Nun, The. Lacks Frights, Translates Well As The Conjuring Story Addition
Nun, The Film Details
Director: Corin Hardy
Gary Dauberman (Story, Screenplay)
James Wan (Story)
Release Date: September 7th, 2018
Release Format: Cinemas
MPAA Rating: R
Genre: Horror Mystery Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hr 36 Min
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.
Full Disclosure: DecayMag received compensation to review The Nun from Warner Bros. Pictures In the form of complimentary screening access. However, our review will not be influenced in any way by this incentive.
The Nun is one of the much-anticipated Horror films for the 2018 calendar year. Director Corin Hardy sets the tone to the fifth episode of The Conjuring franchise. The film is also one of two spin-offs created from The Conjuring saga. For those unacquainted with this long-standing franchise, The Conjuring is a work of fiction based on actual cases conducted by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Gary Dauberman served as the writer to both Annabelle and The Nun. With the latter, it seems Dauberman offered an original, imaginative vision within The Conjuring saga.
The Nun presents Valak as the antagonist, an infernal force in the form of a nun. According to historic occult record, the exact name to this entity contrasts the one presented in the film. It is also doubtful this malevolent creature ever donned a nun’s traditional garb, a black habit. Nevertheless, the Marilyn Manson doppelgänger displayed in The Nun possesses a complex backstory, roots that associate to The Conjuring 2 and make sense to the viewer within the closing minutes to ACT III.
Hardy and Dauberman created a Supernatural tale set against the scenery of 1950’s Romania. This film has frightening visuals, cited as jump scares yet the impact, become diminished by the slate of clips available on YouTube. The Nun does not establish itself as a typical Horror tale filled with regurgitated themes and character types. Yet, the usual subtext centered on good versus evil, the Catholic church versus demonic forces are present. To establish this antagonist, it would seem illogical to deviate from this core plot frame. With The Nun, devotees of the Horror genre and general audiences will become enthralled by a cohesive and entertaining gothic-like tale of the unknown. Movie-goers expecting an unnerving experience take note, The Nun does not generate scares with its Mystery infused plot. I will turn to that feature of the analysis soon.
In terms of individuality, The Nun produces an iconic Horror character. As a genesis narrative, the film neglects to provide any emotional context with the entity. This missing component would have propelled the idea to this antagonist to a higher level. I was expecting a closer look at the mortal form Valak took custody of, her tragedy and integrated demonic possession aspect. At the moment audiences will have to suffice with a demon with anger management issues. The Nun serves as a prominent supplement to The Conjuring franchise for its overall execution. In contrast to the haunted doll offering from director John R. Leonetti in 2014, The Nun is a step in the right direction.
I felt content to see Latino actor Demián Bichir portray as one of the principal characters, Father Burke. Vera Farmiga‘s younger sister Taissa Farmiga joins The Conjuring family in her performance as Sister Irene. Actor Jonas Bloquet rounds out the primary cast as the jokester, Frenchie. Each of the actors noted delivered solid convincing on-screen charisma. Yet, there were times the dialogue felt weak and/or lacked humor with presented comedy relief. Dashed sparingly throughout the film were occurrences of over the top dramatics. For instance, one dialogue exchange between a nun and Farminga’s character parallels a segment from a Spanish soap opera. Overall, the acting displayed in The Nun is of high merits.
The filmmakers display an aspect of the unexpected with each chosen camera angle. Viewers will become mindful of the impending danger based on the craftsmanship in each setup. The lighting produced a sinister atmosphere that satisfied each stage, this also applies to the nighttime exterior shots.
The Nun presents a nice marriage between practical effects and special effects. Each effects team displayed these approaches with high merits and endorsed one another well. From decaying bodies to open portals, the audience will find establish realism within the context of fiction. Regarding the scare factor, The Nun does little to coax these senses and practical and/or special effects are not criminal for this crime. Although implied in the trailers The Nun has more significance as a Mystery, Thriller with components of Horror. Sure there are episodes involving victims running from a malignant entity but the essence of the film is Mystery. The central characters parallel treasure hunters, the hero, the heroine and the comedy relief. If scares are what you, the viewer, seek The Nun would translate well in a video game form but not as a motion picture.
The Nun may get severe backlash from Horror enthusiasts expecting the advertised intense fear factor. As a Mystery, Supernatural Thriller The Nun has its excellence with a few lows. The antagonist lacks an acumen that many, including myself, were expecting to connect with. Each of the protagonists was fascinating but there was a place left to flesh these characters out to explain their inner motives. The Comic elements had no purpose in the dialogue and will garner grimaces instead of chuckles.
Overall, if Horror Mysteries are you desire The Nun will not disillusion.