The Conjuring is one of the reigning kings of the contemporary supernatural horror film scene, grossing approximately 2.1 billion dollars and amassing a large, loyal following of diehard fans. Chronicling highly dramatized versions of real-life hauntings investigated by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the in-universe chronological order of The Conjuring films does not follow the order they were released, making it hard for new fans to know where to start. Here’s how to watch the Conjuring movies in order before The Nun 2 hits theaters this Friday.
How Do You Watch The Conjuring In Chronological Order?
The Conjuring series, or “The Conjuring Universe,” consists of nine films that take place within the four decades spanning the 1940s and 1980s. Some fans like to split the series into three parts by separating the mainline films (aka, anything with “The Conjuring” in the title) from the movies that focus exclusively on one of the series’ more iconic demonic entities. However, every film in the series is set within the same continuity, so you’ll have to watch them all anyway to get the complete picture of the story that develops throughout the series.
The Nun (2018)
Set in 1952, The Nun takes place earlier than any other Conjuring film. The Nun follows the tale of Father Burke and sister Irene, a priest and a nun who travel to an isolated Romanian abbey to investigate the mysterious death of one of the abbey’s nuns. There, they slowly uncover traces of an ancient occult conspiracy that unfolded on the ground of the abbey centuries ago and find themselves facing off against Valak, a demon who torments the two in the form of a pale-skinned, sharp-toothed nun who was first introduced in The Conjuring 2.
Set just three years after The Nun, Annabelle: Creation marks the first canonical appearance of Annabelle, the breakout star of The Conjuring film. Annabelle: Creation follows the tale of two grieving doll-makers who attempt to cope with their daughter’s death by opening their home to a displaced group of orphans. Unfortunately, the children accidentally turn their new home into a house of horrors after they open a chest that contains the titular demonic porcelain menace and learn the terrible truth behind its creation.
In what can only be described as a testament to the doll’s popularity, 2014’s Annabelle was released just over a year after The Conjuring‘s theatrical debut and picks up twelve years after Annabelle: Creation. Annabelle follows the story of a young couple who, rather foolishly, purchase the titular doll as a gift for their infant daughter. From there, their idyllic lives devolve into a nightmare as the demon hidden behind Ananbelle’s uncanny face enacts an insidious plot to claim a human host.
The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring was never meant to be anything more than a fun tribute to haunted house films like The Haunting, but it ultimately became the founding stone of a horror film empire. Set in 1971, The Conjuring introduced the Warrens and their unique brand of ghost-hunting to the world. It also established the “unsuspecting family encounters terrifying supernatural phenomena and hires the Warrens to help” formula that every movie in the series follows, all while being a top-tier horror film in its own right.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Released in 2019, Annabelle Comes Home can be described as The Conjuring‘s take on Home Alone. Set a year after The Conjuring, Annabelle Comes Home breaks tradition by having the haunting occur in the Warrens’ own home. The story of this installment sees the Warrens’ young daughter Judy face off against a collection of dangerous spirits who escape confinement within the Warren family home while her parents are away on a case. While this film introduces many new and terrifying demons, they all fall in line behind a particularly vengeful Annabelle.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
You might not have known that 2019’s The Curse of La Llorona is set within The Conjuring Universe, but it is. Set in Los Angeles in 1973, the film follows a devoted single mother who is forced to find a way to protect her two children from La Llorona, an evil spirit from Mexican folklore. Barring a single cameo from Annabelle’s Father Perez, none of The Conjuring Universe’s established characters or cursed objects appear in The Curse of La Llorona, making it the most remote film in the series.
Related: Who Plays The Nun in The Nun 2?
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The first direct sequel to The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 is set six years after the original film and sees the Warrns travel overseas to England at the behest of the Hodgson family, whose high-end estate has become the epicenter of some particularly harrowing paranormal activity. The Conjuring 2 established the Warrens as the central figures of The Conjuring mythos and introduced Valak and his iconic Nun form, who is second only to Annabelle in power and popularity.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Rounding out our list is the most recent The Conjuring film, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Set in the year 1981, the film retells the harrowing real-world story of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who claimed that a demon had possessed him after he was accused of murdering his landlord. While The Devil Made Me Do It follows an eerily similar plot structure to the two preceding films, the movie does tread some new ground by touching on how the Warrens’ occult worldview puts them at odds with the law as Arne’s trial unfolds.
Upcoming The Conjuring Films and Projects
While The Nun 2 will be the newest film in The Conjuring after its release, it won’t be the new kid on the block for long. As of the writing, two more The Conjuring Universe projects are slated to be released soon. The first, The Conjuring: Last Rites, is a direct sequel to The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. The second is a television series tentatively titled The Conjuring, which is currently in development and set to debut on HBO MAX within the next few years.
- This article was updated on September 11th, 2023