The Nun Movie

Do you know how sometimes a horror movie will have different scary appearances, and how it really doesn’t matter why these particular images were chosen, the point is just to be scary? But then, you know how a horror movie sometimes makes a lot of money, so Warner Bros. do you hire sequels, prequels and spin-offs to provide the backstory for everything, even if a backstory isn’t needed?

It’s “The Nun,” a prequel to “The Conjuring” that explains where the demonic nun saw Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) in “The Conjuring 2.” You don’t have to watch any of these movies to understand it. You don’t even have to see it to understand it. In 1952, a Catholic priest (obviously tormented by his past) and a sister from the Novitiate are sent by the Vatican to investigate the self-destruction of a nun in a Romanian monastery with leaves where an ancient evil is located. Variations of “this place is no longer sacred!”it represents about 30 percent of the dialogue.

Father Burke (Demi Gracrin Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga, Vera’s little sister) are taken to the ruined convent by Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), a French-Canadian villager who delivers supplies every week and found the body. He has been making deliveries for two years, but he has never seen anyone leave the place until he saw Sister Mary hanging from the window at the end of a rope, which hardly matters. Frenchie makes fun of Sister Irene and is nervous enough about scary things to be a little strange.

It follows the usual crazy business, with a touch of atmosphere from Corin Hardy (whose 2015 debut was best “the Hallow”), written by Gary Dauberman (who wrote the other “Conjuring” spin-offs “Annabelle” and “Annabelle: Creation”). There are some disturbing images, a zombie nun, a snake coming out of a child’s mouth, but it’s hard to know right now if they are real or hallucinatory, so we never know how dangerous the characters really are. The story offers no horrors or surprises (except for things that suddenly come out of corners), but it ticks the boxes without actively offending your intelligence. If you want higher praise, sorry, get a nun.

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