The Conjuring timeline can be a confusing thing and, with the release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do it, the grand total of movies to watch in The Conjuring franchise stands at eight (or seven if you discount The Curse of La Llorona) – that’s quite the horror marathon.
The movies span five decades now, starting with the 40s and running right through to the 80s, when the Warrens, the paranormal investigators at the heart of the franchise, were at their supernatural hunting peak.
However, the movies weren’t released in chronological order making it a little difficult to work out what connects to who, and who connects to what. To make things even more complicated The Conjuring universe expanded out with stories beyond the Warrens creating a Conjuring universe a la MCU. There’s The Nun, which is getting a sequel, and three movies for Annabelle, the possessed doll.
There are a few ways you can watch the movies so we’ve broken down the different Conjuring Universe viewing orders for you including the Annabelle movies and The Nun timeline.
Warning: spoilers for all The Conjuring movies follow
Order 1 – The Conjuring chronological timeline
This option gives you the chronological order to watch the movies. You kick off things with The Nun, which is set in 1952, through to The Conjuring 2, set in 1977. Director Michael Chaves has since argued that The Curse of La Llorona shouldn’t be counted as it wasn’t made with the franchise team, but we’ve left it here for a sense of completeness.
- The Nun (1952 / 1971)
- Annabelle: Creation (1943 / 1952 / 1955 / 1967)
- Annabelle (1967)
- The Conjuring (1968 / 1971)
- Annabelle Comes Home (1968 / 1969 or 1971 / 1972)
- The Curse of La Llorona (1973)
- The Conjuring 2 (1976 / 1977)
- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (1980/81)
Option 2 – Order of release
This order does what it says on the tin, it follows the order the movies were released. We kick off with our first introduction to Ed and Lorraine Warren and end with a breakaway tale that doesn’t feature our main duo.
- 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)
What’s the best order to watch The Conjuring and Annabelle movies?
We think the first option is best, but the second is a more natural fit as the ideas developed over time.
You might also want to know that The Conjuring movies are available to rent and buy on Blu-Ray and DVD. The Conjuring 1 and 2 comes as a boxset, and if you need to catch up on the Annabelle movies before you head to the cinema there’s also the first Annabelle DVD as well as Annabelle Creation. There’s no ultimate boxset with all of the movies together – yet.
The Nun (1952/1971)
First up is The Nun set in 1952. The story follows Father Burke and Sister Irene who set off together to Romania to investigate a convent after a nun kills herself. When they set off they’re unaware it’s all linked to demon Valak, but they soon cotton on.
We also learn that Frenchie is Maurice Theriault in the final scene set in 1971. If you’re struggling to remember, that’s the person who was exorcised in The Conjuring (the first film released). Again, that slightly complicates things if you watch the Conjuring movies in the chronological order – you’d maybe stop before that scene then hop back. We’d just watch this scene, remember it and carry on.
Annabelle: Creation (1943 / 1952 / 1955 / 1967)
Annabelle: Creation is the prequel to Annabelle, which was also a prequel to The Conjuring.
The film tells the story of how the demonic doll was created and became possessed. It all began with a car accident in 1943. This is probably the better of the three Annabelle movies.
To make things a little confusing there’s a post-credit scene for this one that teases The Nun, but that’s set in 1952 – so you’d need to watch The Nun then come back to Annabelle: Creation just in time for it to pick up the story in 1967. If you’re not wedded to the whole timeline thing then just watch The Nun afterward.
The first Annabelle film throws you right in the deep end. The demonic doll causes all sorts of havoc, that’s the basic gist of it.
The Conjuring (1968 / 1971)
The first film released in The Conjuring franchise and where it all began. This one is set in the 70s showing Ed and Lorraine Warren investigating a case where a family has moved into a haunted house. This one is based on a real case (though Annabelle technically is too).
Annabelle Comes Home (1968 / 1969 or 1971 / 1972)
The new film, Annabelle Comes Home, starts with the Warrens picking up Annabelle and driving her to their home to leave in their artefacts room where they keep all sorts of creepy things. It’s an extended version of The Conjuring scene (1968), so that’s why you recognise it. If you’re watching these in chronological order it may seem strange, but stick with it.
The film then moves to 1969 when the Warrens head off on a trip leaving daughter Judy with a babysitter Mary Ellen. The demonic doll gets lose and draws all the other demons out. The artefact room features heavily providing plenty of Easter eggs (if we can call them that) as there are all the items the Warrens have collected over the years, including the Perron Music Box (it was in The Conjuring).
The Curse of La Llorona (1973)
Next is The Curse of La Llorona. This one is based off the Weeping Woman, a folklore tale. Set in 1973, we see a mother struggling to protect her children. The film will feel a bit odd as there’s no obvious connection to the wider Warren story, but Father Perez pops up – he was in Annabelle.
The Conjuring 2 (1976 / 1977)
Back to the Warrens with another ‘true story’ case with The Conjuring 2. This time it’s 1976 and the Warrens investigate the Amityville House case then move to England to look into the Enfield Hauntings in 1977. Both are well-known cases.
The Nun crops up here as well as The Crooked Man, which we mention as he’s getting his own film too.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (1980/81)
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It takes us into the 80s, when the Warrens investigated the possession of David Glatzel, 11, back in 1980. We start things there before picking up the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson the year after in 1981.
Yet again we follow a real-life case of the Warrens, with The Conjuring 3 true story covering the case and Arne Johnson’s defence that he was possessed. If you want a spoiler-free overview of the film, here’s our The Conjuring 3 review.
Read more: Where is Arne Johnson now? What happened after The Conjuring 3
The Conjuring Shorts
More of a bonus entry, but as part of the Annabelle Creation release in 2017, Warner Bros Pictures ran a contest for fans to create short movies that would then be added into The Conjuring Universe. You can watch the winners entries on YouTube.
- The Nurse
- The Confession
- What’s Wrong with Mom
- Blund’s Lullaby
- Innocent Souls
Are The Conjuring and Insidious movies connected?
It’s a common question, but the answer is no, The Conjuring and Insidious franchises are not linked to each other. The only ‘link’ is James Wan who directed both the first two Conjuring movies and the Insidious movies. Fun fact, Patrick Wilson starred in both the first two Insidious movies and The Conjuring movies.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is now out in cinemas. Like horror? We’ve rounded up the best horror movies to watch on Netflix.