Inspired by paranormal cases investigated by real-life demonologists Lorraine and Ed Warren, The Conjuring Universe films have grown like the knotted branches of a cursed tree to create a haunting tangle of interconnected but distinct horror films.
With The Conjuring 3 (aka The Devil Made Me Do It), the series enters the 1980s and a story inspired, once again, by real events. Here’s everything you want to know about the new film, plus how to watch the entire The Conjuring franchise in timeline order.
The Conjuring 3 release date. When is The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It out?
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It will be released on 28 May 2021, making it a great reason to return to your local ODEON and share the nail-biting tension and series’ signature jump scares with others on the big screen.
What is The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It? The Conjuring 3 in a nutshell
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the third main film and the seventh film overall in writer/director James Wan’s The Conjuring Universe of horror movies. All of the films in the series are inspired by or related to actual paranormal cases investigated by husband and wife demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Over five decades the Warrens investigated countless cases of alleged hauntings and demonic possession, including the infamous Amityville Horror and the Enfield Haunting. The Conjuring 3 covers a unique case for the Warrens – their involvement in the 1981 murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. Dubbed by the press The Devil Made Me Do It case, it was the first time in legal history that demonic possession was cited as a defence argument.
Where does The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It fit into The Conjuring universe timeline?
Watch The Conjuring Universe films in release order and you’ll hop disorientingly all over the decades. This is how to watch the Conjuring movies in order, from 1952 to 1981. One more thing – we’re excluding 2019’s The Curse of La Llorona from our list. While associated with the franchise via the appearance of Annabelle’s (2014) Father Perez (Tony Amendola), it doesn’t relate directly to the Warrens’ paranormal investigations.
1952 – The Nun (2018)
When Father Burke (Demián Bachir) and novice nun Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) are dispatched to the isolated Romanian Saint Cartha’s convent to investigate the suicide of a sister, they discover that not everyone who wears a habit is on the side of the angels.
It seems that the convent was once a castle owned by an occult-obsessed duke who succeeded in summoning a demon named Valak that has plagued the building’s residents ever since. Can Burke and Irene banish the malevolent and manipulative entity before it succeeds in turning them to evil, too?
The demonic nun, Valak, is the source of the possession of Janet Hodgson in The Conjuring 2’s fictionalised account of the Enfield Haunting case that Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated in 1977. In Annabelle: Creation, Sister Charlotte – the young nun who comes to live at the Mullins’ house when they turn it into a shelter for orphans – shows a photo of her time spent in Romania at a convent. It has to be taken at Saint Cartha’s as the shadowy figure of Valak is just visible in the photo’s shadows.
1958 – Annabelle: Creation (2017)
12 years after dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto) lose their seven-year-old daughter Annabelle (Samara Lee) to a road accident, the couple take six orphans, and the nun caring for them, into their home when the kids’ orphanage closes.
However, there’s one more resident in the house that the Mullins are terrified to admit to: a devious demon that tricked the grieving parents into believing was the spirit of their beloved Annabelle. Confined to the body of one of Mullin’s dolls, it’s been locked away safely for years. But the arrival of the orphans has awoken it, and ‘Annabelle’ takes steps to find a new human host…
Well, Annabelle may have been created in 1958 but she’s also the cursed star of Annabelle (2014) and Annabelle Comes Home (2019). The haunted doll is also the very first evil entity we encounter in the prologue to The Conjuring (2013) and is visible in demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren’s artefacts repository throughout the film series.
1970 – Annabelle (2014)
John (Ward Horton) and Mia Form (Annabelle Wallis) are expecting their first child when the neighbours are brutally slain by their adopted daughter and her boyfriend. Worse still, the killers invade John and Mia’s house attacking the couple. The police shoot the boyfriend but the neighbours’ daughter commits suicide in the Forms’ new nursery, holding a vintage porcelain doll – Annabelle! – that John bought Mia as a gift.
Soon after, the Forms have a daughter – Leah – and move to a new home, discarding the doll in an attempt to leave the traumatic events of that night behind. Terrifyingly though, that’s not to be, as Annabelle reappears in their lives and seems far from pleased to have been abandoned. Enlisting the help of a priest, Father Perez (Tony Amendola), John and Mia discover that the young woman who attacked them left a lot more than nightmares behind when she died.
Interestingly, Janice, the orphan possessed by Annabelle in Annabelle: Creation grows up to join a Satanic cult and kill her adoptive parents. Parents who live next door to the Form family who, of course, take centre stage in the events of Annabelle (2014). Also, as a coda to this film, we see a mother buying Annabelle to give to her daughter – a nursing student who brings the cursed doll to the Warrens at the start of The Conjuring (2013).
1972 – Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Ed and Lorraine Warren’s daughter Judy (McKenna Grace) knows better than to enter her parents’ locked artefact room and tinker with any of the cursed objects they keep there. Unfortunately, Daniela (Katie Sarife), an occult-curious friend of Judy’s new babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman) is not so smart.
She not only enters the room but allows the cruel spirit of Annabelle the doll to escape confinement, simultaneously waking a multitude of demonic spirits from a host of the Warrens’ earlier cases and unleashing them on the terrified trio of girls.
Despite the film’s events being propelled by a bunch of different cursed objects from the Warren’s artefact room (where they keep demonically ‘volatile’ items from their investigations), Annabelle the cursed doll is the only one that connects to other films in the Conjuring Universe.
1977 – The Conjuring 2 (2016)
In the London suburb of Enfield, Janet Hodgson plays with a Ouija board, inadvertently opening up a connection to the spirit of Bill Winkins, an elderly man who lived (and died) in what is now the young family’s house.
With the Hodgsons all experiencing blood-chilling paranormal events, the family contacts Ed and Lorraine Warren who fly to England to investigate the haunting. Meanwhile, Lorraine has started to have disturbing visions featuring the figure of a demonic nun that appear to predict Ed’s violent death. And, as the pair of demonologists start to explore the Enfield Haunting, it seems that the ghost of Bill Winkins may be the least of the Hodgsons’ and the Warrens’ problems.
Valak the demon nun from The Nun (2018) metaphorically and figuratively lurks at the centre of the Enfield Haunting, plaguing the Hodgson family and Lorraine Warren.
1981 – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Unlike the previous two The Conjuring films, The Conjuring 3 is not set in a haunted house. It follows the Warrens’ involvement in the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson – a young man who seemingly out of character and out of nowhere killed his landlord, Alan Bono. As Ed and Lorraine investigate it seems that Johnson’s inexplicable crime may have its roots in the exorcism of a young boy carried out just months before.
We don’t yet know how The Devil Made Me Do It will weave its way into The Conjuring Universe’s tapestry but we can’t wait to tease out the connections when the film is released on 28 May 2021.
The Conjuring 3 cast. Who’s in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It?
These are the main characters in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, starting with linchpins of the entire series, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Lorraine Warren is a clairvoyant and medium, and the paranormally attuned half of the Warrens’ investigative team.
Ed Warren is the more pragmatic, nuts and bolts investigator of the Warrens. He doesn’t have his beloved wife’s clairvoyant skills but complements her perfectly with top flight research and documentation of their investigations.
Johnson is the 19-year-old who killed his landlord after a heated conversation. The shocking nature of the murder and its incompatibility with Johnson’s behaviour before this event led his defence lawyers to claim the paranormal was involved.
David Glatzel is the 11-year-old boy said to have been possessed by a demon, and whose exorcism released the evil entity, freeing it to possess Johnson.
Ed and Lorraine’s daughter Judy knows all about her parents’ investigations into the paranormal. Judy took centre stage during the events of Annabelle Comes Home (2019), when she and her babysitter were attacked by unquiet spirits in the Warrens’ own home.