Directed by: Corin Hardy
Screenplay by: Gary Dauberman
Story by: James Wan & Gary Dauberman
Produced by: Peter Safran, p.g.a, James Wan, p.g.a
Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons.
After first making her presence known in, ‘The Conjuring 2’, audiences were left wondering where the demonic being, Nun Valak (Bonnie Aarons) originated. Here, The Nun is set in 1952 , Romania where screen writer Gary Dauberman (“IT,” the “Annabelle” films) explores the beginnings of this force dripping with evil, leaking its way out of the chasm beneath the cloister where nuns pray a repeating Prayer of Protection while being isolated from the rest of the world.
Director Corin Hardy makes full use of filming in the dark 14th-century castles of Romania, including the Abby of St. Carta, with tunnels beneath the surface creating shadows and inescapable hallways as Father Burke (Demian Bichir), Sister Irene, novitiate on the threshold of her final vow (Taissa Farmiga), and local villager Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) investigate the suicide of a nun.
The more they dig, the more horror they find buried beneath the surface, so to speak.
I had high hopes for, The Nun after the introduction of this terrifying being in, The Conjuring 2. But instead of the build-up and surprising evolution of terror, here we have moments of panning like pregnant moments in a day-time soap opera. Instead of building to climax, the moments were just… left…
The flowing shadows of spectres and bell-ringing from graves set the scene, and the believable and wide-eyed Sister Irene answered some of our questions about The Nun. But I was left with more questions unanswered about the murder of nuns who were left murderous without explanation.
I’m glad we weren’t left with a psycho exorcist film which really could have been a focus here, with all the Catholicism and crosses and well, possessed nuns. But there were red-herrings and loose threads that just didn’t pull the story together well enough to be truly scary. Long moments left to drift didn’t make suspense. And the overreliance of the scare-factor of the evil nuns made the nuns not so scary.
I liked that there was no digitisation used to create the spectre of The Nun; and there was some clever camera work using a Steadicam for Sister Irene versus handheld for Father Burke. But for me Corin Hardy as director didn’t manage the subtle, corner-of-your-eye moments where The Nun appears like she’s been created out of your subconscious. So there was that missing creeping under the skin that Wan manages to create with the early instalments of Insidious and The Conjuring series.
And weaving back to ‘The Conjuring-Verse’ made The Nun feel more like the Annabelle series than a Conjuring Part 3 – which didn’t make it terrible, just not as good as it could have been.
© GoMovieReviews 2015-2018
Images not owned by GoMovieReviews are used for promotional or illustrative purposes and their copyright remains the property of the original owner.