Nun too happy.
I remember watching the Conjuring back in 2013. It was a breath of fresh air – and the first horror film I’d given a rave review to in quite a while.
Cut to just five years later and The Nun is the fifth offering in Warner Bros’ Conjuring Universe.
With the spin-offs generally regarded as inferior compared to their predecessor, you could argue ‘why keep making them?’ Regardless of quality, they make the studio a ton of money – that’s why!
The Nun recently became the biggest opener for the franchise at the UK and US box-office. It’s a success financially, but is it any good?
Set in 1952, the story begins with a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania taking her own life. To investigate the cause of this mysterious death, the Vatican sends Father Anthony Burke (The Hateful Eight and Alien: Covenant’s Demian Bichir) along with a novitiate named Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who hasn’t taken her final vows yet.
They are led to the abbey by a local man Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who was the person that discovered the ‘hanged’ sister. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorised audiences in The Conjuring 2, as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.
The movie’s setting is perfect for a horror. The Nun’s decaying monastery is home to dark hallways, eerie statues and grand rooms lit only by flickering candles. Credit to Jennifer Spence for the production design and Maxime Alexandre for the cinematography – both of whom make excellent use of shadow and light, resulting in a visually stunning film. However, with the monastery being as large as it is (think Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) did we really have to keep seeing the same 4 or 5 rooms throughout?
We get scraps of character development with our three protagonists but we never really learn enough about them to become invested. Even the Nun’s motives are unclear beyond her wanting to possess someone.
And speaking of the Nun (the demon Valak – played by Bonnie Aarons), she provides a few effective scares – particularly when she’s lurking in the background. Although I feel that her presence had more of an effect on me when I first saw her in The Conjuring 2. With two years having passed since then, we’re all too familiar with what she looks like and as a result, I didn’t get the ‘goosebumps’ she’d given me before.
In conclusion, director Corin Hardy’s movie (based on a screenplay by IT and Annabelle writer Gary Dauberman) is creepily atmospheric with enough jump scares to keep you entertained enough.
However, if you like a well-written script and characters with depth alongside your scares, you’ll likely walk out of the screening disappointed – as this sadly offers absolutely nothing inventive whatsoever.
Cast: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons & Jonas Bloquet
Running Time: 1 Hr 36 Mins
Director: Corin Hardy
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