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The Conjuring 3 Trailer Brings the Bleakest Story Yet in the CCU

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BY April 30, 2021

The Conjuring Cinematic Universe, or CCU, has introduced some arguably iconic scares. Whether you find them effective or not, Valak (the Nun) and certainly Annabelle have established themselves as horror mainstays. However, with the Conjuring 3 trailer, the CCU shows us a story that may be the most disturbing yet.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Takes Its Story from Real-Life Case

conjuring 3 trailer Alabama’s own Louvin Brothers, hitting y’all with THE TRUTH (image via Capitol Nashville)

In late November 1981, 19-year-old Connecticut man Arne Johnson killed his landlord, Alan Bono. (Note: According to the trailer, they’ve renamed the character based on Bono to “Bruno Sauls.”) That is an established fact. What is less clear, however, is why he killed the man. Reading over the circumstances of Bono’s death, I can’t help but think of the gruesome “Scissors Sisters” case in Ireland, which began with a similar set of circumstances. Basically, people consume intoxicants, someone reportedly becomes aggressive, and then dot dot dot, murder. And that might have been the official story on the Johnson/Bono case if it hadn’t been for Lorraine Warren.

Ed and Lorraine Warren, as CCU fans know, are the stars of the Conjuring films. They were also real people (who did not look anything like Patrick Wilson or Vera Farmiga). As the CCU draws its inspiration from the Warrens’ real cases, it’s no surprise then that The Conjuring 3 is no different. You see, before the murder, the Warrens had been working with Johnson. Or more specifically, they’d been working with Johnson’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, David Glatzel. The 11-year-old David was the younger brother of Johnson’s fiancé Debbie. And he’d been reporting for some time that an old man was tormenting him.

At first, everyone dismissed it as the product of a child’s wild imagination. But the attacks got worse, to the point that David would wake up in hysterics. He became near-feral at times. At other times, he’d quote John Milton. Blessing the home hadn’t helped, so the family called in the Warrens. They conducted multiple exorcisms, which they viewed as necessary, because David was positively crawling with demons. (Like, at least 40!) Johnson, who lived with the Glatzels, even resorted to mocking the demons, inviting them to try and possess him, instead. Uh, sounds like something someone in a horror movie would do.

The Conjuring 3 Trailer

Anyway, the day after Johnson killed Bono, Lorraine Warren breezed into the local police department with a ready explanation for the crime. Johnson was possessed, obviously. So Johnson’s lawyer, Martin Minnella, tried to raise that as their defense. In real life, the judge was like, “Pfft…no.” But who knows how they’ll spin it in the film version? As you can see from the trailer below, it looks like they may get further with that defense in the movie. But we’ll see.

And you can find out for yourself on June 4, when The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It hits theaters and HBO Max.

Are you going to be there? Tell us your thoughts on our social media or in these comments. Also, check out our guide to 21st Century horror anthologies, which includes some stories that are in the CCU.

featured image via Warner Bros Pictures, et al

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at salome@comicyears.com.

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