Major spoilers are ahead. The long-awaited third entry into the titular Conjuring franchise — and the eighth movie in the wider Conjuring Universe it inspired — is here. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It takes one of the strangest parts of Ed and Lorraine Warren's case files: the real life 1981 murder case in which they tried to argue the defendant's innocence by claiming he was possessed by the devil. But the biggest question at the end of the new movie is whether this will be the last we see of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga's fictionalised — and beloved — iterations of the "real life" demonologists who inspired the franchise.
To answer that burning question we have to look at where we leave the cast of the movie after dealing with the devil who made them do it. After the murder of his landlord, Arne Johnson (Ruairi O'Connor) goes on trial and claims — thanks to the Warrens — that he was possessed by a demon while he did it. As Johnson awaits trial in prison, the Warrens head out to discover which devilish spirit might have been to blame. When the final act hits, the truth is revealed: Johnson's family was cursed by a Satanist witch who is, in an unexpected twist, the daughter of the Warrens' cult catching cop, Kastner (John Noble).
During the final showdown at Kastner's home, Ed and Lorraine's love is tested as the witch, Lola (Eugenie Bondurant), enchants a still weakened Ed to attack Lorraine. But his wiley wife uses their connection and history to break Lola's spell, reminding her husband how much they adore each other. It's a fitting end to a franchise that has been built squarely on the foundations of Farmiga and Wilson's charming performances as cinema's most devoted couple. As they reconnect, Ed uses the sledgehammer he was chasing his wife with to smash Lola's altar which ends the curse on Arne, releasing him from the demon's spell. Unfortunately for Lola, that means she's going straight to hell, as she promised the demon a soul. And even though she's delivered two already — in the earlier forest murder and death by suicide — hers will have to complete the trio, which it does in gruesome fashion.
After defeating the witchy Lola, the Warrens join Arne Johnson in court and just before the credits we learn that he was charged with manslaughter. The Warrens themselves get an exceedingly happy ending and one that doesn't seem to hint at more supernatural occurrences. In fact, it's a full circle romantic finish that could easily be the cinematic Warrens' happily ever after. Throughout the film we see flashbacks to the pair's first date. As they walked together down the street it began to rain and they hid under a gazebo where they shared their first kiss. As the movie ends we see that Ed has now built Lorraine a gazebo at their home, replicating the first place they ever kissed. After Ed's brush with death and the way their love once again defeated evil, it feels like a natural place to finish their story, especially as this was arguably the real pair's last truly high profile case.
While this fictionalised and romantic version of the Warrens launched The Conjuring-verse, it can now live on without them. The Conjuring Universe has numerous other stories to tell, including a new series of DC Comics inspired by the world of the films as well as previously announced films like a sequel to The Nun and The Crooked Man, which spins out of the Enfield Haunting inspired entry The Conjuring 2. It also makes sense to move away from the couple; not only have they both passed away, but from the very first movie The Conjuring's representation of the pair's life and work has been highly controversial. Claims of fraud, abuse, and exploitation hounded the real life Warrens and the studio behind the popular franchise that they launched, so it would make sense to leave them here.
But with all of that said, it's fair to say that the only reason this billion dollar franchise exists is the popularity of this reimagining of the Warrens and the actors who played them. So even if this feels like an end, it's likely more of a goodbye for now than a farewell forever.