The Reel Review

D+

This period horror, set in 1952 at a Romanian convent, is the prequel to the 2016 horror/thriller, The Conjuring 2. The plot is straightforward enough – The Vatican sends a priest (Demián Bichir) and an aspiring nun (Taissa Farmiga) to a cloistered abbey to investigate the apparent suicide of a nun. Not surprisingly, minutes after they arrive, all hell breaks loose as they realize a demonic force is among them. The spooky setting at Romania’s impressive Corvin Castle and the creepy score set the stage for what looks like it will be a promising horror flick. There’s just one thing missing – a story. After the first half hour, director Corin Hardy (The Hallow – our review: https://www.thereelness.com/film/the-hallow/) tries to distract us from this slapped-together garbage script with a frenetic onslaught of special effects, peppered with ill-timed humor and corny one-liners that, like a poorly-conceived haunted house carnival ride, elicits not scares, but only eye rolls, groans and giggles. The only decent part of this pathetic film is the end when it reveals its connection to The Conjuring 2. Boo.

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