Monday, May 10, 2021

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ Director Michael Chaves Confirms ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master’ Connection

The trailer and subsequent images for New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, heading to both theaters and HBO Max on June 4, 2021, teased an homage to an iconic moment from The Exorcist. It wasn’t the only horror reference that appeared in the trailer, either; a creepy waterbed scare instantly called A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master to mind. It turns out that nod was quite intentional.

Bloody Disgusting recently chatted with director Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona) about the intense opening eleven minutes of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, kicking off the third film with an exorcism gone wrong. Chaves discussed the darkest entry yet and gave insight on preparing for taking on a Conjuring movie. It started by watching a lot of horror.

Chaves shared, “Honestly, preparing for it, it was just great to go back through all of my favorite horror movies. Of course, a lot of people mentioned the Exorcist reference in the beginning. I think the Conjuring movies are love letters to the very best classic horror movies. Like The Changeling in the first movie. There are so many great references in that one.”

For the filmmaker who grew up watching horror on VHS, his most formative franchise was the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Chaves’s introduction to the series didn’t start at the beginning, “the fourth one was the first one I saw, which was the one with the waterbed. Which, yes, this is a shameless reference to that movie. Ironically, my assistant director [Jeffrey Wetzel] worked on that movie, so I had him tell me all the waterbed secrets. I needed to know how they did it.”

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

The waterbed scare in The Devil Made Me Do It represents Chaves’ connection to horror in more ways than one. It’s a visual nod to a cherished childhood favorite for the filmmaker, but it also links The Devil Made Me Do It universe to A Nightmare on Elm Street through assistant director Jeffrey Wetzel.

“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 Lorraine Warren. 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.”

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to star as Ed and Lorraine Warren, and the film also stars Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard.


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