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Surely part of the point of creating an Extended Universe tm is that, aside from the marketing angle, you get to create a sandbox; a larger network of shared stories that can each do their own thing. The Nun, the latest in The Conjuring’s EU doesn’t even manage to replicate the earlier movies, let alone strike any new ground.
In 1950’s Romania two of the good type of Catholic (Taissa Farmiga, Damian Bechir) are dispatched by the Emperor Palpatine type of Catholic in the Vatican to investigate the suicide of one of the sisters in an admirably Hammer Horror-esque abbey. What follows is a mystery without any mystery as people walk slowly towards spooky noises before the movie finally regains a smidge of momentum a half hour before the credits.
Corin Hardy, who directed the tidy, Irish folk-body horror The Hallow is in the director’s chair with the franchise’s father, James Wan, overseeing filming as a Producer and Second Unit Director. While Hardy has some gleeful, malevolent flourishes he can’t do all that much when working with paper thin characters and set pieces that feel like Wan’s reheated left overs.
The Conjuring was the pope’s 1979 visit; a successful, blockbuster throwback. The Nun is the pope’s 2018 visit; a mildly embarrassing not-total disaster that reminds you of the need to change things up.