THE CONJURING this is not!
What I loved most about the Nun when I first saw her was the mystery. The darkened intrigue of, “What the fu..?!” I’m an avid believer that the most interesting thing about something or someone is knowing absolutely nothing about it or them. With the Nun, there was no explanation. However, her sinister looks and behavior were absolutely petrifying. With very little, a lot was accomplished. In an instant she became a horror persona. The idea that something held as sacred and pure as a nun could be marinated in an evil, supernatural way disturbs on many levels.
Audiences had their pantalones frightened off when they caught a glimpse of the demonic Nun Valak (A freakish cameo I thought was played by Marilyn Manson), who plagued Lorraine Warren’s (Vera Farmiga) visions and filled her with dread in the horror hit THE CONJURING 2. Making a scary name for herself, the unholy evil in holy guise is back in the horror thriller THE NUN, directed by Corin Hardy, the latest chapter from James Wan’s bone-chilling series, with an entire piece dedicated to the origin of her terrifying existence. In THE NUN, the epic battle between good and evil pits a priest with a haunted past (Demián Bichir) and a novitiate (Taissa Farmiga) whose own past isn’t the only thing that haunts her against the blasphemy that is the Demon Nun (played by Bonnie Aarons).
The overall story-line of the demonic nun was interesting, freakish and fun venturing into. Tie it in with cool visuals and scenery, a spine-rattling score, and a cast of naive souls doing “the work of the lord,” and you’ve got enough spooky set-up to keep you intrigued. The problem is that’s all you get. A spooky set-up. While it runs high on the creep-o-meter, set-up never becomes spectacle. Relying on jump-scares, it gets to a point where it becomes predictable. So much, it morphs into comedic effect. No bueno for a film that’s supposed to scare its audience rather than make it laugh.
The evil nun, like Annabelle, is missing that deep, dark and uncomfortable psychological pizzazz granted to us during their quick yet, sinister introductions — and that sucks! Spinoffs, for some reason, never live up to its original exposures. Therefore, expect her to creep up on your sanity, but never really hijack it as boldly as she did in CONJURING 2. Overall, it’s not a total loss. There’s some method to her madness. I’m just disappointed the film came off more like it’d been dipped in holy water rather than charred by the flames of Hell.
Grade: C+ / Genre: Horror, Thriller / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:36
Starring: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquest, Bonnie Aarons
Directed by: Corin Hardy