Written by: Spencer Kain
The Conjuring Universe began in 2013 with the roaring success of the highly frightening “The Conjuring” that has led into a sequel and a number of other spinoffs. There are some epic highs and some very low lows in this franchise. By now, the bad and mediocre films now outnumber the actual good films in the franchise. A shame if you ask me.
Unfortunately, it fell into the trap that a lot of horror franchises fall into: rushing out a new installment in order to gain some quick cash and to hold over an audience anticipating the next installment of the original movie that started the whole craze in the first place.
Now, I would like to take a second to rank the films in the Conjuring Universe to see where we started off to where we are now in the franchise, six years later and seven films deep.
First off, the best film in the franchise is undoubtedly the very first movie:
1. “The Conjuring”
“The Conjuring” crept its way into theaters in July 2013, in the dead center of the summer. It amassed $318 million worldwide along with critical raves. Thankfully, the reviews rung true because “The Conjuring” is one of the most terrifying modern horror films we have experienced in years. All the hype it garnered during its premiere was utterly justified because the film is terrifying, if you did not hear me the first time.
Next, we have the direct sequel to the 2013 hit.
2. “The Conjuring 2”
“The Conjuring 2″ is the rare horror sequel that justifies its own existence by delivering top notch scares once again while having an actual good plot to boost along the story. It is not as scarring as the first film, but there is a crazy amount of solid scares in addition to two terrifying monsters: The Nun (more on her later) and The Crooked Man.
Following the two films in the original storyline we get the number of spin-offs that followed:
3. “Annabelle Creation”
“Annabelle Creation” is the prequel to “Annabelle” that served as a spinoff and a prequel to “The Conjuring.” Yeah, just a bit convoluted, but we got there eventually. “Creation” is a massive improvement among the first “Annabelle” film largely since it actually has a sense of cohesive direction. The scares are palpable and the mythology actually makes some sense here.
4. “Annabelle Comes Home”
The most recent film is this universe is one that is really a mixed bag of several things. One, we finally get to delve deep into the Warren’s room of horror but there is literally no semblance of a plot located anywhere in the film. I can only watch these uninteresting characters walk down a hall and be startled by doors opening and things falling so many times before I get bored with the film. It is a “Conjuring” movie on autopilot.
5. “The Nun”
The Nun was one of the scariest things in “The Conjuring 2” and the trailer for her eponymous film was quite frightening but unfortunately, the trailer turned out to be scarier than the actual movie. The movie itself turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. The scares are basically nonexistent, and the plot is horribly boring. A hard pass, especially considering what this franchise is capable of.
The first spinoff in this entire universe landed in theaters in 2014 with a resounding dud. It followed the back story of the possessed doll and how she became possessed, which was actually pretty cool, but the film fails on basically every other level. I was never once scared, and the film seems fine basking in its own lazy jump scares. So many other films have done this exact story so much better.
7. “The Curse of La Llorona”
Bizarrely, this movie was not even marketed as a “Conjuring movie” and instead it lets the audience find this out with a lazy connection between one character present in the first “Annabelle” movie. This movie flops on basically every level imaginable including trying to connect its’ very own universe which it so desperately wants to be a part of. La Llorona’s design is cool, but I was more bored in this movie than anything else.
As you can see, this universe is quite uneven, but I know there is some potential for some good spin-offs. If you saw “Annabelle Comes Home,” you know a Ferryman movie and a movie about The Bride would be absolutely killer. Thankfully though, we still have ‘The Conjuring 3” to look forward to which will hopefully breathe some new life into this tired universe of horror.
Featured Image: Courtesy of IMDB