If you are a horror genre fanatic, then there is no way you don’t know about Ed and Lorraine Warren. The couple gained popularity with the series of interconnected horror movies in ‘The Conjuring’ universe. Unlike the previous films that have focused on hauntings and exorcisms with fictional characters fighting the forces of darkness on their own, the presence of the Warrens gave an added edge to the story due to their already established reputation in the field.
If you don’t know about them, the Warrens were paranormal investigators and self-professed demonologists who were connected to some of the most famous hauntings of all time. Their experiences have inspired several horror movies over the years, most notable of them being The Amityville case. Ed and Lorraine passed away in 2006 and 2019, respectively, but their legacy lives on through their stories that are now gaining more traction with the worldwide audience.
While many movies have based their stories on their real-life experiences, the Warrens as characters have appeared in only a handful of films. Here are all the films that feature the couple:
5. The Haunted (1991)
Before ‘The Conjuring’ universe laid claim on the stories of Ed and Lorraine Warren and presented them as the ghost-fighting couple with a cinematic universe of their own, they were portrayed on the screen in ‘The Haunted’. The film follows the story of the Smurl family, who are terrorized by several spirits and a demon who won’t let them live in peace. The story comes from another real-life case tackled by the couple and has them in prominent roles in the film. Stephen Markle and Diane Baker appear as the couple who investigate the case for months, in the course of which they were terrorized by the demon to go away. The film got a Golden Globe nomination for Sally Kirkland, who plays Janet Smurl, and was the first time the real-life couple became the part of a horror movie.
4. The Conjuring (2013)
After many horror movies inspired by the cases that Ed and Lorraine Warren had investigated, they properly came into the limelight with 2013’s ‘The Conjuring’. Directed by James Wan, the film received great commercial success and opened the doors to a franchise that has expanded extensively over the years. Set in 1971, it follows the story of The Perron family, who move into a farmhouse in Rhode Island. Things take a dark turn for them when sudden paranormal events start disrupting their lives. When the malevolent forces in the house become unbearable, they reach out to the Warrens to help them cleanse the house.
‘The Conjuring’ became the first film to expand the prospects of the real-life couple, portrayed by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, and the stories that come from their own experience. Lorraine Warren served as a consultant for the film, and the air of legitimacy around the story gave a boost to its popularity which then manifested in the form of the multiple films that followed it.
3. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The introduction of the Warren couple allowed the filmmakers to expand the story, and they followed ‘The Conjuring’ with ‘Annabelle’. The possessed doll appears in the haunted collection of the Warrens, and though it strays away from them for a couple of films, it eventually merges with the story in its third installment. While the doll’s story was picking pace, the second part of ‘The Conjuring’ brought back Ed and Lorraine Warren back in action. It borrowed another page from their story, this time taking them all the way to London.
Based on the real-life haunting of the Enfield poltergeist, ‘The Conjuring 2’ follows the story of the Hodgson family. As a violet spirit gets hold of one of their children and threatens them to leave the house, they look towards the Church for help. The Warrens are brought in on the case to determine whether it is a real haunting or not. Apart from this investigation, the film also references the Amityville haunting and introduces another malevolent character who later received a spin-off of their own.
2. The Nun (2018)
The character of The Nun aka Valak was introduced in ‘The Conjuring 2’, while also making a brief appearance in ‘Annabelle: Creation’. It emerges as a primary antagonist whom the Warrens have to defeat in the Enfield poltergeist case. ‘The Nun’ serves as the origin story of the character where we get to know more about where it came from and what it wants. Set in 1950s Romania, the film follows the story of a Roman Catholic priest and a nun, who try to contain the terror of this demonic entity.
Because the story is set before the time of the Warrens, they don’t play an important role in the story. However, they do appear in the ending scene that ties in the story with ‘The Conjuring Universe’. It takes us back to the beginning, just before the events of the Perron family haunting, bringing the story full circle for the Warrens and the Nun.
1. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Despite being an indispensable part of ‘The Conjuring’ universe, Ed and Lorraine Warren remained absent from the franchise for a considerable amount of time. After their appearance in ‘The Conjuring 2’, their story took the backseat, while the universe expanded through other characters. Their primary adversaries- Annabelle and the Nun- received their origin stories, and at the end of 2018’s ‘The Nun’, the couple was spotted again. Another movie, ‘The Curse of La Llorona’, introduced a new entity to battle, but we had to wait a while more for them to come back.
In 2019, the spirit of Annabelle returned in ‘Annabelle Comes Home’. We get a brief glimpse of Ed and Lorraine Warren, but they remain absent from most of the action. Instead, the film focuses on their daughter, Judy, and her babysitter, Mary Ellen, who are confronted with the terror of the doll, when Judy’s friend unintentionally sets the spirit free. The Warrens come home at the end, but by then, Annabelle is back in her box. After all this time, the dry spell of the Warrens battling the grim forces of the dark is to finally break with ‘The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It’.
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