The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It is climbing the ranks at the summer box office, slowly giving A Quiet Place Part II a run for its money. Along with Spiral, the films are raking in the loot for their respective horror franchises in 2021.
With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look back at how The Conjuring universe all fits together and which movies are tied to Ed and Lorraine Warren’s paranormal legacy. It’s one of the most successful — and interesting — horror series in modern times with its “based on a true story” slant. For those who want to start from the beginning, here’s a list of where to start.
1. ‘The Conjuring’
This is the movie that kicked everything off. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson starred in 2013’s The Conjuring as Lorraine and Ed Warren, two paranormal investigators who documented their cases. This one followed the couple to Rhode Island so they could help the Perrons, a family haunted by a malevolent spirit named Bathsheba. And yes, there really was a woman named Bathsheba who lived in the house.
2014 brought audiences Annabelle, the creepy doll with a demon living inside it. This film served as a prequel to The Conjuring and explored the Warrens’ first experience with the doll. Farmiga and Wilson reprised their roles in this tale.
A cult and a demanding demon terrorize several unsuspecting families, but it’s not the last time audiences will see Annabelle. Though the movie version portrayed the doll as a Victorian-style figure with a porcelain face, the real-life Annabelle is a menacing Raggedy Ann doll that remains locked away.
3. ‘The Conjuring 2’
The first two films were only a warm-up, as The Conjuring 2 had fans return to the theater for a cinematic trip to London in the 1970s. In this 2016 installment, the Warrens went to investigate the Enfield poltergeist. A scared mother calls on the couple to help with an entity that’s messing with her young daughters. The sequel made more than $300 million at the box office.
4. ‘Annabelle: Creation’
As another prequel, Annabelle: Creation took viewers back in time to Annabelle’s origins. The Warrens do not appear in this movie because it takes place before they’re brought into the fold. Fans meet the dollmaker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther, whose dead daughter’s spirit possesses the doll.
The 2017 flick is a journey about the havoc the demonic doll wreaks when the Mullins take in some orphans and a nun, and what happens afterward. It’s directly linked to the first Annabelle film.
5. ‘The Nun’
Yet another prequel, The Nun dropped in 2018 and has ties to the demon Valak from The Conjuring 2. This story takes place in 1952 Romania. It fleshes out how the demon first crossed into this realm and its ensuing antics over centuries.
6. ‘Annabelle Comes Home’
Annabelle Comes Home put the entire Warren family at the center of the story. Released in 2019, it’s about the doll attacking the Warrens after they collect her from an investigation and lock her in a case. Their daughter’s babysitter and her friend get curious and unleash the evil inside the Warrens’ own home.
7. ‘The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It’
Now in theaters and on HBO Max, The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It meshes a true crime story from the 1980s with witchy horror. It delves into Arne Johnson’s real-life criminal case and his claim of demonic possession as a defense strategy. While Johnson’s case and the Warrens’ involvement is real, the witch element is for embellishment.
It should be noted that 2019’s The Curse of La Llorona is considered part of The Conjuring franchise too. The character Father Perez shows up in this film and in Annabelle.