We have the order to binge the Conjuring movies and the environment to watch them in while you prepare for the premier of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It on June 4th!

Written by: Karagan Knowles – June 2nd, 2021 10:25 pm pst

There is limited time for horror fans to binge watch the Conjuring Universe movies before the newest installment, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It premiers this Friday. Here is a list of what movies to watch in chronological order plus the best environment to get the full experience for each film.

The Nun, 2018

Even though this movie came out as one of the later installments of the franchise, it’s technically the origin story of one of the entities that is featured from the cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren (the famed paranormal investigators introduced in The Conjuring). We are introduced to ‘the nun’ image in both Annabelle Creation and The Conjuring 2, which were both released before this film. Both of these films showcase a small teaser-like introduction of the nun premise which foreshadows what we learn in this prequel.

The Nun is set in 1952 Romania and follows lead characters Catholic priest Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga). They are sent to investigate a Romanian convent following the suicide of one of the nuns. Here we learn the origin story of ‘the nun’ image that we caught glimpses of in the movies previously released and the evil energy that keeps reappearing to the Warrens. 

This movie can be watched as a standalone, and technically doesn’t fully relate to any of the Annabelle series, moreso it is a background to previous cases and visions that Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) witnesses as an empath and spiritual medium while investigating the cases in the first and second Conjuring movies.

If you’re a Conjuring Universe fanatic, this movie should definitely be first on your list. The background information and ending scene that is taken directly from a portion of the original Conjuring movie fills certain plot holes that may have been forgotten about or previously left unanswered without spoiling any plot twists.

As far as the fear factor goes, this movie is not as ‘scary’ as the ones further down on the list, as there are less main characters and the entire film relies heavily on information rather than jumpscares. This movie can definitely be watched without a big group of people, just make sure to cuddle up with your favorite blanket and be ready to focus because if you miss a minute you will be confused for the rest of the film.

Annabelle Creation, 2017

Similar to The Nun, this film focuses on backstory, more specifically the backstory of the infamous Annabelle doll that we are briefly introduced to in The Conjuring. This movie showcases the very beginning of the creation of the doll and how it serves as a conduit for supernatural forces in the other movies as well. Unlike The Nun, this movie is not information heavy and gives the viewer more of an attachment to the characters that are introduced because – spoiler – they might make an appearance in the other movies. 

This film should definitely be watched with other people, or even a pet that brings you comfort. Especially if true horror movies don’t always sit the best with you. There are plenty of jump scares and emotional fear for the younger characters who the viewer sympathizes with.

Set in 1955 Southern California, this movie follows young girls who are brought to live with a couple who transformed their home into an orphanage after losing their daughter in an accident several years prior. Right away, there seems to be something eerie in the house, especially towards Janice (Talitha Batemen) who is disabled from contracting polio and has minimal use of her left leg.

This film answers a lot of questions viewers had after watching Annabelle which technically came out three years prior. Watching this movie first leaves the viewer understanding why certain events take place in the next movie. Also, who doesn’t love an origin story? Even if it is about a creepy murderous doll.

Annabelle, 2014

When this film came out, it was the long-awaited story of the Annabelle doll that was very briefly showcased in the original Conjuring movie. Surprisingly to viewers though, it was not the case study from Ed and Lorraine Warren that was teased before, it was a completely brand new story that, at the time, viewers thought was the reason the doll was possessed. 

Make sure to grab your popcorn for this one because it is a fear driven adrenaline rush. It’s advised to watch with company and in the comfort of a home, there are scenes of suicide, blood, the occult, and your average gore. 

This film introduces newly married and pregnant couple John (Ward Horton) and Mia Foreman (Annabelle Wallis) approximately 12 years after Annabelle Creation. After witnessing the break-in/murder of their neighbors The Higgins, John and Mia find themselves the subject of their own break-in and personal nightmare. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

This film not only sets up the Catholic church becoming involved and familiar with the case of the Annabelle doll, but also sets up the next film in the chronological series, The Conjuring, and how the doll is introduced there. Let’s just say the doll finds a new owner and sets up the storyline that finds its way to being discovered by Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The Conjuring, 2013

This is the film that started it all, and because of limited time if you don’t want to binge all of these movies, definitely watch this one before seeing the new installment that comes out this Friday. 

This is the film where we learn who exactly Ed and Lorraine Warren are. In 1977, the Perron family moved into a new house in Rhode Island and began experiencing paranormal phenomena. Once the Perron family reaches out to the Warrens to investigate, Ed and Lorraine are introduced as paranormal investigators affiliated with the Catholic Church. This movie gives many references to both the Annabelle doll and the entity introduced in The Nun, referencing prior investigations the Warren’s did and how it impacts their own lives.

Based on a true story and with several paranormal references, this movie should definitely be watched in company. 

This movie contains several jump scares and has a slow-burn thriller feel, giving horror anxiety to the viewer as they watch the Perron kids play games around the house in the dark all while knowing something bad is about to happen. 

As the basis of all the prequels and sequels, watching the Conjuring Universe movies in this order ties a lot together by the end of this film and gives leeway to learn more about the Warrens and their other investigations. Horror movie fans stay anticipated for what comes next, and the wait is almost over.

The Curse of La Llorona, 2019

Why is this film included on this list? Good question. The Curse of La Lllorona is included in the same universe as the other conjuring movies because it is set in 1973 California, and features Father Perez (Tony Amendola), who we meet in the movie Annabelle. The priest makes a brief mention of the doll and how prior to the case of La Llorona, that was the only paranormal situation that truly scared him.

La Llorona focuses on a single mom Anna (Linda Cardillini) and her two kids who are being pursued by the cultural urban legend: La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman. Even though no mention of Ed and Lorraine Warren are in this movie, the film still adapts to a popular theme seen throughout the Annabelle and Conjuring series: horror impacting the mother and her child. It makes sense for this movie to be a part of the same universe because of this shared theme, and how viewers have more to look forward to with the closure of the film.

Definitely a good watch in company. This film brings the urban legend to life and for those who grew up with the popular folktale, it’s bound to instill some fear.

Although it’s not certain if fans will see characters from La Llorona in the future, there has to be some meaning behind making it a part of the same horror universe, right? Maybe we will find out in the upcoming releases.

Annabelle Comes Home, 2019

The final installment of the Annabelle series, but still only the beginning of our look into Ed and Lorraine’s investigations and own personal lives. This film revolves around the Annabelle doll and its inhabitants in the Warren’s room of occults. Following the short insight of the Annabelle doll’s final attachment that we see in the beginning of The Conjuring, we are aware that the doll was then taken into custody by Ed and Lorraine Warren.

As we see in The Conjuring, the doll is still a conduit for paranormal activity meaning that the Warren’s house is a hotspot for these entities – although they remain trapped in the room they have blessed twice a month.

This movie shows how the Annabelle doll could still be a threat, this time wreaking havoc on the Warrens and their daughter. During this film viewers get to dive deeper into the Warrens and their family life besides their own investigations. Set after The Conjuring, Loraine Warren is still on edge from the spirits she can witness as a medium and is worried for her own family’s well being. 

This film is where viewers are further introduced to the entity from The Nun and why it is so relevant to the Warren family. Watching this movie before The Conjuring 2 gives the viewer insight to the mental state of both Ed and Lorraine and how these investigations take their toll.

This movie has a lot of jumpscares and the fear factor is definitely high, watch with company or if you’re a true horror fanatic and the other Annabelle movies didn’t terrify you, perhaps you can handle this one on your own.

Even though this film technically puts a close on the Annabelle series, we know the real doll is still in custody of the Warren’s museum. Who knows what other stories might come out.

The Conjuring 2, 2016

The one that ties everything together! This film references all of the above with characters, stories, and closure from the past all while investigating another paranormal situation.

This film is set in 1977, the same year as The Conjuring, in London. Ed and Lorraine travel to London to investigate a ‘haunted house’ and possible possession of a young girl. Hint: this is really where The Nun comes into play. 

Same as the original Conjuring, this one is advised to be watched in a group. With more than one supernatural force at play, viewers are kept on their toes throughout the entire movie and questions are more than answered as the film seems to close the door to all plot holes that were seen prior.

…And What’s Next?

As more of Ed and Lorraine’s original cases are being made into movie magic, the bar is set high for viewers to continue watching. The next installment of the Conjuring Universe is in chronological order as well, set in 1981 and based on a true story. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It will be released on June 4th in US cinemas and on HBO Max and is sure to leave viewers curious about where the franchise will continue to lead.

About The Author:

Karagan Knowles is a journalism major at Emerson College in Boston and an intern with Afterbuzz TV. She is pursuing a career in broadcast reporting and production.

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