As far as scary movies go, The Conjuring film franchise is right up there with the best horror films of all time. Ever since the first blockbuster of the eight-part series was released in 2013, entitled The Conjuring, the movies, which include details from real cases and alleged paranormal encounters, have continually terrified millions and generated hundreds of millions at the box office worldwide. The eighth movie, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, was released in June 2021 — and has been keeping viewers up at night ever since.
While the films primarily revolve around the horrifying crimes of two demons and the chilling investigations conducted by paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren, the movies often jump around various timelines and locations. In other words, the inaugural 2013 film isn’t actually the first one you should check out if you want to watch them all in chronological order and fully understand the plot. For a full how-to on watching The Conjuring movies in order and key details about each flick, keep on scrolling.
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The Nun (2018)
First up, you need to see The Nun. The first story of The Conjuring franchise takes us all the way back to Romania in 1952. The series begins with an evil demon attacking two nuns while they try to obtain an ancient Christian relic. While one nun died from the encounter, the surviving nun (Charlotte Hope) wound up taking her own life. Wanting to investigate the incident, The Vatican calls upon Father Burke (Demián Bichir), who has his own haunted past, to investigate the incident alongside Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga). What they discover is that a demon named Valak (Bonnie Aarons) is behind it all — and its work is far from over.
Annabelle: Creation (2017)
Next we jump to South Carolina in 1955, where we are learn about the origin story of a haunting doll. After a dollmaker named Samuel (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) tragically lose their 7-year-old daughter, Bee, the couple opens their home to Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and a handful of orphan girls. But when one is lured into Bee’s old bedroom and finds a porcelain doll in the closet, a demon gets unleashed and wreaks havoc on the girls and threatens the lives of everyone in the house.
At the end of Annabelle: Creation, we are introduced to Annabelle and discover that she winds up becoming adopted by the Higgins family. In the beginning of this film, Annabelle and her boyfriend are killed while trying to attack her adoptive parents’ next-door neighbors, the Forms. Though Annabelle, who belonged in a satanic cult, is gone, a demon continues to haunt the Forms and is determined to claim Mia Form (Annabelle Wallis)’s soul.
The Conjuring (2013)
This film in the series takes place in Rhode Island in 1971, where we’re immediately introduced to Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) and their five daughters. After experiencing several haunting paranormal events, they contact demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). The Warrens reveal that the house the Perrons are living in once belonged to an accused witch named Bathsheba Sherman (Joseph Bishara), who put a terrible curse on anyone who took her land.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
One year later, Ed and Lorraine Warren are given the infamous Annabelle doll to lock away to keep the spirit within it from attacking others. But when Ed and Lorraine’s baby-sitter for their daughter, Judy (McKenna Grace), invites a friend over, Annabelle’s case gets unlocked and the spirit of Bee starts terrorizing and unleashing multiple evil spirits.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
A year after dealing with Annabelle, The Conjuring franchise shifts its focus over to a 1973 case in Los Angeles. Stemming from a drowning double homicide incident in 1673, the evil “La Llorona” spirit (The Weeping Woman) emerges after possessing a mother named Patricia (Patricia Alvarez) and leading to the death of her two sons. Wanting her sons back, Patricia prays to La Llorona to kill caseworker Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini)’s children to bring back her own. The rest of the movie is about stopping La Llorona and protecting Anna’s children from her wrath.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
It’s now 1976 and we go back to check in on the Warrens, who have been tapped to investigate the Amityville murders at the chilling Amityville house. While trying to figure out if a demon caused Ronald DeFeo Jr. to kill his entire family, Lorraine sees a terrifying vision of a demonic nun figure (yes, Valak is back). She fears her vision of Ed getting injured will become a reality as they’re called to interpret paranormal events happening with the Hodgson family in London.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
The latest installment in The Conjuring franchise takes place in 1981, revolving around the real-life Connecticut trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who claimed the devil made him kill his landlord. The Warrens discover that the curse stems from a witch’s totem and was summoned by a satanic worshipper. After investigating a similar murder case, Lorriane and Ed discover the chilling backstory of the curse and what needs to be done in order to stop the demon from manipulating others.
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