The Conjureverse’s latest installment marks the eighth entry in the franchise and the fifth spinoff. This immensely popular horror series is widely regarded as one of the finest in the genre, featuring some of the most menacing villains in the world of horror. While The Nun received its share of criticism, the second film is performing admirably under the circumstances. Valak continues to strike fear into the hearts of viewers, much like his or her (however you’d like to refer to the demon) debut in The Conjuring 2. Despite the franchise’s esteemed reputation and a decade of expansion, it’s noteworthy that there is relatively little interconnected lore across the series. The primary binding element throughout all the films is the presence of Ed and Lorraine, which could be a reason why entries without them tend to lack the same excitement. It’s important to acknowledge that this list is subjective and may contain a certain bias in favor of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, so it’s advisable to take this all with a grain of salt.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that this film ranks the lowest on this list because even ardent fans of the franchise cannot deny that this film really wasn’t it. The film falls short in terms of scares as well as in terms of a plot. Not only is it tedious to watch, but it feels like a rather futile entry in the series. The only good thing to come out of this film are the characters, though, and we’re glad to have been introduced to Irene and Frenchie, who are both memorable characters worthy of making more films about. Oh, and if, like me, you ended up watching this in 4D, I sympathize with you. This film isn’t scary; it’s quite monotonous, and there’s just no element of excitement in it.
The Annabelle franchise within the Conjuring universe is really not one of my favorites. I have never wanted to rewatch these movies, and there’s only one of them that really stands out to me for obvious reasons. It is the second film in the franchise, and it really failed to impress in any aspect. Filled with tropes and trying to give Rosemary’s Baby, the movie just fails in all aspects. At this point, I want to say that if James Wan is not directing these, I don’t think they’re worth watching, and that’s really sad. The atmosphere and environment set by the original director just hit different notes.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The mainline Conjuring films comprise two really good movies and one really bad one. The Devil Made Me Do It is a chaotic ride with too many elements that it fails to balance. Everything about this film was so unconvincing that you really start to think that Ed and Lorraine were faking everything. The special effects are terrible, and even Ed and Lorraine’s scenes don’t feel as lovely as before. I really wanted to like this one because of how much I love the duo, but it fails to impress. The story is too over the top, and while there are some okay-ish scares, it’s not something that will leave you with nightmares. Even my adorable boy Julian Hilliard from The Haunting of Hill House couldn’t save this film, and I’m not going to lie, I watched it for him as much as I did for the OG couple. Really, this one does a disservice to the Conjuring films.
The Nun 2
I remember despising The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It because it made me want to turn off the movie due to my disappointment. Maybe because The Nun 2 is fresh in my mind, I feel a little bit better about it than that. I never felt the urge to walk out of the theater, and there was no jumping, not even from the jump-scares, for me, but I found this film extremely bland. The lore wasn’t deep enough, and the scares were a little juvenile, maybe because it involved a setting with kids. There’s nothing memorable about this one, and even though we see more Nun than we have ever seen before, it’s very lackluster. I’m ranking this film this high also because, despite all of these criticisms, I found some things very creative about this film, and in that way, it felt new.
This movie is a really good installment in the franchise as a whole. It’s not throwing random things at us just because these films are popular. There’s a great origin story; it ties in really well with Annabelle and makes a mark in this universe. There are some grotesquely memorable scenes, especially one involving fingers, that will stay in your mind. It’s a great fictionalized origin story, and it actually feels quite original and authentic. It’s not the most spine-chilling of the lot, but it’s still a good horror film.
Annabelle Comes Home
When I say I have a bias, this is a clear example. Most people would likely say Annabelle: Creations is a better film objectively and in terms of horror. But what I love about the Conjuring universe is the emphasis on characters and our love for them. Will I rewatch any of the other Annabelle films? No way. But if I had to follow up on the first two Conjuring films in a rewatch marathon, it would be this one for sure. Mckenna Grace does a great job as Judy, and this was an overall enjoyable experience, even though it mainly revolves around teenagers making stupid decisions. This film is both emotional and funny. Of course, Ed and Lorraine are here, but Judy takes center stage. Additionally, seeing a lot of the artifacts in the dreaded room come to life was amazing, too.
Okay, yes, for most people, The Conjuring would be ranked number 1. On some days, it is for me, too. Undoubtedly, it is one of the greatest haunted house horror films ever made. There, I said it. James Wan at his best, this film is eerie, creepy, and memorable, with so many scenes that will stay with you for years to come. As I type this a decade later, I can still see entire scenes play out in my mind. This film is sheer horror from start to finish. The pacing is excellent, the climax is haunting, and there’s nothing to complain about as a horror fan.
The Conjuring 2
Hear me out: this film is a love story masked as a horror movie. As a big fan of both genres, I present it in its crowning glory. Ed and Lorraine haven’t been stronger anywhere else. The setting is rainy and wet England, the young Hodgson girls are frightened to their bones, there is skepticism from other members of society and then all the doubt in the Warrens’ minds too, everything is ideal for making a blockbuster horror movie. Of course, we can’t forget that this is where we got introduced to Valak, the profane, the defiler, and the marquis of snakes. All I remember just from hearing Lorraine recite those words in the climactic scene when she’s desperately trying to save her beloved husband. Oh, how emotional. Patrick Wilson even sings a song in this one, which is one of the most adorable scenes in the whole Conjuring universe.
With that, we’ve come to the end of our ranking. Which Conjurverse film is your favorite, and why? Let us know in the comments below.