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The Conjuring 3 Ending & Demon Origin Explained

Here’s the The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ending and The Conjuring 3 demon origin explained. Making sequels is a grueling task because the expectations are high and, for an already successful horror franchise like The Conjuring universe, the pressure is even more immense. In The Conjuring 3, The Warrens return to investigate David Glatzel’s possession and find a curse and an occultist behind the boy’s strange behavior. This Conjuring villain is different from previous cases, that’s for sure.

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While all of The Conjuring movies are based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It employs the real-life murder trial of Arne Johnson, who killed his landlord and claimed a defense of demonic possession in 1981. Johnson’s case is one of two the Warrens investigate, both of which are connected back to The Occultist, who is only human, and her chaotic plans, which makes her a terrifying and somewhat unpredictable antagonist. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It delivered a major climatic sequence that saw the Warrens face off with The Occultist. Here’s everything to know about The Conjuring 3 demon, the ending, her plans for the victims, and how the film’s take on Arne Johnson’s case compares to the true story.

Related: The Conjuring 3 True Story: Every Change Confirmed So Far


Conjuring 3 Villain (& Her Plan) Explained

conjuring 3 occultist

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is unique from its predecessors in that it moves away from the haunted house concept completely. Rather, the sequel turns its focus to a singular villain, an occultist named Isla, the daughter of Father Kastner. While Ed and Lorraine initially believed David and Arne to be possessed by a demon, they discover that Isla actually cursed them by putting a witch’s totem beneath the Glatzel’s house. What the Warrens ultimately discover is that she actually needed three people — the child (Jessica), the lover (Arne), and the man of God, which explains why she went after Ed, who attempted to kill Lorraine while under the curse — to commit murders before they die by suicide.

Isla needed to claim the victims’ lives because she had made a deal with The Conjuring 3 demon, and she had to deliver on her end of the bargain; her soul literally depended on it. The Occultist had already been successful with one of the three with Jessica, who had taken the totem back with her from college. Killing her friend Kate before throwing herself off the cliff did the trick before Isla moved on to the next person. The Occultist went after the three because of proximity, not necessarily because she herself had any strong connections with them. All she really wanted was to cause chaos. However, the Warrens were able to destroy the altar and break the curse before Isla finished what she started.

How Conjuring 3’s Demon Is Different From Other Franchise Monsters

David Glatzel exorcism in The Conjuring 3

Unlike The Conjuring and the other films that followed, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It didn’t deal with evil spirits possessing dolls, people, or traditional hauntings. While demons have existed in the franchise, The Conjuring 3 movie changes things up a bit by foregoing the usual kind of possession, which is to say it’s not a possession at all. While Isla made a demon deal, her obsession with the occult is what drove her actions. Arne, Jessica, David, and Ed are cursed, and it makes for a unique change because Isla is the one controlling them all behind the scenes.

It isn’t that a demon or spirit is specifically attached to one person or thing. A big part of it what makes the film so sinister is that it’s a person behind it all — someone who is still alive and not dead like Bathsheba from The Conjuring, for example. The demon is merely an extension of the Occultist rather than a being operating on its own. What’s more, audiences never see the actual demon, only the physical consequences of what not delivering on a deal look like. The overall lack of a haunted house the Warrens must investigate is also a departure from the previous films. The action in The Conjuring 3 largely takes place outside the house and the possession isn’t limited to within its walls.

Related: The Conjuring 3 Cast, Character & Real-Life Comparison Guide

How The Conjuring 3 Compares To The True Story

Arne Johnson in The Conjuring 3

The film draws a lot from the real-life case files of the Warrens, as well as from the murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. David’s exorcism plays out, at least according to the Warrens’ recollection, similarly as is depicted in the film. Johnson still stabs his landlord, with claims he can’t remember what happened, and the Warrens are there throughout, engaging with the Glatzels, Johnson, and the police. His not-guilty plea with a defense of demonic possession is accurate, as is Johnson’s relationship with Debbie and their living arrangements — first at the Glatzel home where David was presumably possessed and then at the property where Debbie and Arne lived together afterward.

However, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It takes a lot of creative liberties with the story beyond its factual constraints with regard to the trial. The most pertinent addition to the story is the Occultist, Isla, who didn’t really exist and was never a part of the Johnson case, though she was the primary antagonist of the sequel. The film diverges greatly from the real-life events after Johnson stabs Bruno (whose real name was Alan Bono), adding in visits to Kastner and his connection to The Occultist, as well as his mysterious past and how she came to be involved in demonic witchcraft. To that end, The Conjuring 3 picks and chooses which real-life aspects to put in the film while also leaning on complete fiction to weave together its horror story.

Was Jessica Louise Strong A Real Person (& Case)?

Lorraine Warren in the forest in The Conjuring 3

In the Easter egg-laden The Conjuring 3, Jessica Louise Strong is a teenager who went missing shortly after her best friend Katie was killed. As it turns out, Jessica, under The Occultist’s curse, was the one who murdered her friend, stabbing her 22 times before the curse also forced her to end her own life. The specific nature of the case involving Jessica is fictional and fabricated specifically for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It; she is not a real person who disappeared nor did she kill anyone. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t similar cases out there. Sans the occult portion of the story, Jessica’s subplot in the film can be compared with the disappearance of Skylar Neese, a teen who was killed by two of her high school friends after driving to a remote location where they stabbed Neese to death.

Were The Disciples Of The Ram Real (& Annabelle Connection)?

The Conjuring Annabelle Trilogy Movies Franchise Series Ed Warren Lorraine Warren

To get a bit more information on the witch’s totem that they find beneath the possessed David Glatzels’ home, Ed and Lorraine visit Father Kastner, who spent his life dedicated to researching the occult. It’s revealed that Kastner actually dealt with the Disciples of Ram, a satanic cult that wanted to bring more demons into the world and which Annabelle Higgins was a member. It’s a direct reference to Annabelle, in which a score called “Disciples of the Ram” is also on the soundtrack, and to Annabelle: Creation. However, they are not a real satanic cult. The Conjuring films have long been focused on the cases the Warrens tackled, but there is a tremendous amount of fictional additions to every movie in the franchise that is meant to elevate the horror more than anything else. The biggest takeaway about the Disciples of the Ram mention is the connections it continues to weave within the universe no matter the movie.

Related: Where The Conjuring 3 Comes In The Franchise Timeline

Could The Warrens Return In The Conjuring 4?

conjuring 3 review

The Warrens went through the wringer in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Ed suffered a major heart attack that deteriorated his health further. Meanwhile, Lorraine was physically assaulted by the demonic presence wielded by The Occultist, nearly falling over a cliff. She also came very close to being killed by Ed, who was under the influence of Isla’s curse at the time. The Conjuring films have followed the Warrens for a decade by the time of the latest film’s events. But, considering the couple is still going strong in the films despite some setbacks, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It leaves the door open for a fourth installment.

The film is set in 1981, so it’s possible The Conjuring 4 could tackle the Smurl haunting next, with Janet and Jack Smurl claiming they were being terrorized by a demonic horde; Ed later suggested there was also a succubus, a type of demon, existing inside the house. Ed and Lorraine Warren got involved in 1986, and it was another case that was heavily publicized following their involvement with Arne Johnson’s murder case. The Smurl haunting is only one of many the fourth film could explore.

Everything We Know About The Conjuring 4

Still of Ed Warren from The Conjuring franchise.

It’s no secret that The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It absolutely rocked the box office when it released via theaters and streaming on HBO Max in the summer of 2021. The highly-anticipated horror film grossed $24.01 million during its opening weekend and also had the third-largest box office opening during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. So, a natural follow-up question to The Conjuring 3’s success is whether The Conjuring 4 will find its way to fruition. Well, fans of the Conjurverse can rejoice, as Warner Brothers has announced The Conjuring 4 is officially greenlit by the mega studio. Details surrounding the next Conjuring film are relatively scant. However, there are a few things that can be surmised.

A truly crucial element behind the success of another sequel would be Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga returning as Ed and Lorraine Warren. After all, the actors can’t simply be replaced now that they have become the faces of the ultra-popular horror franchise. While it hasn’t been discussed publicly yet, it’s very likely that The Conjuring 4 will feature Ed and Lorraine Warren again, with their roles reprised by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively. Other elements about the new movie remain up in the air. James Wan directed the first two Conjuring films before passing the torch to Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona), so it’s not known who will be sitting in the director’s chair. There’s no word about a possible release date or plot details, but it’s likely that The Conjuring 4 will cover another high-profile Warren case, like that of the aforementioned Smurl haunting. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is yet another installment to the most profitable horror franchise of all time, and the ending is just as chilling as the rest of the film.

Next: The Haunted Was The First Ed & Lorraine Warren Film (Before The Conjuring)

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