When a nun commits suicide at a remote abbey in Romania, the Vatican sends a priest and a young nun to investigate. When they arrive, a local man tells them of an evil that lurks at the abbey. He takes them to the remote location where they have difficulty speaking to the nuns about the situation. Soon, they discover the abbey’s true purpose and are caught up in the grand plans of an ancient evil entity fighting to get free. To stop it, they must find a sacred relic and cast the demon back into hell.
2018, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 36 mins
Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet
Directed by: Corin Hardy
Fans of The Conjuring franchise will certainly enjoy this prequel that takes place in 1952. It captures all the elements of the classic possession horror flick and executes them extremely well. Boo moments are aplenty and if you watch the film in the dark as I did, it’s better not to hold a drink in your hand. The location shots, sets, and sound design all mix perfectly to create a creepy mood that permeates the entire movie. The audience doesn’t get a break with humor or even a single moment when the main characters aren’t in some sort of danger. The evil is represented by various forms that are all gruesome without resorting to over-the-top gore. There is violence, but it isn’t just gore for gore’s sake. Director Corin Hardy strikes a perfect balance to create a scary experience for all.
The picture is as dark and murky as the material it portrays. Many shadow details descend into the mist and distant objects sometimes become soft. Color is cold and grey throughout with bright highlights like the nun’s white habits. The red shade used for blood almost becomes black at times in the subdued lighting.
Audio is the star of this release. The mix is Dolby Atmos but I watched it using the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. Surround effects are truly epic, and I jumped several times when sounds came from the sides and behind. The LFE track plumbs the depths and will rattle the windows if your sub is beefy enough. Mine plays flat to 13Hz and it bottomed out several times.
Bonus features total about 30 minutes and include a timeline of The Conjuring series, behind-the-scenes footage of several location shots, and a short documentary about the practical effects used in the film. You also get deleted scenes and trailers for other Warner Brothers films.