We’ve kind of had a comeback of horror movies of late. Plenty of new and inventive ways to scare people have come about in films from Unfriended to Get Out whilst even managing to tell some meaningful messages as a bonus.
So it comes with extra chagrin when something as passable and generic as the plot and execution of The Nun gets released to such an extensive marketing campaign celebrating the terror of religious chastity everywhere.
Directed by Corin Hardy and written from a story of James Wan who helmed the major Conjuring movies, this spinoff to The Conjuring 2 surrounds an evil spirit locked underground that has emerged to take hold of a nun and do horrible evil things. If that doesn’t sound generic to you, I don’t know what will. Our characters includes a super classified priest investigator sent by the Vatican to resolve this matter. The star though is the young trainee nun played by Vera Farmiga’s younger second sister Taissa. Her eyes and facial structure easily makes their likeness very apparent hence this does seem like the origin story of Vera Farmiga’s character in The Conjuring before she became a paranormal investigator.
If you’re a fan of the Conjuring Cinematic Universe, The Nun may just sustain you in its interests with its loose threads and vain references to the franchise’s characters and backstories. If you’re just wanting a good standalone horror flick, The Nun barely hits the bar.
It’s hard to understand any pivotal motivations or character development that makes you care about this plot. Although some filmmakers pride themselves on trying to make a film based on a build-up of moments, this film takes that quite literally and offers little nuance in between as for as engaging storytelling goes.
It’s a bit unremarkable really. The scares aren’t extremely predictable and can offer some clever moments of spook, especially in the second half. The production design and imagery has a lot to offer but other than all that, there is just so little else to offer in this film that makes it stay in your mind after you leave the cinema.
As a film that has some spark and flash but no soul, here lies another forgettable saturation in the horror film genre.