Warner Bros. has unveiled a new image from The Conjuring 3, offering viewers another look at the terrifying waterbed monster of the horror threequel. The story centers on Ed and Lorraine Warren as they come across their most dangerous case yet regarding the fight for the soul of a young boy that leads to the first time in U.S. history a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as their defense. The film is directed by Michael Chaves, marking the first time in the series James Wan has not sat in the director's chair.
Officially announced to be in development a year after the release of The Conjuring 2, the film saw the sequel's co-writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick take on sole scripting duties for the project. Despite the early start of writing on The Devil Made Me Do It, it didn't start production until June 2019 as Wan, Johnson-McGoldrick, and director Michael Chaves (chosen by Wan after his work on The Curse of La Llorona) spent the time hashing out the story and script. Initially set to hit theaters last September, the film saw its release delayed much like many others due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic until WB announced its simultaneous HBO Max and theatrical release plan.
The new look at the waterbed monster was included in USA Today's roundup of new images from this summer's most-anticipated and high-profile film releases, which also featured stills from Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, and more. The first trailer for The Conjuring 3 certainly packed plenty of terrifying moments, but the revelation of the Nightmare on Elm Street-like spirit lurking under Julian Hilliard's David in the waterbed certainly was a shocker for viewers.
The image may not show much in the overall design of the spirit in the water bed, but it does offer insight into the potential catalyst of the film's story. With the case at the heart of the plot beginning with the demonic possession of David, this may give an indicator of the moment in which the demon can get its grip on David's soul. It also offers a nod to Chaves' work on La Llorona that featured plenty of water-related terror and hints at the unknown spirit's scary design when finally revealed in the film.
The absence of Wan from the director's chair might have some fans concerned over what the threequel might hold, but the big vote of confidence and praise from the franchise head to newcomer Chaves certainly keeps things looking promising. The extra time the production took to ensure a story that works, the praise Chaves got for his effective jump scares in La Llorona, the expansion of the plot outside of another haunted house, and homages to horror classics point towards an exciting new path for the franchise. Fans will have to wait and see how it all culminates when The Conjuring 3 hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4.