THE NUN

Cert 15 96mins Stars 3

The fifth in the Conjuring supernatural horror franchise continues its possession of the box office with the addition of cinema’s scariest nun since Julie Andrews started singing.

There’s no Alpine melodies here, but a great deal of high pitched screeching as a demon preys on the devout in rural Romania.

It absolutely doesn’t matter if your nun the wiser about how this film fits in the franchise, it’s best to imagine them as a loosely connected series with each standalone episode introducing a fresh cast and location.

We begin in 1952 with the death of a nun in a convent which stands next to a huge and creepy gothic castle, the sort of place a local Count might call home.

In response the Vatican sends a novice Nun and a war weary priest to establish whether occult forces are at work on the hallowed earth.

Taissa Farmiga is an agreeably bright focus among the murky mist-bound shenanigans, and she’s the younger sister of Vera, who starred as a paranormal investigator in the 2013’s first Conjuring movie.

Acting as her tutor and surrogate father-figure is Demian Bichir as Father Burke, and they’re joined by an amorous French-Canadian farmer turned local guide.

Jonas Bloquet is good fun in the role but his character is a consequence of some occasionally shoddy writing which undermines all the great work of the actors, set designers and special effects wizards.

Fans needn’t worry about a lack of crypts, candles and corpses as we rattle through a script laden with jump scares, sly humorous touches and plenty of Friday night thrills such as beheadings, burials and satanic flagellation.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Conjuring films but I really enjoyed last year’s prequel, Annabelle: Creation, and had fun with The Nun here. This series for me is starting to become an unhealthy habit.

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