You may recall the title character popping up in The Conjuring 2 for no other reason than to tease this spinoff, and the nun’s presence doesn’t make any more sense now than it did then—and 96 minutes is a lot of time to spend on something that adds up to nothing. Inasmuch as I can tell, the story is about a Romanian castle that was a gateway for evil, saved from said evil by crafty Knights Templar, then turned into an abbey—you know, normal Catholic stuff. But the evil bubbling behind a locked basement door is just waiting for a human vessel to carry it into the real world. Will it be Father Burke (Demián Bichir), “Frenchie” (Jonas Bloquet) or Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga)? You’ll guess before the credits roll, but you’ll spend most of the running time wondering why Farmiga, who looks almost exactly like older sister Vera (Lorraine Warren in the Conjuring universe) isn’t playing the same character. All the smoke, mirrors and things that go bump in the night in the world can’t answer that question, but it’s the biggest takeaway from this piece of crap.
Director: Corin Hardy
Producer: James Wan, Peter Safran, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Todd Williams
Cast: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Charlotte Hope, Sandra Teles, Maria Obretin, August Maturo, Jack Falk, Lynnette Gaza, Ani Sava, Michael Smiley, Gabrielle Downey, David Horovitch and Tudor Munteanu