This branch-out from the popular Conjuring series is “nun” the better.
How can anyone not be afraid of a demonic nun? It’s the most shocking combination of the sacred and profane, symbolising the defilement of something pure. So when the nun appeared as a side character in The Conjuring series, it instantly became the most iconic and feared entity.
But who IS this nun? It’s all answered in the effectively-titled The Nun.
Corin Hardy tries to do a prequel with this story of the titular character, and ends up with a little OTT piece that sometimes work, but mostly doesn’t.
The suicide of a young nun in Romania has the Vatican sending Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and Sister-in-training Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate. Enlisting the help of a “local” named Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who discovered the body during his supply run, the trio tries to uncover the mystery behind the castle-turned-convent.
Hardy piles on the melodrama with “God ends here” warning signs and numerous peek-a-boo play, which gives The Nun an oddly soap flavour. Add to that the cheap-looking sets and you’ve got a very B-grade tone to the whole film.
It doesn’t help that the characters don’t seem to learn from their mistakes. No matter how many creaks or ghostly shadows appear, they keep going towards them, whispering, “hello?” The formula seems to be on a treadmill, a little breathless but not advancing much.
The Nun does include some moments of good scares and unexpected turns. There’s even a scene reminiscent of the Nurses from Silent Hill. But eventually it all gets bogged down by too much fluff and not enough lore. This chapter meant to flesh out the impressive supernatural nun has too little meat on the bones. And that ending… I’m sure you’ll be wondering the same thing as me about how that holy relic ended up, where it ended up.