THE CONJURING has taken over the world of horror. With two spinoffs out this year, another direct sequel hitting theatres next year and a couple more spinoffs in development, THE CONJURING has gone from a hit horror movie to a franchise sensation.
Given all of the spinoffs, sequels and sequels to spinoffs, it might be hard to keep up with ghost-hunting duo Ed and Lorraine Warren and all of the (somewhat) true stories that are connected to them. Below, we give you a rundown of the entire CONJURING universe so far, with everything you need to know and might want to remember about this thrilling horror series.
Directed by James Wan (AQUAMAN) in 2013, THE CONJURING proved that horror movies can be a hit in the summertime. Based on the true story of a Rhode Island family tormented by spirits in 1971, the film follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they attempt to rid the family’s house of ghosts. The Warrens are based on real-life paranormal investigators who are famous for their involvement in the haunting that inspired THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. That case is referenced at the end of THE CONJURING. Also introduced in the film is Annabelle, a possessed doll that was haunting a young nurse. When the Warrens are first seen in THE CONJURING, they’ve just returned from helping the nurse and have locked Annabelle up in their home “museum.”
2014’s ANNABELLE takes place in 1967 and follows a married couple who receive a porcelain doll as a gift for their unborn child. That doll becomes possessed by a cult member who takes her life in the couple’s home. To counter the possession, the pair seeks help from a local priest named Father Perez. At the end of the movie, Annabelle disappears, only to resurface in an antique shop where she’s purchased by a woman as a gift for her daughter — a nursing student named Debbie.
The Conjuring 2
Set in 1977, the sequel to THE CONJURING follows the Warrens as they travel to Britain to investigate a haunting in Enfield. The controversial case, which in real life came to be known as the Enfield poltergeist, revolves around a mother and her four children, who are terrorized by a vengeful poltergeist referred to as “the Crooked Man.” During the film, Lorraine has visions of Ed’s death and also sees a demonic nun named Valac. She defeats the nun during the movie’s intense climax, but that won’t be the last we see of Valac.
The second ANNABELLE movie went further back in time to 1955, to show the origins of the creepy doll. After a dollmaker and his wife lose their young daughter, Annabelle, in a horrible accident, they open their home to a nun and some children from a local orphanage. Soon, the nun and children are plagued by a horrible haunting revolving around the doll, which was made in Annabelle’s image. As it turns out, the dollmaker and his wife unwittingly made a bargain with a demon (oops), so that they might see their daughter again. Seizing its chance, the demon took possession of the doll’s body. During the climax of the movie, the demon possesses a young orphan named Janice, who moves away to California and joins a cult; she’s the young woman who takes her life at the beginning of ANNABELLE.
As it is set in 1952, THE NUN is really the earliest point on the storyline. This story takes THE CONJURING series over to Romania, where the sisters at a convent have been praying around the clock to keep a powerful demonic nun at bay. Father Burke and a young nun named Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga, sister of THE CONJURING star Vera Farmiga) travel to the convent and embark on a harrowing journey to subdue the demonic entity. The entity is known as Valac — yep, it’s the same entity from THE CONJURING 2. At the end of the film, we discover that Maurice, a young local man who helped Burke and Irene, has been possessed by Valac. In the next scene, the Warrens are speaking at a conference where they show footage of their exorcism of Maurice, while Carolyn Perron, the Rhode Island woman who sought their help in the first CONJURING, sits in the audience.
The Curse of La Llorona
La Llorona is a Mexican folktale about a 17th-century woman who drowns her two sons in a river after her husband abandons them for another woman. The film jumps ahead to 1973 Los Angeles, where a social worker is investigating the disappearance of a client’s two young boys. She accidentally unleashes the vengeful spirit of La Llorona, and soon the social worker and her own children are tormented by the spirit. She seeks the advice of Father Perez (who also appeared in ANNABELLE), and he suggests contacting a spiritual worker. Working together, they defeat La Llorona.
Annabelle Comes Home
Unlike the previous ANNABELLE movies, this one features Ed and Lorraine Warren and takes place after the beginning of the first CONJURING, when the couple brings the possessed doll home and locks her away in their museum of haunted artifacts. There, the powerful demon possessing Annabelle wakes up the other artifacts. They set their possessive sights on the Warrens’ 10-year-old daughter, Judy (CAPTAIN MARVEL’s Mckenna Grace), and her two babysitters.
ANNABELLE COMES HOME opens on June 26.