Colin Hardy directs Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir and Jonas Bloquet in this horror spin-off from The Conjuring series where another demonic side character gets their shadowy, jumpy origin story.
Hollow yet diverting time waster. Unoriginal yet cartoonishly atmospheric. Reds and brown and greys waft starkly at your eyeballs. Something quivers in the shadows or jerks from a side of the screen you were distracted from. Keep your eye on the lady. Catholic iconography sacrilege for set dressing. You are never bored but a horror with an ensemble of three (all of whom seem destined to walk away unharmed) is hardly going to shake the soul or chill the bone. Valak, the big bad, is underdeveloped… she was more a force to be reckoned with in The Conjuring 2. The embodiment of pure evil lashes out but never wounds. To have your monster favour throttling and chucking people away to safety from herself rather than destroying them when they are trapped in her clutches is frustratingly mundane. Looks like a nightmare. Plays like a water treader.