A novice on the verge of taking her vows (Taissa Farmiga) and a priest with a nasty skeleton rattling around in his rectory (Demián Bichir) travel to Romania to investigate the suicide of a young nun. According to Corin Hardy (The Hallow), repetition is the key to squeezing cold sweat out of an audience. When not bleeding schlock-shocks, the director gooses his narrative by enveloping his candle/lantern-toting characters with circular pans that climax in something behind them going, “Boo!” As franchise extensions go, this is a mystery without an ending, so don’t waste time trying to conjure up any inner-dialogue. Is it scary? Were it not for sudden blasts of Dolby fury, there would be nothing to provide shocks, let alone scares. What terrifies most is the complete and utter lack of plot. And make room for deity: the “blood-of-Christ-spit-take” that rings down the curtain is the biggest laugh I’ve had in a theatre this year. Spoiler alert: The Nun will live to stalk another sequel — providing this turns a profit. (2018) — Scott Marks
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