Being a horror flick freak, I did not have much expectation on The Nun. I wondered to myself if the movie would turn out to be Annabelle-level bad or Annabelle: Creation-level good.
In the film, a priest, Father Burke (Demián Bichir) with a haunted past and a novice nun Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) are sent to the Abbey of St. Carta in Romania during the early 1950s to investigate a young nun’s mysterious suicide. Together, the two uncover the abbey’s unholy secret. They will then have to risk their lives, faith and souls to confront a wicked force in the form of a demonic nun.
The movie is a spin-off of 2016’s The Conjuring 2 and the fifth instalment in The Conjuring Universe franchise. This has become an entirely successful one next to Avengers cinematic universe. And I’m pretty sure even James Wan did not expect his $20m-budgeted The Conjuring to be “the next Iron Man,” but that’s what happened.
However, this episode didn’t really made a stand. It is too mediocre, or even below the par line. The writers, James Wan and Gary Dauberman could have boosted up the existing success if only the story was not so cliche. It would have been a better movie if the story line was further explored.
The movie basically just ran wild with its jump scare tactics (which has been overly used in almost all horror movies). Every religious exorcism scene loops the same narrative, where the hero character is faced with a demonic presence, they try to…just pray the evil away and it doesn’t work. Well, it did happen in the climax scene where the sisters were praying fearlessly to keep the demon Nun at bay but were still attacked. It’s enough of an irony that we can see it coming from a mile away.
For the character build up, The Nun did not evoke any intense and lasting emotional responses from the audience when the protagonist were in trouble. In my opinion, I felt Frenchie, the delivery guy who first encountered the dead nun, had more character than the others. He was terrified as well, but coming in to Father Burke’s rescue towards the end was like watching a superhero movie.
This movie has given me a fantasy flick feel when it introduces the use of relic of the Christ’s blood. Which gave a fresh and interesting twist, so you’d probably enjoy the introduction of this. Also, there are scenes that definitely have the feel of an ‘Indiana Jones’ or ‘The Mummy’ adventure which makes it a different experience from the other films in The Conjuring Universe.
Overall, I personally don’t think this was a necessary spin-off to the series because it brought in such little connection to The Conjuring. Sometimes, less is more and building on audience’s curiosity with the whole mystery of the franchise maybe could have benefited the series in a better way.