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The Conjuring, Annabelle, and The Nun 2: How to watch the Conjuring Universe movies in order

The Nun 2 has arrived, so it's time to prepare by revisiting the Warrens' and their favorite monsters in the Conjuring movie universe

The Nun 2
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

When it comes to sprawling cinematic universes in the horror genre, The Conjuring Universe - a series that doesn't just include the Conjuring movies themselves, but also The Nun and Annabelle series - is actually pretty straightforward.

It certainly helps that the movies are almost all inspired by true stories that lock them into place on a timeline, and the ones that aren't are still meant to fit into the same timeline. This means there are blessedly few instances of things like time travel, continuity-shifting flashbacks, or surprise twist revelations that cast the entire franchise's events up in the air. And thus far, not a single character in The Conjuring Universe has gone to space, so watching all the movies in order is a breeze!

Even better, with The Nun 2 now in theaters (buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets), now is the perfect time to take the Conjuring Universe plunge and get a head start on spooky season this year.

The Conjuring movies' universe in chronological order

The Conjuring
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The chronological order of The Conjuring Universe is fairly different from the release order, but thankfully each movie has a clear timestamp so there's no need for guesswork and no room for error. Here are the stories as they happen within the universe itself, starting all the way back in the '50s with The Nun.

The Conjuring movies' universe in release order

The Conjuring
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Watching The Conjuring Universe in release order will mean seeing the stories skip around across the timeline a bit, but sometimes that's half the fun!

Are The Conjuring movies based on true stories?

The Conjuring
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

While the Warrens were indeed real people who actually did investigate the paranormal, the on-screen versions of them bear little to no resemblance to the real people and the movies take a lot (and we mean a lot) of liberties with the real stories they're based on. Annabelle, for example, was an actual doll that was thought to be possessed by a demon, but the real Annabelle was a Raggedy Anne, not a horrifying porcelain monstrosity. Similarly, the cases explored in all three Conjuring films are inspired by actual cases the Warrens investigated and wrote about but the details and scope of the evidence is invented for the movies.

However, it's definitely best to take words like 'true' in this context with a large grain of salt. The real Warrens have a complicated and controversial legacy with many of their publications and investigations being called into question for dubious legitimacy and sometimes outright fraud.

Will there be a fourth Conjuring film?

The Conjuring
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

A fourth Conjuring film is currently in development, titled The Conjuring: Last Rites. This particular installment of the franchise will be written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick who also penned the third Conjuring film, but a director has yet to be announced. Similarly, details about the release date, plot, and any returning cast are currently not available. With any luck, we'll see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to reprise Ed and Lorraine!

What about other Conjuring Universe characters and movies?

The Conjuring
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

There was formerly a spin-off planned for the Crooked Man, a monster that was first explored in The Conjuring 2, but this movie was sadly canceled in 2022 as confirmed by franchise creator James Wan in an Instagram post celebrating the actor who portrayed the monster, Javier Botet. However, while the Crooked Man's time in the spotlight may not be actively moving forward at the moment, that doesn't mean there's no hope for the future.

Wan has also spoken about his desire for the franchise to continue to grow and include more horror subgenres, which could allow for more creatures and demons from the Warren's collection to get their own big screen adaptations.

Looking for even more horror to whet your appetite for Halloween as fall creeps up? Check out our coverage of Black Horror as Function, Jordan Peele, and The Keeper: Inside the Ethnogothic from SDCC, our list of Ten Shark Horror Movies that'll keep you scared to swim, and our list of 25 Halloween Movies For Every Type Of Fan!

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About the Author

Mason Downey

Contributing writer

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