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The Real-Life ‘Demonic’ Murder That Inspired ‘The Conjuring’

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Ed and Lorraine Warren, he a “demonologist” and she a clairvoyant, spent their lives investigating and combating the supernatural, which made them ideal protagonists for The Conjuring movie franchise based on their work. Anyone who’s seen those films, however, can deduce that—spooky as their stories might be—the Warrens were frauds. And for additional confirmation of that fact, there’s now Shock Docs: The Devil Made Me Do It, a Discovery special (premiering June 11) that tells the true story behind Warner Bros.’ latest cinematic-series installment, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.

Though it purports to be a documentary, there’s nothing “real” about Discovery ’s two-hour inquiry, which—save for a few late archival news clips—consists of over-the-top dramatic recreations and talking-head interviews with survivors, police officers, and “experts” that all sound thoroughly scripted. From loud screechy sound effects and musical cues, to intensely jarring zooms into close-ups, to cutaways to roaring demonic faces that are then superimposed over courtroom images, there are more horror-movie devices employed here than in Michael Chaves’ fictionalized theatrical feature. Shock Docs: The Devil Made Me Do It doesn’t take it easy for the entirety of its runtime, and the sheer tonal hysteria of its every moment has the effect of rendering it sensationalistic.

The subject of Discovery ’s special is Arne Johnson, who in 1981 was charged with stabbing his........

© The Daily Beast

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