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    12 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets About "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" That'll Make You Watch The Movie Differently

    The cast got to meet the real Arne Johnson and Debbie Glatzel.

    1. First, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is based on the real-life trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson.

    Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection / Via Bettmann Archive / Getty

    Like the film, Arne was convicted of murdering his landlord, Alan Bono, in 1981. He claimed that he was possessed by a demon that had previously inhabited his girlfriend's brother's body. Arnie was only 19 years old when he was arrested, but was released after almost five years for "good behavior."

    2. Director Michael Chaves sees that The Conjuring movies are "love letters" to horror cinema and paid homage to several horrors like The Exorcist, The Shining, Psycho, and The Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.

    Warner Bros.

    He said, "[The opening scene] was, without a doubt, a shameless Exorcist reference. You know, it’s funny because I was on the verge of cutting it out. I was like, ‘You know what, it’s too much on the nose.’ People are going to be like, ‘You’re just shamelessly stealing from the greatest movie of all time.’ But I kept it, and I was glad I did because when we started screening it, people loved being able to see those references and make those connections."

    3. Emerald Gordon Wulf was the stunt double and contortionist who was actually depicting David's exorcism, not CGI.

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    Chaves said, "That's all in-camera and it's not sped up at all. We did have CG in that we did face replacement, but there is no wire work, that's all her just doing it. What's crazy is that’s at speed. The plan was she was gonna do this slow rise up and we did a couple takes like that, and then I asked Emerald ‘can you do that any different?’ And she was like ‘I could do a really fast version’ and she did it and you could just hear [the crew] trying to keep their lunch in because it was just so unnerving. And Patrick [Wilson] and Vera [Farmiga]’s honest reaction [is in] there when they're looking at her.”

    4. Before filming the exorcism scene, Chaves had the cast listen to the recording of David Glatzel's actual exorcism so they could capture "the reality of it."

    Warner Bros. Everett Collection

    The movie's end credits are also underscored by this same recording. Chaves said, "As much as we want to make this big studio terrifying horror movie, we also want to capture what was real about it, and really understand what was real about it — even if it’s just through listening to the audio. So we played it in the room and…it was something where it was just this shared experience, where you’re sitting around with the people, [and] we’re re-creating this moment. And you’re looking at everybody, and listening to this recording about what happened, and it’s really unsettling. You really are like, ‘This was real and this family went through this, and this boy went through this.’ [And] I think the temperature in the room just dropped when it played.”

    5. The waterbed scene was also inspired by an actual event that happened to David Glatzel. In real life, when the Glatzel family moved into their new home, they said there was a bed left with a "strange stain" on the mattress and that's what they believed to be "the origin of the possession."

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    Chaves felt that waterbeds were so specific to the time that it'd be a perfect addition to the scene. 

    6. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga actually found out the premise of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It back when they were almost done shooting The Conjuring 2.

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    Patrick said after reading about Arne Johnson's trial, he thought it was "exciting" that the movies would be venturing out from their typical haunted house formula. 

    7. The real Arne Johnson and Debbie Glatzel visited the set for a day and they got to meet Ruairi O'Connor and Sarah Catherine Hook, who play them on screen.

    Getty Images / Official Ed and Lorraine Warren Channel / Via

    Patrick revealed that with each film they've shot, the family will come to set for a day or two. They typically get to see the set, meet the cast members, and see how their story has been dramatized. 

    8. Ruairi O'Connor shared that he tried listening to Nine Inch Nails and other dark music so that he could stay in character as Arne, but he realized it actually made him "run out of interest [and] energy."

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    9. During the moment where Lorraine transitions from the real world to her vision in the woods, Chaves wanted to make it feel "organic and old-school," so he filmed it without any visual effects and did it totally in-camera.

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    He said, "She connects to this moment that happened before. And that's actually all in-camera; that wasn't a visual effect at all. We lit that with a giant light, and then we had it on track and on this techno crane. We just moved it around, and the sun actually set."

    10. Before she died in 2019, Lorraine Warren talked to Vera about David Glatzel's exorcism and explained how he created a numbered list of the names of the particular demons possessing him.

    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    11. In between scenes, when the cast goes off on their own to decompress, Patrick will spend his time scaring Vera.

    Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

    Chaves said, "I think everybody has a different way of decompressing. Patrick and Vera are great. Patrick will usually just go off and, when he's taking a break, he'll just scare Vera. You'll hear a random scream from one of the side rooms."

    12. And finally, Michael Chaves considers this sequel to be the darkest Conjuring movie yet, solely because it's told from the perspective of a murderer.

    Warner Bros. / Getty Images

    He revealed that he's also "wrestled" with believing the story literally. He said, "I think that up to this point, just being a fan of it, the question of whether I believed in it wasn't really brought to the forefront."

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is out now in theaters and streaming for free to subscribers on HBO Max until July 4.

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