The Nun is directed by Corin Hardy and is the fifth installment, also known as the third prequel, in Warner Bros’ Conjuring Universe. Taking place in a 1952 Romania, a nun in training and a priest with a haunted past are assigned to investigate the death of a young nun in the Vatican. Spooky things begin to happen to them and we have a horror movie.
I’ve actually really enjoyed this franchise. Aside from the first Annabelle, Conjurings 1 & 2 and Annabelle: Creation are films that demonstrate the understanding of how to build tension correctly with the usage of smart editing and lighting. They’re just fun, “spookhouse” flicks fueled by creativity and a strong narrative.
Which is why it’s a shame that this newest addition is only able to nail one out of the two qualities that makes the franchise work. The Nun understands how to create atmosphere, but lacks logic through its already thinly-written story along the way.
The one constant that has remained intact throughout the entire Conjuring franchise is using its environment to its advantage. Say what you will about Annabelle, but even that film knew how create an eerie vibe and built somewhat tension.
It’s hard to gauge how uneasy an individual gets when watching a horror movie because we’re all different, but I would say The Nun is able to build a decent amount of tension with its ghostly set-pieces and that’s basically the film’s backbone.
In addition to its atmosphere, the lead performances in Taissa Farmiga and Demián Bichir are also serviceable to the film. Granted both of their characters aren’t given that much attention in regards to how they were written, but with what they had to work with, they made the most out of the script.
Easily, the biggest offense of The Nun is that it is a film basically deprived of story. Instead of focusing on telling a concrete narrative, the film opts out of that in favor of just being a loud-noise fest. Essentially, we’re just following these punching bag-like characters through elaborate pranks courtesy of these random demonic forces.
It’s just one telegraphed jump scare after another. Horror movies are always going to have a scene where the sound drains out and its followed with a loud burst of sound, that’s to be expected. But it has to be earned, it has to be built-up creatively, and it has to be scary above all else. It’s just not the case with The Nun.
The Nun is a step backwards for Conjuring Universe. The film comes off too conventional and predictable as it coasts by off its creepy, dark atmosphere. It’s just a by-the-numbers scary movie that isn’t up to par with the franchise and really not worth the time of any horror aficionado.
I’m going to give The Nun a “D+” as my final take. If you’re a diehard fan of the Conjuring movies and you really want to see it out of curiosity, go for it. The film ties the universe all together, albeit a messy knot at that.
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.
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