Now that we’re in the month of October, every filmgoer’s mind has headed toward Halloween, which generally brings about a popular film to watch. The Conjuring 3 won’t arrive for another year, but you can bet fans will watch it on Halloween day on their personal screens.
The series has Annabelle as its major spin-off, with these films also being enormously popular. However, Annabelle Comes Home had a relatively lukewarm response among the audience, bringing forward the question whether The Conjuring was a better series or its spin-off. In order to set that argument aside, here are certain things that The Conjuring did better, along with some points it didn’t excel in compared to Annabelle.
10 Conjuring: Introducing New Villains
So far, The Conjuring movies have been the ones to bring forward the villains we’ve seen in the spin-offs, with Annabelle itself only being a possibility due to the first Conjuring film. The second movie brought forward more villains we’ll be seeing in due course.
The Nun has already been released and went onto become a huge box office success. The Crooked Man is expected to go on floors eventually as well, with both of the main villains having been introduced in The Conjuring 2. Annabelle films have been generally self-contained, with the occasional nod toward other movies.
9 Annabelle: Having A Mascot Villain
Although The Conjuring films were the ones to bring the ghosts we know so well today, the movies themselves aren’t associated with one figure. It is the Warrens who have taken the role of the poster figures here, but they aren’t nearly as appealing as having an antagonist be the selling point.
Annabelle movies are easy to promote since the doll itself is so popular. It is considered as the breakout character from The Conjuring, even though it wasn’t even very prominently shown. This is probably why we’ve had more Annabelle movies by now.
8 Conjuring: Eerier Atmosphere
The reliance on the doll has meant the Annabelle movies heavily emphasize the doll bringing in the scares, with these movies foregoing making the atmosphere as part of the show. The Conjuring movies do this way better by making the surroundings feel like they’re antagonizing the audience as if you've stepped into shoes of the character and have entered a horror town on your own.
There are more silent moments in these films, which are accompanied by eerier soundtracks or the lack of music altogether when the setting is supposed to be intense. This helps the film avoid the jump scares Annabelle films employ quite a bit.
7 Annabelle: Taking Away The Audience's Sense Of Security
We know that Lorraine and Ed Warren lived on to a very old age, which means these guys aren’t going to be dying for sure in any movies they’re showcased in; since The Conjuring films are supposed to be about these people, it makes their eventual ends predictable.
Annabelle movies take away the sense of security the viewer has, as the main characters in these movies can easily perish because we don’t know who they are. In this case, the scares feel more personal due to the audience not being aware who will live and who will die.
6 Conjuring: Emotional Moments
The biggest reason why The Conjuring films have been so special is because they’ve brought the emotional element along with them. Horror movies almost 100% of the time detach themselves from romance moments or times where there’s a sense of emotional bond; not where The Conjuring is concerned.
These movies have as much focus on the couple’s marriage as they do on the horror parts, which makes the characters have an attachment to the audience. It’s a very rare thing that fans of a horror series watch because of the protagonists and not the villain.
5 Annabelle: Being Set In Different Decades
The Conjuring 3 will be taking place the furthest away in the chronology of the franchise, as has been the case with every Conjuring film as the spin-offs are always prequels. This means we’re stuck with the 1970s as the setting, which isn’t as exciting as the different decades of the Annabelle films.
These stories have depicted a year in every decade from the 1950s to the 1970s, making their backdrops something unique and sort of refreshing them from one film to another. Due to this, the period setting of the movies comes across as genuine.
4 Conjuring: Keeping The Pace Steady
This is a major criticism on the part of the Annabelle films, where the action suddenly takes sudden jumps in between subtle moments, with the climax usually coming about out of nowhere. This derails the pacing of the story, with some aspects feeling undermined and rushed.
The Conjuring swerves this by having the pace stay steady in one flow. The format is such that the middle part of the movie seeks to scare the audience while simultaneously educating them about the villain, and it is only in the climactic scenes that the tempo kicks into high gear.
3 Annabelle: Taking A Chance With The Kill Count
Even the Annabelle films haven’t been good when it comes to killing off characters to create tension, but they do it a heck of a lot better than The Conjuring movies, where hardly anyone ever dies.
And while it’s a triumph that the audience is thrilled without the need for deaths to be shown, there really aren’t very high stakes when everyone is safe. In order for the villains to feel like the real deal, at least a death or two (that takes away the life of a prominent character) would mean the characters in The Conjuring actually are in danger.
2 Conjuring: Using The Warrens Right
The Warrens only came around in the Annabelle series with the latest film, but their appearance was a letdown for fans as the marketing didn’t deliver in the end result. The couple only had about five minutes' worth of screentime, and those moments had hardly anything to do with the scares.
Of course, since The Conjuring movies are about these characters they do feature them in almost every scene, but they also don’t promote them in trailers and then not have them appear much in the film itself.
1 Conjuring: Potential For Sequels
You might be inclined to scoff at this point since Annabelle movies currently outnumber The Conjuring series, but we’re talking about the potential here, not how many films we got. Annabelle Comes Home had no real point being made, seeing as the story had nothing to do with anything and was about a singular night where the doll haunted the characters.
It was due to this that a lot of people called it unimportant to the overall storyline, something that The Conjuring films don’t get because they present the potential for more. We’ve seen plotlines from both films be detrimental to the ghost they’re fighting, as well as the characters having enough value for them to be brought forward in sequels.