Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
The Curse of My Sharona, just kidding, La Llorona (that’s an 80’s reference to you youngsters) is in cinemas right now, and some folks may not realise it’s actually part of The Conjuring Universe of movies. Who would’ve thought we would have an actual horror franchise that’s original, well directed and (for the most part) creepy and entertaining in this era. With enough movies out there to be able to look back and discuss which ones truly stand out here are my…TOP 5 MOVIES OF THE CONJURING UNIVERSE (SO FAR):
#5 The Nun
PLOT: A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
REVIEW: So much wasted potential. The Nun aka Valak first appeared in The Conjuring 2 in one of the most memorable scenes of the entire franchise (if you’ve seen the movie, you know which one I’m referring to). Fans instantly wanted to see more of this monster and thus, The Nun was born.
Unfortunately while this movie does have a great Gothic look and a couple of cool scares, the character of The Nun is totally wasted and we never really learn anything of worth about the demon Valak.
They do a decent job of tying it into The Conjuring films (at the very end), but I can’t help thinking it was a waste of casting to have Taissa Farmiga as our young hero and not link her directly in some way,to Vera Farmiga who plays Conjuring protagonist Lorraine Warren. They’re not only real life sisters but the resemblance between the two would’ve made linking them easy as pie. Hopefully we get some full on Nun action (I know, I know, phrasing!) in the sequel that drops (maybe) in 2021.
#4 Annabelle: Creation
PLOT: Twelve years after the tragic death of their little girl, a doll-maker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they become the target of the doll-maker’s possessed creation Annabelle.
REVIEW: The prequel to the ‘meh’ Annabelle movie, Annabelle: Creation takes a look back at where this creepy, ugly-ass doll came from. Director David F. Sandberg, who had a solid debut with Lights Out, manages to add some truly scary moments (great use of light and shadow, as well as sound) and a fun backstory to this tale and even ties it in nicely to the previous film, which actually made me want to re-watch Annabelle, bland as it was.
Annabelle Comes Home is coming out later this year, bringing it back full circle to The Warrens, so if you’re a fan of this wooden monstrosity, you’re in luck!
#3 The Curse of La Llorona
PLOT: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.
REVIEW: One of the things The Conjuring franchise manages to do well is take an existing bit of lore and expand it into a full-blown story.
La Llorona is a “real life” character that pops up all over the world. She is sometimes known as The Woman in White, The Wailing Woman or The Weeping Woman (which is just a literal translation of her name). This movie, even with its predictable horror genre clichés, is actually a good one, with one of the few sympathetic monsters to exist in this franchise.
It links to the original Annabelle through one of the characters and, by extension, The Conjuring universe. The nice twist ending, leaves the door open for La Llorona to screech her way into our world and this franchise once again.
#2 The Conjuring
PLOT: Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorised by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
REVIEW: Remember when I said The Conjuring does a good job of blending truth with fiction? Well what some of you may not know is Lorraine and Ed Warren are/were real life people. They investigated the now infamous Amityville Murders, which also went on to have a movie franchise (sadly, not a great one).
The Conjuring (the original film) is based on one of their other famous cases and director James “Aquaman” Wan proved he had what it took to make a horror movie filled with atmosphere, epic jump scares (clap, clap!) and memorable lead characters that people wanted more and more of.
#1 The Conjuring 2
PLOT: Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a supernatural spirit.
REVIEW: Yep! The second one is my favorite! You see, there’s a key to making a truly epic horror/thriller movie, which a lot of screenplay writers and movie directors tend to forget.
If you make us love your characters, we’ll be TRULY afraid for them the ENTIRE time we’re watching! Patrick Wilson (Ed) and Vera Farmiga (Lorraine) have done such an amazing job of bringing this couple to the screen. You genuinely like them and see them as a loving couple that battles evil for a living.
James Wan knows this, and so structures the story and the vibe of Conjuring 2 in a way that keeps you on edge right up to the end. You don’t know if they’re gonna make it, and like any on screen couple you love, you don’t wanna see them die. Add a heavy dose of genuine fear and scares (another true-life ghost story is used here) and you have a recipe for an excellent horror film that is worth re-watching time and time again.
So if you’re a fan of the franchise, feel free to check out The Curse of La Llorona and don’t worry, with Annabelle Comes Home and The Conjuring 3 coming soon to theaters (not to mention, The Crooked Man), fans of this universe will have a lot more scares to look forward to.
For my ranking of the Top 10 Cursed Objects in Horror Movies you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes. Double Tap Baby!