‘The Nun’ (2018)
New Line Cinema
Directed by: Corin Hardy
Written by: Gary Dauberman & James Wan
Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet & Bonnie Aarons.
Fall is nearly here and, with it, the oncoming slew of horror films that inevitably hit theaters for the season. ‘The Nun‘ is due out this weekend and looks to have all of the makings of another solid entry into “The Conjuring Universe” series. This movie is slated to be a sort of prequel for the film group and reveals the origins of the demonic nun who was introduced in 2016’s ‘The Conjuring 2.’
The story begins in an isolated abbey in the remote regions of Romania in 1952. Two nuns seek to gain access to a religious relic that will put an end to the unholy occurrences that plague them. After one of the pair is attacked and killed by an unseen entity, the remaining nun leaps from an upstairs window to hang herself as a means of preventing the spirit from using her body as a vessel to escape into the outside world. Her body is discovered the following morning by a villager named Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) whose job it is to deliver food and supplies to the abbey. The Vatican receives word of the nun’s suicide and dispatches a priest named Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and a young novitiate named Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate and to make sure the abbey is “still Holy.” It quickly becomes evident that a powerful evil has taken hold of the abbey and their only hope is to discover the location of the religious artifact that will allow them to banish the malevolent presence once and for all.
The movie that started this series (‘The Conjuring’) remains, in my opinion, one of the scariest movies to come out in over a decade. Some movies in this connected universe have been less solid than others, but all have been worth the price of admission. ‘The Nun’ is certainly more “hit” than “miss” as it delivers many bone-chilling scares and ghastly imagery. I could have done without a few bits of dialogue that were obviously meant as mild attempts at levity but, since I don’t recall such moments in any of the other movies in this series, they seemed completely out of place here and, instead, only served to bring me slightly out of the moment. The acting is phenomenal and both Demian Bichir and Taissa Farmiga seem to completely embody their roles as they do a wonderful job of building the tension in their scenes with just a subtle look or a change in their body language. Jonas Bloquet does quite well for his part but, from time-to-time, just lacks the gravitas of the other two stars. Director Corin Hardy does a fine job of setting the table upon which the action takes place and the scenes ooze a terrifying atmosphere as the film breezes through it’s brisk 1 hour and 36 minute run. While ‘The Nun’ lacked that real pulse-pounding punch that ‘The Conjuring‘ and ‘Annabelle Creation‘ managed to deliver to me, I still found it a very worthwhile film and among the better of “The Conjuring Universe” offerings. One a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say ‘The Nun’ scares up a very solid 7. Make sure to get out and see it at your local theater this weekend and pray that your soul can survive the experience!!