Sister Irene cautiously enters a chamber where hooded nuns whisper their passages, all looking downward, no faces visible. The camera pans from Sister Irene’s surprised face to the back of her head, so we can see she’s looking at a massive crucifix on the altar where a priest would lead mass. As she looks at Jesus’ corpse nailed to a wooden cross, a shadow rises behind the statue, until it towers over the decorative son of God. If the thing had eyes, it’d be staring directly at Sister Irene.

The shadow turns and starts walking along the abbey’s cold, stony walls — no human figure in sight. Sister Irene watches as the outline strolls over sculpted angels and past the pews, with a figure resembling a nun’s slow procession march. The shadow keeps moving, then disappears in the pitch-blackness of open entryways in the dead of night — only to reappear in a mirror with Sister Irene.

As she watches the figure walk into the mirrored glass, it stops in a spot that should be right behind Sister Irene. The camera swings around, as does Sister Irene, hoping to catch whatever has made its presence known. Of course, there’s nothing. The mirror is now out of sight and to our backs — the miniature cathedral is now empty. A red light shines behind the crucifix that catches Sister Irene’s eye, and that’s when it happens.

A hand reaches out and grabs Sister Irene’s shoulder, and the camera immediately reveals that “The Nun” and other ghostly minions are in the mirror itself, screaming back at the terrified sister. A demonic howl overpowers any music or sound effects, and then the mirror bursts into tiny shards. Sister Irene panics, and the crucifix falls in a clatter. Valak is toying with Sister Irene, using shadowplay to confidently assert its hold over the Vatican agent. It’s a proper slow burn that kicks its jump scare at the perfect moment, leading viewers into an evident and effective trap.

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By mrtrv

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