However, the films were not released in chronological order, making it a bit difficult to determine what relates to whom and who connects to what. To make things even more complicated, the magical universe was expanded with stories beyond the warrens creating a magical universe a la mcu. There’s The Nun, which is getting a sequel, and three movies for Annabelle the Possessed Doll.
There are multiple ways to watch the movies, so we’ve broken down the different viewing orders for the Conjuring universe, including the Annabelle movies and the Nuns timeline.
warning: below are spoilers for all the conjuring movies
order 1 – the chronological timeline of the spell
This option gives you the chronological order to watch the movies. You start with The Nun, set in 1952, through Conjuring 2, set in 1977. Since then, director Michael Chaves has argued that The Curse of La Llorona shouldn’t be told because it wasn’t made with the franchise team, but we’ve left it here. to make it complete.
- 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 sleight of hand: the devil made me do it (1980/81)
option 2 – release order
This order does what it says on the tin, it follows the order the movies were released. We start with our first introduction to Ed and Lorraine Warren and end with a breakup story that doesn’t feature our main duo.
- the conjuring (2013)
- annabelle (2014)
- the conjuring 2 (2016)
- the creation of annabelle (2017)
- the nun (2018)
- the curse of la llorona (2019)
- annabelle comes home (2019)
- the spell: the devil did it i do it (2021)
what is the best order to watch the conjuring and annabelle movies?
We think the first option is the best, but the second is more natural as ideas developed over time.
You may also want to know that the Conjuring movies are available to rent and purchase on Blu-ray and DVD. The conjuring 1 and 2 come in a box, and if you need to catch up on the annabelle movies before you head to the movies, there’s also the first annabelle dvd, as well as the making of annabelle. There is still no definitive boxset with all the movies together.
the nun (1952/1971)
The first is The Nun set in 1952. The story follows Father Burke and Sister Irene who set out together for Romania to investigate a convent after a nun commits suicide. when they leave, they don’t know that everything is related to the demon valak, but they soon find out.
We also learn that frenchie is maurice theriault in the final scene set in 1971. if you can’t remember, that’s the person who was exorcised in the conjuring (the first movie released). again, that complicates things a bit if you watch the conjuring movies in chronological order: maybe you stop before that scene and then go back. we’d just watch this scene, remember it, and move on.
annabelle: creation (1943 / 1952 / 1955 / 1967)
annabelle: the 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 possessed. It all started with a car accident in 1943. This is probably the best of Annabelle’s three movies.
To make things a bit confusing, there is a post-credits scene that taunts the nun, but it’s set in 1952, so you’ll have to watch the nun and then go back to annabelle: the making of just in time. to pick up the story in 1967. if you’re not married to the whole timeline thing, just watch the nun afterwards.
annabelle’s first movie takes you deep. the demon doll wreaks all sorts of havoc, that’s the basic gist.
the spell (1968/1971)
the first film released in the conjuring franchise and where it all began. This one is set in the 1970s and shows Ed and Lorraine Warren investigating a case where a family has moved into a haunted house. this one is based on a real case (although technically annabelle too).
annabelle comes home (1968/1969 or 1971/1972)
the new movie annabelle comes home starts with the burrows picking up annabelle and taking her home to drop her off in the artifact room where they keep all sorts of creepy stuff. it’s an extended version of the conjuring scene (1968), that’s why you recognize it. if she’s looking at them in chronological order, it might seem weird, but don’t stop.
The film then cuts to 1969 when the Warrens set out on a road trip leaving their daughter Judy with a nanny, Mary Ellen. the demon doll gets lost and attracts all the other demons. the artifact room features a plethora of easter eggs (if we can call them that) as are all the items the warrens have collected over the years, including the stairway music box (it was in the conjuring) .
the curse of la llorona (1973)
The following is the curse of la llorona. This one is based on the Weeping Woman, a popular tale. Set in 1973, we see a mother fighting to protect her children from her. The movie will feel a bit strange as there is no obvious connection to Warren’s larger story, but Father Perez shows up – he was in Annabelle.
the conjuring 2 (1976/1977)
back to the burrows with another “true story” case with conjuring 2. this time it’s 1976 and the burrows investigate the amityville house case then move to england to investigate the enfield hauntings in 1977 Both are very well known cases. .
the nun appears here, as well as the crooked man, which we mention since he’s also getting his own movie.
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the spell: the devil made me do it (1980/81)
the conjuring 3: the devil made me do it takes us back to the 80s when the burrows were investigating the possession of david glatzel, 11, back in 1980. we started things there before we picked up the case of arne cheyenne johnson the year later in 1981.
Once again, we follow a real-life case of the Labyrinths, with the true story of Conjuring 3 covering the case and Arne Johnson’s defense that he was possessed. If you want a spoiler-free overview of the movie, here’s our review of The Conjuring 3.
read more: where is arne johnson now? what happened after spell 3
the spell shorts
More than a bonus entry, but as part of the launch of Annabelle Creation in 2017, Warner Bros. Pictures held a contest for fans to create short films that would later be added to the sleight-of-hand universe. you can see the entries of the winners on youtube.
- the nurse
- the confession
- what’s wrong with mommy
- blund’s lullaby
- souls innocent
Are sleight of hand and insidious movies connected?
is a common question, but the answer is no, the sleight of hand and insidious franchises are not linked to each other. The only ‘link’ is James Wan, who directed the first two Conjuring movies and the Insidious movies. fun fact: patrick wilson starred in the first two insidious movies and the conjuring movies.
the spell: the devil made me do it is now in theaters. Do you like terror? We’ve rounded up the best horror movies to watch on Netflix.