Movie Review – The Nun

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The Nun – While adequately creepy and atmospheric, the Nun fails to generate the thrills, chills and suspense of previous entries in The Conjuring universe. Whereas previous movies like The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2 and Annabelle: Creation (let’s face it; the first Annabelle was a lemon) effectively generated suspense that exploded into non-stop terror over the entire length of their run times, The Nun settles for cheap jump scares and an eerie environment. In this one, the setting is 1952 Romania where strange things are occurring at a cloistered abbey. The local village sees the location as cursed and one day a French-Canadian expatriate working in the village as support for the nun’s at the abbey discovers one of the sisters has hung herself outside the walls of the castle. Upon hearing of the incident, the Vatican calls upon a priest who is an expert in unexplained phenomena (Demian Bechir of A Better Life and The Hateful Eight fame) as well as a young sister about to make her vows as a nun who also has experience in visions (Taissa Farmiga – sister of actress Vera Farmiga in her first major starring role outside of the FX American Horror Story series). The expat, priest and sister walk into a bar (kidding)…they investigate the abbey and attempt to find out what lead to the death of the nun. Upon their investigation, various demonic forces attempt to thwart them from discovering the secrets of the abbey. In time, they discover that the abbey was originally a castle built by a Duke in the Dark Ages who was obsessed with witchcraft and demonology. He attempted to unleash hell on earth but Europe’s Christian Crusaders had stopped his plans and driven back the evil entities deep within the castle which they claimed as their own. Since that time, nuns have prayed in perpetual adoration to keep the evil spirits at bay while also housing a chalice with the Blood of Christ. Unfortunately, since WWII, bombings in the area began to break open the portal from which the demons were banished and they have been slowly been wrecking havoc on the nuns, killing them off one by one in the form of a sinister looking demonic nun (the same one introduced to us at the end of Annabelle Creation). The rest of the film has the various characters running through dark hallways and creepy antechambers looking for a way to stop the presence. The Nun isn’t terrible, but it feels like a step back in this series. Most of the other films have been very well made with fair amount of suspense and wow moments. Those don’t materialize here. The abbey itself is creepy, the sound effects intriguing and the acting decent, but in the end, it feels like a franchise going through the motions. Not the worst film in the Conjuring series, but far from the best…

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