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This Is The Correct Order In Which To Watch The Conjuring Franchise

One of the most successful horror movie franchises of all time, The Conjuring Universe is inspired by the lives and exploits of real-life paranormal investigators and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, played in the movies by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Facing numerous instances of demonic possession around the world, the Warrens' cinematic adventures span years as they confront the forces of Hell targeting unassuming families. With a growing number of prequels and spinoffs, the franchise has created its own shared cinematic universe, with films introduced all over its interconnected timeline and often released out of chronological order.

Here is the proper way to watch the "Conjuring" movies and their accompanying spinoffs to experience the timeline in its correct order. This includes hauntings taking place decades before the Warrens' introduction into the timeline and the complicated background of the infamous, cursed porcelain doll Annabelle, which received its own cinematic trilogy after debuting in "The Conjuring."

The Nun (2018)

The earliest film set in The Conjuring Universe is actually the fifth movie released in the franchise, 2018's "The Nun," directed by Corin Hardy. Set in 1952, the film takes place at a monastery in Romania, with the Vatican dispatching a priest, Father Burke (Demián Bichir), and a novice nun, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), to investigate reported supernatural activity. As the duo enter the cursed abbey, they must contend with the fearsome demon Valak, which has seized control of the place.

"The Nun" provides more backstory on Valak, who will become the primary antagonist in "The Conjuring 2," set 25 years later in 1977. Additionally, the end of "The Nun" reveals Valak was responsible for instigating the events of the first "Conjuring" movie, with the Warrens encountering the possessed Maurice (Christof Veillon) in 1971. A direct sequel to "The Nun" is currently in production, reportedly set in 1956 France and featuring Valak's return.

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

After the successful reception to the spinoff film "Annabelle," director David F. Sandberg explored the origins of the evil doll with the 2017 prequel "Annabelle: Creation." Set primarily in 1955, "Annabelle: Creation" begins with a dollmaker and his wife inadvertently allowing a demon to possess one of their porcelain dolls after their daughter's tragic death 12 years before the main story starts. After the couple converts their home into an orphanage, the demon menaces a group of girls and a nun staying inside while looking for a human host.

More than just revealing the circumstances of how the intensely creepy doll became possessed by a demon in the first place, "Annabelle: Creation" directly sets up the events of the first "Annabelle" movie. Janice (Talitha Bateman), one of the orphans terrorized by the doll, secretly remains possessed by the demon into adulthood. Relocating to Santa Monica, Janice renames herself Annabelle prior to being adopted by the Higgins family, setting up the 2014 spinoff film.

Annabelle (2014)

The first "Conjuring" spinoff was 2014's "Annabelle," focusing on the sinister doll of the same name that appears in the original "Conjuring" film. Directed by John R. Leonetti, "Annabelle" takes place in 1967 Santa Monica. The Higgins family is brutally murdered by a satanic cult, and the eponymous doll figures prominently at the murder scene. After the Higgins' neighbors, the Form family, relocates to Pasadena following the attack, they find themselves plagued by paranormal activity linked to the doll.

"Annabelle" takes place immediately after "Annabelle: Creation" ends, with Janice murdering her own family as part of her devotion to the demonic cult. There are further ties to the wider "Conjuring" franchise, including the characters contemplating having the Warrens help exorcize the demonic entity targeting them. The final link to the first "Conjuring" movie is a woman buying the Annabelle doll as a gift to her daughter, unaware of its evil history. This quietly sets the stage for "The Conjuring" and the Warrens' first encounter with the doll — and the malevolent entity possessing it — four years later.

The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring Universe kicked off with the enormously successful 2013 film "The Conjuring," directed by James Wan. It introduces demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate a haunted farm in Rhode Island. Set in 1971, the movie sees the Warrens summoned when the Perron family falls victim to a witch's curse, with matriarch Carolyn (Lili Taylor) possessed by the witch's spirit. As the Warrens learn more about the 19th century witch Bathsheba in an effort to exorcize her, they discover that the evil has followed them home.

The film's links to its subsequent line of growing prequels are evident throughout, with the Warrens having recently acquired the Annabelle doll after exorcizing it for the woman that bought it in "Annabelle." Similarly, the Warrens encounter Christof Veillon's Maurice, whose backstory and the circumstances behind his possession are revealed in "The Nun." "The Conjuring" ends with a glimpse at the Warrens' room of cursed objects, the contents of which would feature prominently in the movies to come.

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

After being introduced in "The Conjuring" and appearing prominently in two prequel films, the cursed doll Annabelle received a third spinoff movie in 2019. Written and directed by Gary Dauberman, "Annabelle Comes Home" takes place approximately one year after the first "Conjuring," in 1972. While the Warrens travel out of town to investigate another case, they leave their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) in the care of a babysitter named Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman).

With a prologue that takes place just before the Warrens' introduction in "The Conjuring," the timeline placement of "Annabelle Comes Home" is confirmed by the presence of the cursed music box in the Warrens' home. The music box was acquired by the Warrens after they exorcized the spirit of Bathsheba from the Perron family in the previous movie. In addition to the familiar haunted artifacts in the Warrens' collection, there is a myriad of new cursed objects introduced to the franchise, with their own spinoff potential.

The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

One of the more tangential spinoffs in the "Conjuring" franchise is 2019's "The Curse of La Llorona," which contains only passing references to the shared cinematic universe. Directed by Michael Chaves, the film opens with a prologue set in 1673 before jumping ahead 300 years to 1973 Los Angeles. A social worker named Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini) learns about the ancient curse of La Llorona, a vengeful spirit of a weeping woman who drowns any children that cross her path.

Though Chaves claimed "The Curse of La Llorona" wasn't originally intended to be connected to The Conjuring Universe, small nods to the other movies in the franchise were incorporated during production. The most notable link to the rest of the franchise is the return of Father Perez (Tony Amendola), a priest introduced in the first "Annabelle" spinoff. Perez briefly recounts his experiences with the cursed doll. A deleted scene would have further cemented "The Curse of La Llorona" in The Conjuring Universe, with Perez planning to entrust the ancient cursed necklace introduced in the movie to the Warrens.

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

A sequel to "The Conjuring" was in development before the first movie even received a wide release, with James Wan returning as director. "The Conjuring 2" opened to critical acclaim and box office success in 2016. The film is set predominantly in 1977 as the Warrens investigate a possession case in London, with the Hodgson family's daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe) the victim. As the Warrens move to exorcize the demon, Lorraine contends with haunting visions of Ed being killed by a sinister nun.

"The Conjuring 2" formally introduces the demon Valak to the franchise while setting up Ed to be targeted by the forces of Hell. Valak would continue to have a major presence in subsequent films, with her backstory revealed in "The Nun" and briefly referenced in "Annabelle: Creation." "The Conjuring 2" ends with another glimpse at the Warrens' archive of cursed objects — Ed adds the Hodgson family's haunted zoetrope to his collection.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

2021's "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" brings the franchise into the 1980s. Set in 1981, it sees the Warrens become involved in an infamous murder case. After Arne Johnson is possessed by a demon, he brutally murders his landlord and pleads paranormal possession as his formal legal defense. The Warrens investigate the legitimacy of Arne's claim, placing them on a collision course with a satanic cult linked to the possession.

Directed by Michael Chaves, "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" brings back the Disciples of the Ram, the cult introduced in 2014's "Annabelle." The Warrens learn that the cult is responsible for the curse that has been passed onto Arne, while Ed becomes noticeably more physically vulnerable facing supernatural evil. The Warrens get yet another artifact to add to their cursed archives, as the demonologist couple successfully outmaneuver the cult and another malevolent entity.