The Nun is a Dud

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Erik Mauro

The Nun may have been one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. The Nun, a spin-off of The Conjuring 2, is being shown in local theaters and if you are a horror fan, you will probably end up seeing it. However, talking to other horror fans that have seen it, they have come out highly disappointed.

The Nun, another installment in The Conjuring universe, may have easily been the worst of the five films so far. The Conjuring Universe is a series of films that focus on the real-life encounters of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorriane Warren. Focusing on a character that was introduced in The Conjuring 2, the film itself did not do a very good job of furthering the story of Valak.

Set in 1952 Romania, the movie follows two characters–a priest and a future Nun who are sent to investigate the deaths of two nuns at an abbey. Valak inhabits the hallways of the abbey and was responsible for the deaths of the two other nuns inside. The plot is there for the first half of the movie but disappears during the second half focusing on the turmoil of the two investigators.

Aside from the very flawed plot line, the scene setting does a nice job of setting the mood. Crows crowing when danger is near, the abbey is all run down and looks deserted. Those are common themes in horror movies to signal danger and distress.

Watching this in the theater felt like the crew just slapped scenes together and sent it out. There is an over-reliance on jump scares, a signature of horror films. Fans of the genre will tell you that’s what they like the most, but when it’s every single camera turn it gets predictable and repetitive and makes for a boring movie. Of course, The Nun is the only full-length spin-off movie in The Conjuring universe–it should have been expected that it wasn’t on the same level of the regular films.

Most horror movies you watch have at least one character that the viewer gravitates to and root for to come through in the end. The Nun didn’t have that. I did not find this movie engaging with the audience at all. It’s a bunch of camera turns and jump scares, there is nothing that really brings the audience in.

Part of the reason for that may be the acting, as Taissa Farmiga made her big screen debut. Farmiga is the younger sister of the more famous Vera Farmiga, who you may know from the first two installments of The Conjuring, The Boy in Striped Pajamas and the TV series Bates Motel among others. Vera Farmiga appears in The Nun in some archived footage as a flashback, showing how Valak first came into the picture.

The film has grossed $174 million dollars at the box office, making it a popular choice to watch if you’re just looking for something to do. Plus, if you have seen all the other installments in the series, then you should see this one, for consistency’s sake, of course.