the nun | corin hardy | gary dauberman | Demián Bichir | demian bichir | taissa farmiga | jonas bloquet | mystery | thriller | united states | demon | possessed | possession | bonnie aarons | ghost | ghosts | ingrid bisu | charlotte hope | sandra teles
Film: The Nun
Director: Corin Hardy
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Starring: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga and Jonas Bloquet
This film had a lot of hype surrounding it and being billed as the darkest chapter in The Conjuring universe. The trailer really had me intrigued and I got to check it out in the theater. The official synopsis is 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. This also takes place in 1952.
For the start of this film, we have two nuns who come to a door that states ‘God Ends Here’. They unlock the door and the older of the two goes in. Something takes her and she tells the other one to flee. As the synopsis states, she hangs herself and jumps out of the window. She is found by Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who is haunted by what he sees. We do end up learning that this Romanian convent is feared by those that are in the nearby village.
Him finding the body gets reported back to the Vatican. They call in Father Burke (Demián Bichir). He doesn’t do a whole lot with the church, but he is called in to check out possible supernatural things when needed. To go with him is Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga). She is not quite yet a nun, as she hasn’t taken her final vows. Something interesting about her introduction is that she is somewhat liberal about what the bible says and what is real. I think that partially explains why she hasn’t taken her final vows. She doesn’t understand why she is chosen to go, except that her family is originally from the area. We do learn though that she had visions as a child and was handpicked to become a nun.
They arrive in Romania and seek out Frenchie. He takes a liking to Sister Irene and agrees to take them to the monastery. That is something I really like about this film. The setting definitely helps build up fear, partially how the building looks and the other part it being isolated. Odd things start to happen almost immediately and they start to see the Nun (Bonnie Aarons) from the time they arrive.
With this film being a prequel, you probably have an idea of how this film will go. Now with that said though, a film like this is here to build the back-story of entity as well as its origins. This film does that. I actually really like what they did with it. The problem that arises for me though, they build up that the Nun in this film is super powerful. That doesn’t really mesh with what they presented in The Conjuring 2 or to be more specific, how she is defeated. What I did like though was they tie this film back in with both Conjuring films and that really made me happy for continuity sake.
I do have say that the film is actually paced really well. The film is not boring. It does build tension from the beginning all the way to the climax and the resolution of the film. The problem though that I ended up having with the film is that it relied way too much on jump scares. If you’ve read other reviews I have written, I’m not the biggest fan of them. They can be used strategically and it can be strong. This film went to that well a little too much for me.
The acting in the film was really good though. I thought Bichir was good in his role. It is interesting that they separate the three main characters for a majority of the film. They all have their parts to figure out in putting the whole story together. Bichir reads through books he found and this includes maps of the monastery. Farmiga was also really good. She speaks with other nuns in that fill her in on parts of the history. Bloquet much like his other two counterparts was solid. He goes back to town where he learns that the evil is spreading and worried about the other two. Aarons looks extremely creepy as the demon nun. I thought the rest of the cast round out the film for what they needed as well.
As for the effects of the film, they did go a little heavy with the CGI. That is something that I’m not the biggest fan of normally. I don’t mind what they did with the Nun, as she still looks quite scary. They used some with a boy named Daniel (August Maturo and Jack Falk) that haunts Father Burke. When you see him at a distance, I thought it looked fine. The closer it got I wasn’t a fan. I will say some of the effects worked and some didn’t.
The score of the film I did like though. It definitely helps with a foreboding feeling and builds the tension there. I actually think the soundtrack to this film is one of the scarier aspects of it. They use sound also to build the jump scares by dropping off to silence and then bringing it back loud. There is also the use of a bell that I liked.
Now with that said, this film doesn’t live up to the hype that was put out there for it. I normally don’t buy into things like that so I am grading this film just on its merits. I thought the story was interesting. The Nun was a scary character and I liked the back-story for it. I do think though they made the entity much stronger in this film than previously seen. I like how this film tied back in with the other two Conjuring films as well. The pacing was good, the acting was as well and the score too. They did relie too heavily on CGI in my opinion and not all of it worked. Overall I’d say this film is slightly above average. It is a fun watch and fits into the universe. I just feel that the films that are not based more on actual cases just aren’t as strong.
My Rating: 6 out of 10