9/09/2018

THE NUN (Review)

Title: The Nun
Director: Corin Hardy
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Cast: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga. Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Charlotte Hope
Min: 96
Year: 2018

In this prequel from The Conjuring universe, we learn about the evil Nun demon first introduced in the The Conjuring 2. In 1952 Romania, two nuns are attacked by a demonic force, while they look for an unspecified artifact. One of them, Sister Victoria (Charlotte Hope) hangs herself, as she tries to escape the demon. The next day, her body is discovered by a young man, named Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who makes deliveries to the abby.
The Vatican then precedes to send in Father Burke (Demián Bichir) to go with young nun Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), who has yet to take her vows. They are taken to the abby by Frenchie, who flirts to the pretty nun (can't say I blame him!). He tells them that the place is one of great evil. Frenchie then leaves and our two heroes stay at the spooky convent. They begin their investigation, asking the nuns about Sister Victoria's suicide. In the meantime, our two holy heroes are haunted by visions, sounds, and other creepy-ass shit. Soon, they are on the path of encountering and finding out the origin of the evil Nun, as well as try and defeating her.

The Nun is making an utter killing at the box office. It raked in $53.5 million in the US alone and 77.5 million worldwide. According to Forbes, this makes The Conjuring the highest grossing R-rated horror franchise of all time, beating out the Alien movies, well when you don't take into account inflation and disregard the PG-13 rated Alien Vs. Predator. Regardless, of its actual placement these are HUGE numbers for a horror movie, especially an R-rated one. It also shows that audiences don't give a flying fuck about the critics who have been shitting on it. So, who is right, the audience or critics? Turns out both and neither, as this film is quite middle of the road.
The movie is very generic and breaks no new ground, as nothing original or new that is given to the audience. It has the same typical beats that you expect to find in a flick of this sort. The film is littered with jump scares, some of which work, others that do not. To its advantage the jump scares are actually the forces of evil causing them. You see there is nothing that pisses me off more than fake jump scares (IE cats, asshole friends, etc), so that at the very least the movie knows to avoid that. But, regardless, it simply does not know how to make a genuine scare that is reliant on suspense building or true terror and not just a loud noise.

It also plays things extremely safe. They're isn't that much gore although there is some gruesome imagery and a little blood here and there to keep it fully out of the PG-13 area. It also throws in zombie like demons, to, I suppose, spice things up. It goes without saying that if you came in looking for anything even remotely similar to an Italian nunspolitation movie you are clearly barking up the wrong tree.
On the bright side, the movie looks really nice. There is a nice Gothic feel and look to the movie. The use of shadows is strong, even if a bit overtly dominating at times. It adds atmosphere to the surroundings, showcasing one of the movie's highest points.

The acting is also excellent. Bichir and Bloquet, as Father Burke and Frenchie respectively, are solid in their performances. Burke may be a generic heroic horror movie priest, but he is at least a likable one. Bloquet's Frenchie is my favorite character in the movie. Likable, heroic, and sweetly flirty, he adds some much needed humor to the mostly serious tone of the film. Pretty Farmiga, sister of The Conjuring 1&2 heroine Vera Farmiga, does a fine job as Sister Irene. She plays her scared but strong and always likable, fans of her from American Horror Story and the superlative The Final Girls will be very pleased seeing her in this.

The climax will keep you interested and is enjoyable enough, even if it really plays everything in a very typical manner. The ending is fine, I suppose. It ties into The Conjuring films, in a way that is clear, if obviously spoon fed to the audience.
The Nun isn't as bad as some make it out to be. However, it really isn't that good either. Generic, by the numbers, and playing it way too safe; it takes no chances. Jump scares abound, although at least these are caused by the actual evil being. To its advantage, it is well acted throughout, and the movie, itself, looks great. I had very low expectations and ended up enjoying it for what it was. It is nothing you need to see right at this instant, if ever. I would advise to not go in  expecting much and you might have a good time. There are far worse ways to kill time with, and if you are a fan of this franchise, my guess is you will see this regardless of what I say. And, hey, at the very least, it's much better than that fucking piece of plastic doll feces Annabelle, so there is always that bit of faint praise.


2.5 out of 4

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