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Taissa Farmiga, centre, stars as Sister Irene in The Nun.

Martin Maguire/Warner Bros. Pictures

  • The Nun
  • Written by Gary Dauberman
  • Directed by Corin Hardy
  • Starring Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir and Jonas Bloquet
  • Classification 14A; 96 minutes

rating

Those wooden crosses surrounding the ancient Romanian abbey are meant to keep the evil in, not out. Duh-duh! The grounds are no longer holy. Duh-duh! Scream queen Taissa Farmiga sure looks like a younger version of her much older sister Vera. Duh-duh? The latest edition in Warner Bros.’ skin-crawling Conjuring franchise is The Nun, a dimly lit, demon-in-the-convent, oil-lamps-in-the graveyard semi-delight. Ostensibly set in 1952, the horror prequel directed by Corin Hardy (The Hallow) doesn’t bother with any modernity. To investigate a suicidal happening in a remote convent, the miracle-hunting demon-whisperer, Father Burke (played by Demian Bichir), and the plucky, young Sister Irene (an excellent Farmiga) travel the countryside by horsepower. Transylvanian-style locals spit at the mere mention of a castle-set nunnery that has no electricity. So, an old-school look, a spooky choral soundtrack and a distinctly Draculian vibe. Filling out the main cast is Belgian Jonas Bloquet, who bizarrely employs an inexplicable accent in his portrayal of a strapping French-Canadian charmer. The plot is simple, the character development is lazy and the use of the oh-my-God-there’s-someone-right-behind-you device is tiring. Still, the premise is sound. Evil in the church – who would have thought? Duh-duh!

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