Another summer has come to an end, a new school year is underway and I have another opportunity to tell you, the fine readers of The Knight News, which movies and shows are worth your time and which movies aren’t worth the $11 ticket. In-order to understand my frustration with 2018’s “The Nun” you have to understand how I evaluate a film, often times I weigh the good qualities of a film against it’s bad qualities and determine which outweighs the other. When it comes to this film’s predecessors, “The Conjuring” both one and two, “The Nun” doesn’t come close to matching the suspense, style, and cinematic craftsmanship that made them great horror films. If you were to ask me for an example of an utterly average “horror” film, “The Nun” satisfies all criteria.
“The Nun” sheds light on the origins of “The Conjuring 2’s” main supernatural threat, Valek the “Demon Nun” and where exactly he came from. This film, taking place in 1952, focuses on a Priest/Demonic Specialist Investigator and Nun in training who travel to an abbey in Romania to investigate the death of another Nun.
Right away the biggest strengths of this film are its stunning visuals. The abbey and environments within it all evoke strong feelings of dread, tension, and provide the film with ammo for many key scares and haunting visuals. Sadly, the film outside of one or two subtly played scares chooses to reach for the old clichés of loud, jarring and often repetitive jump scares. Jump Scares, when done well, can add an extra level or dread and terror to any horror film, but when done over and over again in short succession, can often hamper the film, coming off as a cheap gimmick.
The main trio of actors, Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and Jonas Bloquet, all do respectable jobs in their roles, but sadly don’t resonant as truly memorable characters the same way as Ed and Lorraine Warren of “The Conjuring” series. That is ultimately the main issue I have with this film—nothing about it really stands out, and anything about it that actually worked has already been done in other films and in vastly superior fashion.
Additionally, being that the film is a “prequel,” it takes some of the stakes and suspense out of the future film to come, as viewers already know the threat of the film will not be vanquished by the end of its runtime.
I can honestly recommend a dozen independently produced horror films on Netflix and Video on Demand that would elicit more fear and intense emotions than this film.
Overall, “The Nun” is neither bad enough to hate or good enough to love, it merely exists as a moderately serviceable horror film that isn’t worth seeing theatrically. Here’s to hoping that the next addition in “The Conjuring” spin-off series succeeds at evoking the same feelings of dread that made the first two films so enthralling.