Director: Corin Hardy
Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Charlotte Hope, Sandra Teles, August Maturo
Written by: (also story) Gary Dauberman and (story) James Wan
Running Time: 96 mins
Release date: 7th September 2018
Fans of The Conjuring may remember the mentioning of a demonic nun which pops up in both movies. Like Annabelle before it, the makers of the series have decided we need to know where this num comes from. Now we get The Nun, which takes us to how this evil Marilyn Manson-looking woman comes from. After witnessing this, frankly, I don’t care. This is a really boring horror that has a total amount of scares? Nun!
Father Burke has been sent to a nunnery in Romania with novice nun, Sister Irene, to investigate the death of a young nun. With the help from a French Canadian handyman named Frenchie, the three enter this holy place only to discover that it may house the gates of hell and a demonic force.
As the film starts, you get the feeling that this might be taking the same rifts as The Exorcist or The Omen. Sadly, this is a misstep as it soon becomes apparent the filmmakers have no idea how to make a horror film in the style of those classics and instantly head down the now familiar route of jump scares, where around every quiet corner, we are going to get a loud noise and a hand or a face that we weren’t expecting. Except we do expect it.
After the very brief promising start, it becomes a routine affair, filmed in almost total darkness and covered in fog, which worked for the Hammer horrors of the 60’s and 70’s but now seems totally cliched. After 20 minutes, you find yourself looking at your watch and wondering how much longer do we have because this is ponderous and monotonous. We get a succession of set pieces where the three main protagonists are thrown around, buried or running down dark corridors. This happens again. And again. And again. None of which even remotely makes you jump or feel creeped out.
It then becomes apparent that the filmmakers are desperate to evoke a reaction from the audience that they leave logic at the door. The story is a mess, with the lead characters roaming around finding themselves meeting dark figures in even darker parts of the nunnery, or in the case of Father Burke, a previously dead young boy who was possessed and who he tried to exorcist but to no avail. By the time you reach the finale, you fail to care what happens and you just want the credits to roll so you can leave this tripe behind.
The cast does their best with trying to create characters that we can go on a journey with but they are written in such a one-dimensional manner, even the most talented of casts would struggle. Demian Bichir, dressed like Father Carras from The Exorcist, down to the hat, deserves better while Taissa Farmiga, sister to Conjuring star, Vera Farmiga, may look the part but again is let down by a badly underwritten part.
I am bored with these horrors that rely on jump scares. Give me atmosphere, give me creepiness, give me anything else but what’s behind that door. The first Conjuring film wasn’t terrible. The Nun is. Time to lay this series to rest.