All of the movies in The Conjuring universe ranked, worst to best

Of the eight movies in the franchise, which one ranks on top?
PATRICK WILSON as Ed Warren and in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
PATRICK WILSON as Ed Warren and in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures /

The Conjuring universe, started by director James Wan and writers Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (who wrote the 2013 movie), is the highest-grossing horror franchise of all time, grossing more than 2.1 billion dollars combined worldwide. Given this mind-boggling number, it's no surprise that we keep seeing more and more of these films.

There are eight so far, not including the tangentially related films like Wolves at the Door and The Curse of La Llorona, which are sort of connected but not really. Given how popular these films are, you'd think they would all be acclaimed, but reviews have been quite mixed across the board. Here's our official ranking.

8. Annabelle (2014)

Beyond the titular haunted doll Annabelle, this movie has nothing in common with the masterpiece The Conjuring. Annabelle is a sloppy movie with nothing original to say. The acting is bad, and the plot is nonsensical.

The characters make all kinds of stupid decisions, the kind that make people look down on horror movies as a whole. And that's not even touching on the terrible and trope-y way Alfre Woodard's character, Evelyn, was written.

7. The Nun (2018)

If I had to describe The Nun in one word, it would simply be "boring," which is never a word you want associated with a movie, especially not a horror movie. Valak is the show's star here, and The Nun's ending is decent, with plenty of spectacular set pieces and craziness, but it takes way too long to get anywhere interesting.

The movie was created after the introduction of the demonic nun Valak in The Conjuring 2, during a particularly terrifying scene involving a painting and Valak terrorizing Lorraine. That one scene is scarier than the entirety of The Nun.

RUAIRI O’CONNOR as Arne Johnson in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures /

6. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

Similar to The Nun, the biggest problem with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is that it's flat-out dull and uninspired.

The best thing about this film is that it does reunite us with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens, but beyond that, it's just forgettable and it doesn't take any risks, really making it a pitiful follow-up to the first two excellent movies in the franchise.

5. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

What I liked about Annabelle Comes Home was the focus on the various creepy and cursed objects housed inside the Warren's secret room.

It was fun to see the creation of some monsters and entities like the Ferry Man and Malthus, but beyond that, Annabelle Comes Home is a forgettable film saved by a cameo from the Warrens. If you're a diehard fan of this franchise, it's fun to watch and try to pick out the various easter eggs and references, but beyond that, there's nothing special here.

The Nun 2 in cinemas Sept. 8, 2023 /

4. The Nun II (2023)

It wouldn't take much to be better than the 2018 movie, which is why The Nun II is farther up the list even though I still wasn't all that impressed with it.

I think this movie had a lot more fun with its concept and took some risks (like the demonic goat) that paid off (and the magazine sequence was awesome), especially in the climactic final act. A step up, for sure, but there's still a pretty big gap in quality between this one and the top three films in this universe.

3. Annabelle: Creation (2017)

The only good Annabelle film of the three released thus far, Annabelle: Creation reminds me a little bit of a Mike Flanagan movie. Similar to how Flanagan revived Ouija with his excellent follow-up Ouija: Origin of Evil, David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) injects much-needed life into the haunted doll saga (talented young actress Lulu Wilson also happens to star in this and Origin of Evil!).

Delightfully spooky and unpredictable, the scares in this one just keep coming at a relentless pace and really keep you on your toes from start to finish. Who would have thought that an Annabelle origin story could be so damn good?

2. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Based on one of the most fascinating "true" stories, the Enfield Poltergeist, The Conjuring 2 had plenty of fertile ground to dig from to make a truly scary follow-up, and while it doesn't quite reach the same heights as the 2013 film, it comes pretty close.

This one also introduced notable characters into the franchise, like Valak, the demonic nun, and the Crooked Man, who is involved in one of my favorite (and one of the most frightening) scenes in the movie.

1. The Conjuring (2013)

A modern classic, The Conjuring is easily one of the best horror movies of the 2010s. It's the film that spawned the billion-dollar franchise, and it still hasn't been topped by any other entry into this series. Ed and Lorraine Warren might have been controversial figures in real life, but on screen, Farmiga and Wilson have created a memorable couple that fans show up in droves to see in film after film.

Not only is The Conjuring flat-out terrifying, but it's also weirdly comforting to see the fictional versions of Ed and Lorraine do literally anything for each other and their families.

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