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REVIEW: The Nun is Gleefully Spooky and Surprisingly Fun

With Fall officially on its way and the Halloween season fast approaching, movie theaters are taking a turn for the spooky with the latest entry into the Conjuring Universe: The Nun -- and, well, if you're looking for a way to get into the holiday mood, you really don't need to look any further.

As the fifth entry into the Conjuring franchise, director Corin Hardy's The Nun has a lot of room to work. Following a loosely Marvel-like methodology of spin offs and call backs weaving a web of continuity across multiple films, there are some things here that require a bit of prerequisite knowledge -- most of which the movie works to establish with bookended scenes that call back to both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. That said, if you're not a Conjuring expert, that's okay -- you don't really need to be. Hardy, with the aid of writers James Wan and Gary Dauberman, have succeeded in making something that, by and large, does stand on its own.

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The movie centers around Father Burke (Demian Bicher) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), an unlikely duo sent by the vatican to investigate a mysterious suicide at a remote monastery in Romania. Burke is what's known informally as a "miracle hunter" -- someone employed by the Church to investigate unusual occurrences, while Irene is a nun-in-training (she's yet to take her official vows) who got the attention of the Vatican as a child after having a series of strange, seemingly prophetic visions. Burke and Irene meet up with "Frenchie" (Jonas Bloquet) a Canadian expat and globe trotter who lives in the village and who found the body of the nun who had committed suicide.

Predictably, things start going south almost immediately with a rash of spooky occurrences that escalate in intensity all throughout Burke and Irene's investigation. The monastery itself, the locals say, is cursed; full of some nameless and pervasive evil that has slowly begun leaking out into the town itself. Said evil manifests in any number of ways: actual zombie-like monsters, hallucinations, horrible nightmare visions, innocuous creep-out moments like ghostly radios playing -- you name it. The Nun has scares-a-plenty.

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