Prepare for a fright fest, because watching The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order will have you keeping the lights on long after the final credits. These supernatural horror flicks have something for every horror fan. There are exorcisms, haunted houses, criminal investigations, and terrifying folklore.
There are three ways you can watch the The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order and it all depends on how much you already know about the universe, and how much time you have set aside to watch these movies.
This will be your ultimate guide to the franchise, so keep reading to find out everything you need to know about these movies.
About the Conjuring Franchise
The Conjuring franchise is an incredibly successful series of horror movies. It began in 2013 with the release of the film by the same name which follows the life and investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Part of the draw of this film and the subsequent releases is that it is based on the real life events of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were paranormal investigators. This helps the movie and its terror creep under your skin.
Following the success of the first film, The Conjuring, a prequel was released delving more into the creepy demonic doll, Annabelle. There have been three Annabelle films now, which is as many installments as the main Conjuring films. In addition to the Annabelle movies, there are two more spin-offs: The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona.
The franchise spans across four decades from the 1940s into the 1980s and primarily takes place in America, with two notable exceptions in London and Romania.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as Ed and Lorraine Warren. Popular horror movie director James Wan was at the helm for multiple installments in the franchise and Gary Dauberman had a large hand in the Annabelle spin-offs.
Collectively, the eight films have grossed more than $2.1 billion.
#1 Annabelle Movies in Order
If you are only looking to watch the Annabelle movies without delving into the larger franchise, then there are only three films you need to add to your movie list. This list features the Annabelle movies in order of release, which is slightly different from the chronological order.
While Annabelle is a prequel to the first Conjuring movie, Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to the prequel.
The first Annabelle movie only takes place a few years before The Conjuring, but Annabelle: Creation begins about a decade before that in the 1940s. Annabelle Comes Home then takes place shortly after The Conjuring.
#2 Conjuring and Annabelle Movies in Order of Release
However, if you want to experience all of the horror within this franchise and have more time to invest, then there are eight films taking place within this universe to frighten you.
Below are all of The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order of release. This order does vary quite a bit from the chronological timeline of the universe.
While some will say that you should watch these movies in order of chronology, if you have never watched these movies before, the release order is the recommended viewing order.
This is the order in which the writers and filmmakers intended to tell the story, and is therefore your best entry point into the series.
Decisions were later made to pull the curtain back and reveal more about the backstory, but these prequel films and spin-offs will make the most sense if you already have a thorough understanding of the universe and the supernatural edge to these horror flicks.
In watching the movies in this order you will see the Easter eggs to previous installments. As well, there are post-credit scenes or extended scenes within the movies that will not make sense if you watch these movies out of order for the first time.
- The Conjuring (2013)
- Annabelle (2014)
- The Conjuring 2 (2016)
- Annabelle: Creation (2017)
- The Nun (2018)
- The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
- Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
#3 – Conjuring and Annabelle Movies in Chronological Order
But, if you’ve already seen the Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order of release, then watching the movies chronologically is a new and compelling way to enjoy the movies. This will take you through the decades the movies span from the 1940s into the 1980s.
With this viewing order it will take you three films before you are introduced to the supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. While the Annabelle movies can stand on their own, The Nun makes the most sense after you have already been introduced to the Warrens, which is why the order of release is the recommended order for first time fans.
But, if you already know the battles those two face with the demon Valak, then the origin stories carry more weight and will let you enjoy the fan theories that circulate about the prequels.
Next, The Curse of La Llorona does not have much connection to the rest of the Conjuring universe save for the involvement of Father Perez from The Nun and other films within the franchise.
- The Nun
- Annabelle: Creation
- The Conjuring
- Annabelle Comes Home
- The Curse of La Llorona
- The Conjuring 2
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Will there be more movies in the franchise?
Given the financial success and the devotion from fans for these movies, it is no surprise that more movies are in the pipeline.
The sequel to The Nun, aptly titled The Nun 2, has recently been given a theatrical release date of September 8, 2023, sliding into theatres just in time to haunt your dreams for Halloween. It will take place in 1956, four years after The Nun, in France and be about the murder of a priest. It will follow Sister Irene as she must face the demon Valak once more.
Michael Chaves will be the director for the second Nun installment. Taissa Farmiga will return as Sister Irene and Bonnie Aarons will return as Valak. Akela Cooper will be the writer.
As well, there will also be another Annabelle installment, the fourth in the spin-off series. However, details are still a bit scarce. The rumors began swirling in 2019 that it was in the earliest stages of development. But little else has become public knowledge since then.
Similar to how Annabelle and Valak first appeared in The Conjuring movies before getting their own spin-offs, there is another monster that has been rumored to have their own spin-off in the works: The Crooked Man.
In 2018 the script was still being worked on to ensure it offered something new to the franchise. No further information is currently available.
Summary of The Conjuring and Annabelle Movies in Order
If you need to know a little bit more about the lore and horror before you begin your next movie marathon, below are the summaries to all The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order. In this summary section the movies are listed in order of original release. This will help make it the most accessible to first time viewers.
Spoilers have been kept to an absolute minimum in the below summaries. Instead, each summary includes a brief synopsis of events, the cast, and the box office success of the movies. However, there will be small spoilers for the progression and development of the franchise.
1. The Conjuring
This is the film that began the whole franchise. Therefore, it is the best place to begin for an introduction to the world if you have never seen these movies before.
The Conjuring introduces Ed and Lorraine Warren, based on the real-life couple who were also paranormal investigators, as they help a family that is victim to a terrifying dark presence in their farmhouse. This movie was based on a real case the Warrens investigated.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as Ed and Lorraine. Joining them were Ron Livingston as Roger Perron and Lili Taylor as Carolyn Perron, the parents of the family seeking help. Starring as the daughters were Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, and Kyla Deaver.
The director for this movie was James Wan and the writers were Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes. It had an estimated budget of $20 million and grossed more than $320 million at box offices worldwide. The Conjuring has a runtime of one hour and 52 minutes.
The first Annabelle film is a prequel to the first Conjuring film and inspired a spin-off series of its own taking place within the greater Conjuring world. It winds the clock back just a few years to shine a light on the events which took place concerning the Annabelle doll.
An expecting couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists. The husband, John, gifts his pregnant wife, Mia, an old doll for her collection just before these supernatural occurrences begin. Within the greater Conjuring timeline, this movie takes place in 1967.
Ward Horton stars as John and Annabelle Wallis stars as Mia. Tony Amendola is Father Perez, Alfre Woodard is Evelyn, and Kerry O’Malley is Sharon Higgins.
The director was John R. Leonetti and the writer was Gary Dauberman. Annabelle had an estimated budget of $6.5 million and grossed more than $257 million at box offices worldwide. If you’re keeping track for your movie night, it has a runtime of one hour and 39 minutes.
3. The Conjuring 2
The next Conjuring and Annabelle movie in order of release is The Conjuring 2, which brings us back to the Warrens and is another story based on a real case. However, this time the movie takes place in North London, where a family is being plagued by a supernatural spirit.
Wilson and Farmiga return as Ed and Lorraine Warren. Frances O’Connor stars as Peggy Hodgson, the London mother requesting their help. Madison Wolfe, Lauren Esposito, Benjamin Haigh, and Patrick McAuley star as her children.
The director was James Wan and the writers were Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes, and James Wan. The second Conjuring movie had an estimated budget of $40 million and grossed nearly $322 million at box offices worldwide. It has a runtime of two hours and 14 minutes.
4. Annabelle: Creation
Next up, Annabelle: Creation delves into the backstory of the Annabelle doll and how it came to be. In this one the clock is wound back roughly a decade in some parts. It opens in 1943 and has scenes in the 1950s as well as 1967.
This is the origin story of Annabelle and viewers are first introduced to a doll-maker and his wife, who tragically lost their daughter in a car accident. Twelve years after the tragedy the couple welcome a nun and several young girls into their home when an orphanage closes. The only rule is that no one can go into their late daughter’s room, which is now locked.
However, what would a horror movie be without someone blatantly disregarding instructions? A young girl does find her way into the locked room and subsequently finds Annabelle.
Anthony LaPaglia stars as the doll-maker Samuel Mullins and Miranda Otto stars as his wife Esther Mullins. Talitha Eliana Bateman stars as Janice, Brad Greenquist stars as Victor Palmeri, Mark Bramhall as Father Massey, and Stephanie Sigman as Sister Charlotte.
The director for this installment was David F. Sandberg. It had an estimated budget of $15 million and grossed more than $306 million at box offices worldwide. The runtime of this movie is one hour and 49 minutes.
5. The Nun
The next Conjuring and Annabelle movie in order is another prequel which winds the clock back to 1940s Romania. It does not feature the Warrens or the demonic Annabelle doll, but it explains the presence of the demon Valak in the universe, who first appears in The Conjuring 2.
It begins when a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania. When they arrive at the abbey they must confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
Demián Bichir stars as Father Burke and Taissa Farmiga, sister to the actor who plays Lorraine Warren, stars as Sister Irene. Bonnie Aarons stars as the terrifying Valak.
The director was Corin Hardy and the writers were Gary Dauberman and James Wan. Against an estimated budget of $22 million, The Nun made more than $365 million at box offices worldwide. It has a runtime of one hour and 36 minutes.
6. The Curse of La Llorona
Another spin-off set within this world is The Curse of La Llorona. This extrapolates on the popular folklore tale of the Weeping Woman. Its connection to Annabelle is in the appearance of Father Perez to help battle the malevolent spirit.
It takes place in 1973 and follows a social worker, Anna, who is also a single mother to two children. She ignores the warnings of a troubled mother and soon invokes the wrath of La Llorona herself, endangering her family. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide.
Linda Cardellini stars as Anna; Patricia Velasquez as Patricia Alvarez, the troubled mother; and Marisol Ramirez as La Llorona. As previously mentioned, Tony Amendola stars as Father Perez.
The director for The Curse of La Llorona was Michael Chaves, and the writers were Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. With an estimated budget of $9 million, this movie made more than $123 million at box offices worldwide. It has a runtime of one hour and 33 minutes.
7. Annabelle Comes Home
The third Annabelle movie brings the storyline of the spin-off back to the couple that stars at the center of the Conjuring movies: Ed and Lorraine Warren.
In this movie Ed and Lorraine have sequestered the doll in their home alongside their many other dark and supernatural artifacts. When they go out one night on an overnight case, they hire a babysitter to watch their child. Before long the evil spirit within Annabelle is released and havoc ensues.
As with the rest of the franchise, Vera Farmiga stars as Lorraine Warren and Patrick Wilson stars as Ed Warren. Mckenna Grace stars as their daughter Judy, Madison Iseman stars as Mary Ellen, and Katie Sarife stars as Daniela Rios.
The director for this movie was Gary Dauberman who also worked on the screenplay with James Wan writing the story. Annabelle Comes Home had an estimated budget of $30 million and grossed more than $230 million at box offices worldwide. It has a runtime of one hour and 46 minutes.
8. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Finally, the most recent Conjuring and Annabelle movie in order is the third Conjuring film: The Devil Made Me Do It. This movie brings back the Warrens as they investigate a murder that may be linked to a demonic possession. Like others before it, this movie is based on a real case in which demonic possession was used as a defense in a murder trial.
Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return as Ed and Lorraine Warren. Joining them for this movie was Ruairi O’Connor as Arne Cheyenne Johnson, the man awaiting trial; Sarah Catherine Hook as Debbie Glatzel; and Julian Hilliard as David Glatzel. John Noble stars as Kastner.
The director was Michael Chaves and the writers were David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan, and Chad Hayes. It had an estimated budget of $39 million and grossed more than $206 million at box offices worldwide. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has a runtime of one hour and 52 minutes.
Final thoughts on Conjuring and Annabelle movies
Depending on your existing knowledge of the franchise and the time you have at hand, there are three ways to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies in order. Regardless of which order you choose, horror and fright is a guarantee with these spooky supernatural horror films.
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