There’s nothing quite like a good haunted house movie to get your blood pumping, and one of the best recent films set in a spooky old house is The Conjuring (2013). Thanks to its based-on-a-true-story hook and creepy twists, The Conjuring became a massive hit that spawned a universe of interconnected movies, including two sequels and several spinoffs like The Nun (2018) and Annabelle (2014). Given how lucrative the franchise is, it’s not too hard to find new movies like The Conjuring when you’re looking for a scary horror film to keep you up at night — but there are quite a few classics you can turn to as well.
Even casual scary movie fans have probably noticed Hollywood goes through phases when it comes to horror movies. For instance, the late ’90s saw a resurgence of slasher films thanks to Scream (1996), while the early aughts ushered in a trend of remaking Japanese horror movies like The Ring (2002) and The Grudge (2004). The success of The Conjuring is thanks in part to its old-school charms… err, make that scares. Based on the investigations of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, the movie harkened back to simpler times within the horror genre when a creaking door and a specter lurking at the corner of the screen could leave viewers jumping out of their seats.
As a result, there exist plenty of pre-Conjuring and post-Conjuring movies that make for perfect viewing after you have watched all three of the primary films in The Conjuring universe. From the original 1979 version of The Amityville Horror (another movie inspired by one of the Warrens’ cases) to Netflix’s recent sleeper hit The Strange House (2020), the movies on this list are full of creepy houses, demonic possessions, and all manner of things that go bump in the night. One thing is certain, though — any one of these movies is sure to give The Conjuring fans the goosebumps they crave.
The Conjuring Fans Will Love These Haunting Movies
1. Poltergeist (1982)
While Poltergeist inspired two sequels and a remake, you should stick with the original for maximum scares. Set in a seemingly normal suburban neighborhood, Poltergeist pioneered the idea that ghosts can find you anywhere — even in a picturesque, modern community. The story follows the Freeling family, who take too long to realize something isn’t right with their home. By the time they’ve figured out they’re dealing with malevolent spirits, their youngest, Carol Anne, has already disappeared, seemingly within the walls of the house.
2. Paranormal Activity (2007)
Found footage films are another Hollywood specialty, but few of them are quite as effective as Paranormal Activity. Once again, the setting of this haunting is an entirely average house. Much like the family in The Conjuring, the young couple at the center of the movie isn’t too bothered by the strange occurrences at first, but as the disturbances escalate, so does the movie’s masterful ability to build up an unbearable level of tension. Made on a shoestring budget, this scary movie is proof that you don’t need constant jump scares to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
3. The Amityville Horror (1979)
Interestingly, The Amityville Horror is also based on one of the Warrens’ cases, although the movie predates The Conjuring by several decades. The film features many of the same themes as the first film of The Conjuring franchise: A young family moves into their dream house only to discover it is home to a potentially demonic presence who wants them out faster than you can say Zillow. The primary difference is the demon sets its sights on the dad in the ’70s film, while the mom is the target in The Conjuring.
4. Insidious (2010)
Directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson, it’s no surprise Insidious gives out major The Conjuring vibes. In the movie, a couple’s son becomes the target of evil spirits, leaving his parents to search for a way to save him from nefarious influences. (And hey, if you like this one, there are three other films in the series you can watch, too.)
5. The Skeleton Key (2005)
This underrated movie starring Kate Hudson takes place at a plantation house where a hospice worker gets forced to confront the home’s dark past. As she cares for her patient, a man who has recently suffered a stroke, she becomes obsessed with researching the plantation’s history — and the unsettling superstitions the owners still believe to this day.
Even More Scary Movies Like The Conjuring To Watch
- Annabelle (2014)
- The Nun (2018)
- The Woman in Black (2012)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- Mama (2013)
- Lights Out (2016)
- The Haunting (1999)
- The Awakening (2011)
- Veronica (2017)
- The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
- The Turning (2020)
- Ghost Stories (2017)
- Sinister (2012)
- Winchester (2018)
- The Witch (2015)
- The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
- The Grudge (2004)
- Malevolent (2018)
- The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
- Dark Water (2005)
- 1408 (2007)
- Hereditary (2018)
- The Changeling (1980)
- The Strange House (2020)
- Oculus (2013)
- The Ring (2002)
- Girl On The Third Floor (2019)
- The Possession (2012)
- The Orphanage (2007)
- Ouija (2014)
- The House of the Devil (2009)
- The Babadook (2014)
- The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
- Things Seen & Heard (2021)
- His House (2020)
- Doctor Sleep (2019)