With the third Conjuring film, The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It, now in cinemas, I thought it was time to dust off the timeline feature I did around the release of The Curse of La Llorona. What follows is a rough timeline through the films. Many have flashbacks that might make some parts occur earlier than the others so I’ve focused on the time that the bulk of the narrative unfolds in.
The Nun – 1952
Although being one of the most recent Conjuring universe films, The Nun actually kicks-off the universe chronologically (for now at least). Set in 1952 Romania, The Nun stars Taissa Farmiga (younger sister of Vera Farmiga whom plays Lorraine Warren), as Sister Irene, a novice nun. Irene is headhunted by Father Burke to accompany him in an investigation into another young nun’s apparent suicide. It’s not long before they realise that the abbey is home to a deadly demonic force – Valak, whom takes on the appearance of a nun. The pair appear to vanquish Valak and go on their merry way, but the demon hasn’t gone for good, and will go on to make a cameo appearance in Annabelle Creation before taking centre stage again in The Conjuring 2.
Annabelle: Creation – 1955
Annabelle served as a prequel to The Conjuring, and Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to Annabelle. So it’s a prequel to a prequel, very confusing. Taking place in 1955, just three years after the events of The Nun, the story follows a group of young girls as they move from their recently closed orphanage to the Mullins residence. The Mullins used to have a young daughter called Annabelle, but she died tragically in a car accident. Unable to cope with his grief, her father Samuel crafted a doll version of their daughter, one that would become home to a horrifying entity. This entity takes a shine to one of the young girls, Janice, ultimately possessing her and paving the way for Annabelle.
Annabelle – 1967
Twelve years later, in 1967, a grown-up Janice (possessed by Annabelle) joins a Satanic cult and murders her adoptive parents whom live next door to John and Mia Form. Mia is pregnant and is an avid doll collector. To celebrate their happy news, John gifts Mia a rare vintage porcelain doll; that same night, Janice breaks into their house and transports Annabelle’s spirit back into the form of a doll. Mia soon realises that there is something not right with the doll after a series of paranormal activities occur. She then seeks the help of their parish priest, Father Perez. Their attempts to stop the demonic being seem to work, that is until the doll disappears, only to turn up later in an antique store. Annabelle is then purchased for nursing student Debbie, the last ‘owner’ before she is taken into the Warren’s custody.
Annabelle Comes Home – 1968
The year is 1968 and Ed and Lorraine make their first appearance in the timeline as they collect Annabelle from Debbie and her friends. On the way home they are attacked by Annabelle, and realising its full potency for evil, the couple encase her within a chamber made of holy glass, adding her to their collection of dangerous artefacts. A year later, the pair go away overnight and leave their daughter Judy in the care of babysitter, Mary Ellen. All is fine at the Warren abode until Mary Ellen’s friend, Daniela, turns up and accidentally lets Annabelle out of her cage. The house then gets overrun with paranormal activity as all the possessed and cursed items held within the Warren’s museum come alive once more.
The Conjuring – 1971
With Annabelle now once more safely trapped inside the Warren’s museum of nightmares, and the nun still hiding, The Conjuring sees a new demon enter the fray. The year is now 1971 and, having discovered that their new farmhouse might be haunted, concerned parents Roger and Carolyn Perron seek out the help of paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren. In order to fully uncover what is happening with the family, the Warrens move into the Rhode Island residence and soon find that they have been targeted by a witch called Bathsheba.
The Curse of La Llorona – 1973
The Curse of La Llorona, is set in 1973. Although it is technically set within the Conjuring universe, with Father Perez popping up briefly, the film deals with a previously unknown entity – La Llorona. La Llorona is the Conjuring universe’s version of the Weeping Woman urban legend. The Mexican matriarch finds herself in seventies Los Angeles, once more on the prowl for children. She targets the son and daughter of Linda Cardellini’s Anna whom must do everything she can to stop La Llorona’s curse from claiming her children.
The Conjuring 2 – 1977
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case opens as Ed and Lorraine Warren recount their experience at the very famous Amityville House where Lorraine come face to face with The Nun. The story then quickly jumps to Enfield England in the year 1977. It is here that one of the most prolific hauntings in the United Kingdom occurs as young Janet Hodgson becomes the plaything of a vicious poltergeist. The Warrens are called in to help, but they unknowingly bring along that devious nun, cue supernatural chaos.
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It – 1981
For The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, we get a decade jump as the universe arrives into the eighties, the story taking place in 1981. Based upon the very famous case of Arne Johnson, the first man tried for murder who used demonic possession as a defence, the story sees Ed and Lorraine trying to help Arne as he is targeted by a witches hex. As with La Llorona, this Conjuring film is free of monstrous cameos, allowing the Warrens and this insidiously sinister case to take the spotlight.
This feature first appeared on THN.