Director: Corin Hardy
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir, Jonas Bloquet and Bonnie Aarons
The third installment of the famed The Conjuring franchise, The Nun, serves as a prequel to the events of the first and second film. Set in 1950s Romania, a young nun commits a violent suicide and so, the Vatican is alerted. Priest Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and American nun-to-be, having not taking her vows yet, Irene (Taissa Farmiga), are sent to the monastery to investigate the suicide. It is revealed that Irene is the younger sister of Vera, from the earlier entries in the franchise.
“This film is exactly the same as many mainstream money-making horror pictures that have come out in recent years, in that it is enjoyable and exciting to watch, but stripped back. It’s actually quite a bad film.”
As soon as they arrive in the disturbed abbey they can sense something sinister is afoot. They are guided to the grounds by the devilishly handsome French-Canadian man ‘Frenchie’, pun intended, (Jonas Bloquet) who lives in a nearby village and who found the hanging corpse outside the monastery. The trio are then confronted by the demon ‘Valak’, taking the appearance of a Nun, who is fervently trying to protect and spread the horrific evil that lies within the monastery.
This film is exactly the same as many mainstream money-making horror pictures that have come out in recent years, in that it is enjoyable and exciting to watch, but stripped back. It’s actually quite a bad film. This is a somewhat surprising, as its predecessors were both exciting films with stable character backgrounds, a balance between horrific and light-hearted moments and well-thought dialogue. However, this horror picture just went that step too far. The Nun fell into the trap that many horror films lay for themselves and that directors need to know: you can’t rely solely on jump scares to scare the audience. The over-reliance of jump scares is just lazy and there is about two thousand of them in this film. They’re more annoying than frightening.
“Many recent horror films explore demonic forces but never the religious background and The Nun really hones in on the religious element to paranormal activity.”
Another point that can be made against this film is that the mood incredibly unstable. One minute ‘Frenchie’ is making sexual advances towards Irene and delivering cheesy one-liners and the next minute the audience are meant to be wrapped up in a moment of prayer and allegiance to God. It’s difficult to decipher what the film is all about because the atmosphere is constantly shifting.
The in-depth exploration of religious evil forces is a commendable feature of this film. Many recent horror films explore demonic forces but never the religious background. The Nun really hones in on the religious element to paranormal activity.
In a nutshell: An acceptable horror picture that will get old after the fifth jump-scare.