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FRANCHISE RANKED: The Conjuring

The Conjuring is yet another horror franchise from the mind of James Wan, hot off the heels of his previous success, Insidious. The series follows the Warrens, a couple of supernatural investigators, played by the equally capable Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who find and protect haunted artifacts. Because of this general plot of collecting these items, the franchising of the stories is really inherent here, showcasing the anthology theme that is a staple within the horror genre.

With sequels, prequels and spin-offs filling out the details of this world and its haunted heirlooms, The Conjuring franchise is tailor-made to successfully go on and on, and display a diverse compilation of horror stories. Or, as things unfortunately seem to go, it might just be another way to show the same old horror tropes already seen in the later films of James Wan's other popular horror franchises.

  • Annabelle

    1.Annabelle

    ★★★★

    Chronologically coming before The Conjuring, though made after, Annabelle does a much better job at remaining focused on its story. This is why this series could be very successful. With the amount of artifacts and items that the Warrens have collected, telling their stories should be a lot of fun and have a lot of longevity. Annabelle proves this very possible, redeeming the franchise from the bad taste left after the original Conjuring film with a stylistically devilish throw-back to the likes of Rosemary's Baby and Ghost.

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  • The Conjuring

    2.The Conjuring

    ★★★½

    The Conjuring starts off strong, really atmospheric, with lots of intrigue and spookiness surrounding the story and these characters. However, much like the real life Warrens, that disguise soon falls and the film becomes nothing more than a set up to a possibly interesting horror franchise. Though well acted, this film conjures up things audiences have seen time and time again, and because the story continuously ramps the scares up and up, it can only lead to a climax that is abrupt and unfulfilling.

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  • Annabelle: Creation

    3.Annabelle: Creation

    ★★★

    After the first Annabelle, I didn't expect to see her again. That film was toted as the doll's origin story, but I should have known better. Why would they stop and leave well enough alone when they can make another movie instead? So now we have an Annabelle origin story prequel to the Annabelle origin story prequel and its just as silly as it sounds. There's a good level of intense scenes here, and a nice representation of a character with a disability which is always a plus, but the plot thread tying it together is just too thin and ridiculous to begin with.

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  • The Nun

    4.The Nun

    ★★★

    Just as Annabelle was for The Conjuring, the demon nun’s appearance was the highlight of The Conjuring 2. Smartly spinning the character off into her film, The Nun gives her a backstory that is rather light on plausible story, but fun to watch none-the-less. While they are barely strung together to make a decent plot, some of the best moments and set pieces of the entire franchise happen here, showcasing a strong supernatural style both in front of and behind the camera.

  • The Conjuring 2

    5.The Conjuring 2

    ★★★

    The Conjuring 2 continues the story of the Warrens and their encounters with the supernatural. Just like the first, there are indeed some cool ideas here, especially that of the crooked old man. One scene in particular showcasing an interaction with him in his chair is the clear highlight of the movie. If only the rest of the movie could reach that level of storytelling instead of jumping right into the melodramatic. The climax here is just absurd.

    But there's also a nun who seems to be the movie's break out character, like Annabelle was for the first, sure to get her own film spin-off for the franchise.

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