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article imageReview: People really should exercise more caution around ‘The Nun’ Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 7, 2018 in Entertainment
Since good cannot exist without its opposite, Catholic figures have long been intertwined with omens of evil and ‘The Nun’ is the embodiment of malevolence even if the narrative somewhat blunders the delivery.
While the individual movies in The Conjuring franchise have varied in quality, most horror fans can agree that they’ve introduced audiences to some of the creepiest creatures in recent years. Your skin may still crawl when you remember small hands clapping behind Lauren’s haunted mother and plunging her into darkness. Or perhaps Annabelle’s unsettling and unseen movements across the room still gives you goosebumps. The latest spectre to instill fear in the hearts of moviegoers was a ghoulish woman in a habit with demonic eyes. The Nun sets out to answer the question, where did she come from?
In 1952, a local delivery man finds a nun hanging from a noose outside of a remote convent on the far edges of a small Romanian town. Father Burke (Demián Bichir) is often called to investigate cases that may involve the supernatural so the Vatican has tasked him to probe the death and more importantly, determine if something evil still lurks within the once holy walls. He’s assigned an inexperienced yet carefully selected partner, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), to accompany him to the abbey. There, they encounter a war-battered building with mysterious blood stains and even more cryptic nuns. It doesn’t take long to recognize something malevolent lives within those walls, but will they be able to stop it from leaving?
The one thing horror fans appreciate in this style of movie is smart characters – it’s one of the many reasons everyone appreciated Wes Craven’s Scream. Unfortunately, this narrative is plagued with classic errors and poor judgement: the characters separate in dark hallways, follow shadows and lures in the night, and investigate strange noises alone. On the one hand, Burke was sent specifically to hunt any wickedness that may inhabit the convent, which would somewhat explain his eagerness to follow these apparitions; however, his belief in evil is exactly why he should be more cautious and give less weight to the visions he’s delivered.
Unfortunately, the film is not without other narrative issues as well. The elements involving the sisters of the convent works well in creating an eerie atmosphere and a general sense of dread as their defensive prayers echo through the abbey. Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), the delivery man’s, key purpose appears to be comic relief and he fulfills his duties excellently… though they may have employed his services a bit too often for what should otherwise be a fairly scary movie. It’s also unknown why the sisters risked unleashing the malevolent creature at the start of the film, particularly since the relic they believed could save them was not in their possession. Finally, it can be difficult to distinguish between an homage and stealing an idea, which is certainly the case when aspects of the last act are compared to Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight – it’d be flattering if it wasn’t so similar.
This movie is dedicated to a monster that already proved to be inherently frightening, but in spite of a couple of good scares and an underlying creepy tone, it never quite gets to where it should’ve been, which is disappointing since there was so much potential for more. Nonetheless, the manner in which they link this origin story to the overarching Conjuring universe is predictably perfect and foreshadows what will hopefully be a more satisfactory confrontation in the future.
Director: Corin Hardy
Starring: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga and Jonas Bloquet
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