you can see the change lane in it. You can see other movies that are rooted in it. I think that I shamelessly wanted to throw out like nods to The Exorcist, and there’s a couple Psycho nods in there as well. I think it's important. Just like you'd have Easter eggs within a franchise, and nods to other movies, I think it's also just a conversation with the genre itself, because I think The Conjuring has so much become honestly the definitive horror franchise."
Horror fans may also notice some allusions to The Shining in the upcoming movie but also a recurring visual motif of descending (not the actual movie The Descent though). Chaves was also asked about this recurring shot, saying that he "wanted to send the Warrens to hell."
"I love the idea that there would be this feeling of descent through the movie, and even the idea of Orpheus and the story of as Ed goes to save Lorraine at the end, and without giving anything away, the idea, the story of Orpheus, and just the idea that you have someone descending into the underworld to get their love back. I just thought that was really, really fun and just this continual descent through the movie."
Chaves' also spoke about how the third Conjuring breaks the conventions of the first two films, focusing on a story that isn't just a haunting in one location, touting the prowess of the franchise as a whole again by calling them "two of the best haunted house films that we've seen."
He adds, "I think that the great thing about a procedural is you are on the road, you're going into different environments, you're working with different people. It's taking you outside of what it really is a comfortable setting. At this point in their careers, and in our experience with the Warrens, the haunted house is now become a comfortable setting. I think it gives us an opportunity to take them into places that we haven't seen.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on June 4.