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The Nun (2018) - Movie Review

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The Nun (2018) - Movie Review

3 stars

When it comes to matters of horror, religion will always be mined.  Life and death and the quest for what’s on the other side, right?

The Nun, the latest spinoff from The Conjuring series, has been spooking people with its trailers for quite some time.  The film; however, is not quite the well-polished and packaged house of haunts you might be expecting.  Which sucks, I know, BUT that does not mean the film is a total loss.  It isn’t.  The creep factor, thanks to its fog-soaked location in Romania, is very strong – in spite of all the needless jump scares – and makes for an entertaining night out at the movies and, for fans of The Conjuring series, another piece of the puzzle.

"For all of its faults, though, The Nun still gets my blessing."


 

American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga stars as Sister Irene, an American nun with the ability to see things, much like Lorraine Warren (Vera Farminga).  Set 20 years prior to the first Conjuring movie, Sister Irene's introduction here is to fight a very old demon.  She accompanies Father Burke (Demián Bichir) to investigate the supernatural (and deadly) events at Cârța Monastery involving two other sisters.  The discovery of a mysterious key and a dead nun sitting up right – when she was placed at rest on her back – leads to a closer look at the dark origins of the abbey. 

Turns out, the second World War and all its bombings woke an ancient evil from its place of imprisonment: Valak, the defiler, the profane, the Marquis of Snakes.  Perhaps you have heard of it before?

The abbey, full of dark and murky rooms, was built during the Dark Ages by a duke who was absolutely obsessed with the occult and the sisters there are praying nonstop.  They have to or else that which was sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ will slip out into the world.  What they are protecting themselves from is truly terrifying and, with assistance from Jonas Bloquet as Maurice "Frenchie" Theriault, the escaped evil has a chance at being secured again.  But can it be?

For about a third of its 90-minute running time, The Nun gets it right.  This production nails its gothic location with a shine toward rich details and heavy atmosphere.  We feel uneasy and almost always terrified.  But, when the jump scares begin to roll in, the footing on the slow burn front also slips.  What began as rich as say a Hammer film from the 1960s quickly crosses us with modern day gimmicks, proving that The Nun will not be the wraithlike film you want it to be. 

Screenwriter Gary Dauberman (It, and Annabelle: Creation) can set a stage well enough.  He can also wipe it clean with some unnecessary characters and clichés.  Thankfully, director Corin Hardy keeps a tight hold on the blasphemous reigns of this one.  The Nun, when it isn’t riding off the rails, excels at imagery exploitation – especially toward religious symbols.  Upside down crosses burst into flames.  Abbeys are turned into freak shows where ghost boys and demons float about.  We even get a moment where Father Burke gets buried alive!

The Nun (2018) - Movie Review

But, for every plus, the minus feels somehow greater.  Go in with the right attitude and you will be fine and probably enjoy the spirited events of the entity known as Valak has in store for you.  The connection to The Conjuring is also appreciated.  Full of some well-worn clichés, The Nun features what you have come to love and loath about the genre and this makes some parts of The Nun intentionally amusing.

For all of its faults, though, The Nun still gets my blessing.

The Nun (2018) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images.
Runtime:
96 mins
Director
: Corin Hardy
Writer:
Gary Dauberman
Cast:
Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Pray For Forgiveness.
Memorable Movie Quote: "What's the opposite of a miracle, Father?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: https://www.thenunmovie.com/
Release Date:
September 7, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

The Nun (2018) - Movie Review

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The Nun (2018) - Movie Review

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