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Who Is The Occultist? Conjuring 3 Villain & Annabelle Connection Explained

The Conjuring 3 featured a new main villain in The Occultist, and here’s what we know about her past and her possible Conjuring universe future. The Conjuring franchise has played host to lots of memorable villains over the years, mostly of the demonic variety. That makes perfect sense since leads Ed and Lorraine Warren were known as “demonologists” in real life. The parade of Hell’s finest began with the first film’s Bathsheba Sherman, a woman who sacrificed her own children to Satan.

The Conjuring 2‘s lead villain was the high-level demon Valak, who it turned out took the form of a nun to spit in the face of its targets’ religious faith, such as the deeply devout Lorraine Warren. Valak would go on to receive more focus in The Nun spinoff and has also made cameos in several other entries, making Valak the defacto big bad of the franchise so far. Then of course’s there the possessed doll Annabelle, who’s headlined her own sub-series, as well as Conjuring 2‘s creepy The Crooked Man, and a few others floating around the periphery.

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Related: The Conjuring 3 Forgets What Made The Original Movie So Special

Being a human, The Occultist may seem less scary than the prior supernatural antagonists, but being a so-dubbed “Master Satanist,” she operates with the powers of Hell in her favor and a horrifying demon at her disposal. She’s a new addition to a long list of interesting Conjuring baddies.

Eugenie Bondurant Plays The Occultist In Conjuring 3

The Occultist is portrayed in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It by actress Eugenie Bondurant, who hails from New Orleans, a city with its own rich history and folklore surrounding the supernatural. Bondurant has been acting since the 1990s, and is quite visually striking, standing 6″ tall and sporting a very thin frame. Over the course of her career, Bondurant has appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation in bit roles had a small part in Fight Club and gained her most notice prior to Conjuring 3 from playing Tigris in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Playing The Occultist is definitely her most profile role, being the lead villain in a major movie. She joins the also rather unique-looking Bonnie Aarons on the franchise’s villain roster, who played Valak in Nun form.

The Occultist Role & Backstory In Conjuring 3 Explained

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

As Ed and Lorraine Warren are investigating the possession cases of both David Glatzel and Arne Johnson in The Conjuring 3, they meet a retired priest, Father Kastner, played by Fringe‘s John Noble. Kastner offers advice and information to the Warrens, but it’s eventually revealed he knows way more than he let on, and that the person behind the possessions was his own daughter. The Occultist’s real name is Isla Kastner, and the former priest raised her in secret due to the Catholic Church demanding celibacy from men of the cloth.

Kastner later investigated the satanic cult known as The Disciples of the Ram, and that led to a bad outcome. Isla became obsessed with the occult and witchcraft, and got into the dark arts herself, eventually summoning a powerful demon, the same one who possessed David and Arne. It’s not entirely clear what her motives are for doing this, other than worshiping Satan, but she needs to have three people die at the hands of those possessed to fulfill her end of the deal. When she doesn’t manage to do that, the demon claims her soul, killing her and taking her to Hell.

Related: The Conjuring 3: Every Easter Egg & Horror Movie Reference

Is The Occultist Based On A Real-Life Person?

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Unsurprisingly, all available information suggests that Isla Kastner, aka The Occultist, was not based on a real person. The Conjuring films have never claimed to be a completely accurate portrait of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s life and work, and that’s definitely true for The Devil Made Me Do It. Isla was pretty clearly created in order to provide The Conjuring 3 with a lead antagonist, aside from the demon possessing David and Arne Johnson, and also to help propel the plot toward a conclusion. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that since this is a fictional movie, not a documentary. A certain amount of dramatic license is expected to be taken to make the story more effective, and one could easily argue The Occultist’s insertion into the mix made the sequel more interesting and exciting.

How The Occultist Connects To Annabelle

Annabelle Come Home Poster

The Conjuring universe has tried valiantly to keep each entry connected to the others in some way, even The Curse of La Llorona, which wasn’t advertised in advance as a Conjuring spinoff. Sometimes these connections between movies are integral to the plot, other times they’re just little nods, but diehard fans tend to enjoy their inclusion. In the case of Annabelle, the first of three Annabelle spinoff movies revealed that the doll was possessed by a demon that had been summoned by Annabelle Higgins, a member of The Disciples of the Ram satanic cult, as she died by suicide with doll in hand.

It’s unclear whether Isla Kastner, aka The Occultist, was an actual full-fledged member of The Disciples of the Ram, or just studied their ways as she increased her dark powers. Either way, she leaves witch totems similar to the Disciples of the Ram’s work as a way to place demonic curses on her targets, suggesting she at least considers them her ilk. If she was a member, one wonders if other Disciples of the Ram will target Ed and Lorraine Warren after they find out what happened to Isla.

The Occultist’s Future: Can She Return In A Future Conjuring Movie?

The Occultist in The Conjuring 3

The near-future for The Occultist in The Conjuring franchise seems pretty cut and dry, at least as far as appearing in a potential Conjuring 4, which probably will happen considering Conjuring 3‘s good box office so far. As mentioned above, Isla was killed and her soul taken to Hell by the demon she summoned in retaliation for not living up to their agreement. However, since this is a series revolving around the supernatural, Isla could certainly return as a ghost, or perhaps a demon herself down the line. As for her human form, Isla’s ties to the Disciples of the Ram cult could facilitate her appearing in a future Conjuring spinoff or prequel set before Conjuring 3.

More: Conjuring 3 True Story: What Happened To Arne’s Girlfriend, Debbie

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