A compelling horror movie is hard to come by in this day and age. Cheap jump scares and a lackluster script with thin characters is what you mostly see in theaters these days when it comes to horror. The Conjuring Universe has provided us with the opposite of that in some cases, and in others they fall right into that category. The universe, as a whole, is a bit of a roller coaster, but there’s lot to like overall. Let’s take a look at the rankings.
8. Annabelle (2014)
Annabelle was the first spinoff in The Conjuring Universe and it’s perhaps the most disappointing one. Fans were terrified of the Annabelle doll in the first Conjuring movie, so one would think that a standalone film would pack all of the scares to satisfy audiences. Unfortunately, this one is bogged down by a weak script, characters that you couldn’t care about and an overall lack of horror moments. Truthfully, not a lot happens in Annabelle and it puts viewers to sleep with no re-watch value.
7. The Curse of la Llorona (2019)
The Curse of La Llorona is almost an honorable mention in The Conjuring Universe. The Warrens are mentioned in one scene and there’s a priest from the first Annabelle movie. But other than those two things, it almost acts as a formulaic horror movie that doesn’t do much for the viewers. It’s filled with cheap jump scares that rarely add up to anything of significance. There are a few cool set pieces, but that’s about it.
6. The Nun (2018)
Along with Annabelle, The Nun is one of the scariest characters in The Conjuring Universe. Making her first appearance in The Conjuring 2, fans knew immediately there was a good chance she would get a spinoff movie. The Nun might have been a disappointment, but it wasn’t completely awful. There are some scary scenes, plus the setting makes for an extremely dark tone. However, it could have been much better with a more interesting script.
5. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Annabelle Comes Home is the latest installment of the Annabelle movies in The Conjuring Universe and overall, it’s a solid horror flick. It adds in more humor than maybe any other film in the universe and has some very frightening scenes. The problem with it though is that it never reaches a point where it gets past being a solid movie. Nothing to write home about, just another addition to the franchise.
4. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the third installment in the core films, and it might signal the steam running out for the Warrens solo movies. Is it bad? Not at all. It’s actually enjoyable. But it’s more of the same and doesn’t really change up the formula to remain fresh. Some of the best horror scenes in the entire franchise happen in The Devil Made Me Do It. Unfortunately, the second act gets convoluted and loses steam heading into the third act.
3. Annabelle: Creation (2017)
This origin story of the Annabelle doll is by far the best out of the Annabelle trilogy. There are some very terrifying scenes and imagery combined with a smart script and good acting all around. Annabelle: Creation benefited from a good director in David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) and it really went a long way. He is great at setting a tone.
2. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The Conjuring 2 is not only great because of the horror, but the character development with the Warrens really takes a step up. There is a constant fear of dread and the slow burn really works wonders for the script. In addition to that, the camerawork is top notch and really adds to the most terrifying moments.
1. The Conjuring (2013)
Just when horror movies were feeling stale and repetitive, The Conjuring was released in 2013 and helped light a spark under the horror genre. It felt fresh and reimagined, really making the audience realize that scares were around every corner. There are numerous classic horror moments in this one, such as the demon on the bookcase and the clapping from the kids that gets implemented into the horror. The formula now feels a little repetitive, but at the time of The Conjuring’s release, it changed the game.