Director: Corin Hardy.
Starring. Taissa Farmigna, Demian Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Jonas Bloquet. USA. 1h 36m.
Supposedly the most terrifying chapter of the Conjuring Universe!! *queue the dramatic music* We have the NUN!!! *queue lightning and scary sound effects* But they say that about every new Conjuring related movie.
The Conjuring turned out to be a pretty decent horror movie a touch of class and a dash of “run of the mill” but overall it had a mix of scares and thrills which really enthralled it’s audience, detailing a real life couple who get their pleasures from investigating hauntings and other paranormal events. In their debut they mentioned Annabelle, a haunted doll unlike any other, and her short creepy clip gave way to a full length movie, which did ok, my only gripe is that it really should have featured a doll which resembled the original. But after the abysmal rendition of the Enfield haunting which was subject of the Conjuring 2, a new unrelated character got shoehorned into the mix, a rather scary Nun, and now she has her centre stage, but sadly she doesn’t get to play much in her own film.
Billed as a film to uncover the mysteries and origins of the Nun, the film pretty much fails and falls flat, flounders for an hour and dies.. This boring and lethargic backstory see a young novitiate Nun, team up with a Canadian traveller and a Catholic Priest to investigate some curious goings surrounding a suicide at the cloistered abbey in the misty rolling hills of Romania.
Everything that you you’d expect happens, and the film refuses to give up anything new or better. The young novice nun, Sister Irene (Farminga) is porcelain perfect, butter wouldn’t melt in her pure of pure mouth, which makes her a target for the big bad scary monster Nun, Father Burke (Bichir) is stereotypically a bit rough around the edges, both fall for all the horror cliches and you know who’s going to be walking out the door.
The “fear” is created by faceless nuns wondering about the halls of the abbey with the off bit of badly timed screeching, there’s one stand out scene when Father Burke (Bichir) gets duped by dark forces and ends up being taunted by a boy he couldn’t save,the result is him being buried alive in the church yard, but somehow the 6 stone trainee nun manages to use her psychic powers to search him out and the tiny framed , scared girl, digs him up in about 2 minutes flat and just in the nick of time.. like WOAH WTAF!
From time to time the film does look dark and gothic and it’s pretty enough to sit through but in terms of common sense and intelligent thrills, it’s just not up to scratch, which is even a bigger drawback as the imagery of the Nun is quite powerful and the Conjuring universe, even on a bad usually manages to create a sense of fear and can be creepy when given a chance.
Often it feels as if everything was launched into this movie, but it’s too busy trying to atmospheric and ignores common sense and convention, resulting in a confusing patchwork that doesn’t conjure any fear. Yes it does eventually reveal the origin but it’s so weak and disappointing and kills any physical shocks and scares. It even falls back on a classic scene from The DaVinci Code (2006) where the priest realises that a statue of a nun was pointing to the cure of this dark curse all the time, and this shaft of light suddenly illuminates a particular item they have been searching for, but don’t worry this isn’t a huge spoiler as it’s never shown previous to the event
hopefully our beloved monster nun will continue to scare in future movies once this dust settles on this boring origin unoriginal origin story. Corin did so well with his debut film The Hallow (2015), while it didn’t gain many fans it remains a beautiful and scary film steeped in dark folk lore and deadly critters and frights, but it seems the bit glaring lights of Holywood have killed off his genius.
R – The Conjuring (2013), Annabelle (2014), The Conjuring 2 (2016)
L – Religious Horrors, 10 Nun’s not to fuck with