The Conjuring has been terrifying audiences since 2013. With each installment, the scares attempt to intensify. Moments that keeps horror fans around the world coming back for more. Some of us have even gone as far to look up the Warrens and the cases surrounding the recorded incidents and are used for The Conjuring Universe. Just when we think Annabelle cannot be scarier, we realize that a Raggedy Ann doll is the actual doll inside a special casing in the Warrens home. While friends continue to debate which doll is scarier, I started to ponder which film in the franchise is the scariest with the anticipation of The Nun.
4. Annabelle (2014)
The least frightening of the franchise so far is Annabelle. With so much potential surrounding the story of Annabelle, I walked into the theater genuinely expecting fear to course through my veins. Instead, I found myself sad. The overall story was one that touched me, but not in the way I was expecting. The film is the most predictable of the franchise. Evelyn’s death did not come as a shock to me, because I felt her need for penitence as soon as she revealed what happened to her daughter. A sacrifice had to made to rid the world of the demonic spirit and at no point did I believe that was going to come from Mia.
Regardless of demonic possession or not, the film would not be cruel enough to separate a mother from her newborn child. Evelyn’s death provides the perfect out for the film to maintain a somewhat happy ending, although the doll has disappeared.
The scares were not there. The scariest moment in the film is that Annabelle came back to kill her parents and that she was possessed by the spirit that plagues the other characters for the remainder of the film.
The best part of Annabelle is knowing that the ending sets up a future film that examines the characters that introduced to us in The Conjuring.
3. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The Conjuring 2 gave us the crooked man and the nun so one would think it would rank rather high on a list pertaining to The Conjuring Universe. However, those were the main times I found myself terrified within the feature. My dad still makes fun of me for when the Crooked Man walked down the hall. I also cannot look at dark corners of a room anymore without wondering if something is there or not thanks to the nun. The subplots should not outweigh the main plot of any horror film though and have made me look forward to films showcasing these two characters.
The reason the film does not work is because in many ways the film is too similar to it’s predecessor. Because of the possession line in the first feature, The Conjuring 2 appears as a dulled down version of the original. Is Janet really possessed or not? This is a question asked of Lorianne and Ed Warren and the two attempt to provide an answer one way or the other. And considering the possession line within the original film, the idea of a poltergeist instead of a demonic spirit is far superior.
2. Annabelle: Creation (2017)
A small part of me that debated ongoing to theater at all to see Annabelle: Creation. The first one was so lackluster, I thought that Annabelle’s origin story might be too. Yet there I was willing to spend the money and take a chance on this horror franchise. I will forever be glad I did. Somehow Annabelle: Creation is vastly superior to Annabelle and revitalizes the possession story line beautifully.
As the story unfolds, we are lead to believe that the spirit within the house if the Mullins daughter Annabelle. However, Esther reveals that when they agreed to let their daughter’s spirit take over one of their daughter’s dolls, the spirit was an benevolent entity instead looking for a host. When Janice opens the closer door in Bee’s room the spirit immediately desires to take over Janice’s soul.
Annabelle: Creation furthers the universe which lends itself to both the nun’s story as well as the original Annabelle. The way the story loops back around to reveal that Janice is the Annabelle we saw murder the Higgins in the original film is spectacular. And much like its predecessor, we are left knowing this spirit is still out there to reign terror on whomever it may choose.
1. The Conjuring (2013)
The scariest film in the franchise so far is the original feature. The Conjuring is one of those movies that continues to chill me to the core despite multiple viewings. Nothing scarier than the clapping of those hands besides the mother’s ear to me while she is playing an innocent childhood game with her children. Add the moment where the spirit jumps off the top of the dresser and no one would blame anyone for wanting to get a new bedroom suit.
The Conjuring is frightening because as soon as the opening credits appear on the screen, we are not given the chance to rest. Around every corner another scare takes place within the feature. The scariest of them all pertaining to a spirit possessing a mother to make her want to kill her own children. With tactics described as jump scares to some, underneath the framing of the film lurks scares no one can predict.
While no dates have are announced for The Crooked Man, The Conjuring 3, and an additional Annabelle film, these films are all in the works.
Are you excited for the expansion of The Conjuring Universe? Which film do you find the most frightening? Are you excited for The Nun? Let us know in the comments below.
See The Nun in theaters starting Friday, September 7th.
Michelle Patterson prides herself on her random pop culture knowledge. She finds great joy in all things horror related and tries to enjoy movies on a weekly basis. If she’s not at the theater, she can be found at a convention or a concert. To connect with her more, check out her Instagram page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page, or her website.