I can’t be the only one who jumped in the cinema whenever the trailer for The Nun plays. I mean with that atmosphere, character design, and proper timing? Who wouldn’t have a minor heart attack? With that said, it will be an understatement to say that I am excited for the latest installment in the The Conjuring franchise. We first met the iconic demon Valak in The Conjuring 2. We got a better view of her in Annabelle: Creation. And now, we will discover how it all began and what the real story behind the character is!

The Scares that Stun

First things first. I LOVED The Conjuring movies for delivering scares that last! I mean,  I lost count how many times I saw the first two movies yet I still jumped and had my heart racing every single time. The premise and the tactics were perfectly crafted that it got the reaction that the film intends to get from us, the audiences. However, it cannot be denied that as the universe expanded, the scares started to wind down as well. There are several factors that can be blamed for this: they could be running out of scare tactics, the story is just not strong, or they simply are losing touch of the things that made them strong in the first place.

Taissa Farmiga escapes the horrors of Valak in The Nun. | Credit: Warner Bros Pictures
Taissa Farmiga escapes the horrors of Valak in The Nun. | Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Okay, with all these comparisons with the other movies in the franchise, where does The Nun stands? Here we go: at the lower end of the spectrum. Yes, sadly. It may just be the weakest in the franchise. Sure, Valak made my heart race every time I see her. Her surprise appearances had me jumping in my seat but take those away, The Nun is basically empty.

Plus points for the strong Gothic vibes of the setting in Romania and the tactical play on sound and light. The movie is not all bad. It does what the movies in the franchise do best- create perfect atmosphere and setups that will boil fear. But then again, it should not come as a surprise.

The Flat Drop

Getting into the movies knowing that it is part of a larger narrative, there are clear expectations that The Nun packs some key plot points that will establish its position in the larger plot. Sure, there were some moments in the movie that made me whisper under my breath, “OHH! That’s why!” Were they enough? Were they strong? That’s for everyone to find out. But please be reminded that I was not looking for much and with the movie not meeting that led to some serious disappointment.

Demian Bichir is Father Burke in The Nun. | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Demian Bichir is Father Burke in The Nun. | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Setting my expectations aside, I thought my issues with the movie will be over. Boy, was I wrong? The tone was everywhere. One moment it is a Gothic horror movie, next thing I know I am watching a rehash of Evil Dead. Is that a bad thing, though? Definitely not! Well, if that has been the case from the start, I’d love the movie for taking that route. The problem, however, lies in the confused tone that the movie was taking. And as a horror movie, consistency is key!

It is a shame that a movie with such hype and potentially remarkable character was given a poorly-written and executed origin movie. The Nun promised a lot- scares, story, and a clearer and wider view into the The Conjuring universe yet only managed to deliver on some. I am not saying that it is a bad movie, it’s just that I wished there had been more- more scares, more scenes that make sense, and more substance. If you are craving for some immediate scares, go see The Nun but don’t expect a lot if you are a fan of the franchise.

Director: Corin Hardy
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir
Binge-level: 3 out of 5 stars.

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