“The Nun” stars Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu, and Bonnie Aarons. Released on September 7, 2018, the film showcases the haunting figure that holds ties to the suicidal death of a nun.
The film is directed by Corin Hardy, who also directed “The Hallow”. It is a spin-off of “The Conjuring 2” and the fifth installment in the “Conjuring” film series. Just like last year, we’re starting Halloween a bit early this year with another pee-your-pants-off scare-fest, courtesy of the man who brought us “The Conjuring”, James Wan. This demonic nun, known as Valak, was first introduced in the “Conjuring” sequel back in 2016 and I have to say, she’s one of the most terrifying things that I’ve ever seen in a supernatural horror film due to her character design. I’m not kidding, this is one face that you don’t want your kids to see in their nightmares. It was pretty obvious that they would make a spin-off film centering on this malevolent being because apparently, every supernatural demon that appeared in the main “Conjuring” films is destined to have their own adventure. The only question is, will it be able to do the creepy nun justice?
Like "Annabelle" and its sequel, the film takes a prequel approach by showcasing the demonic entity in the 1950s, way before its appearance in "The Conjuring 2". As I mentioned before, The Nun is basically one of the most creepiest parts of the horror franchise because of how unnatural and haunting it is in its holy attire. In terms of its setting and tone, this film had the opportunity to do the character justice. Unfortunately, all it had to offer was a regular haunted house creep-fest that lacked the unsettleness and memorable scares that made the franchise a hit for horror fans. It got off to a suitable, but slow, start, but that hardly counts for anything when it has an underwhelming narrative and bland characters. On the plus side, the entire cast did a really nice job with their portrayals, with Farmiga and Aarons being the main highlights as Sister Irene and Valak, respectively, even though their characters are hardly worth caring for. Also, the filmmakers were able to accomplish the task of maintaining its haunting and bleak atmosphere that was introduced in "The Conjuring". The only problem with it was that it started to lose its touch as the film went on. Even the third act didn't help the film recover as it comes off as either disappointing or silly rather than scary. It also has its usual share of horror elements, such as the loud jump scares. They fit well with its unnerving images, but they can be a pain for those who couldn't stand how they're used in most of the recent horror films and those who have weak hearts.
Overall, "The Nun" wasn't able to forgive itself for commiting the ultimate sin: failing to be as nightmarish as the title character itself. The cast and its atmosphere were impressive enough to attract those looking for a creepy good time at the movies, but as a "Conjuring" spin-off, this is an unfortunate step in the wrong direction. Instead of an unnerving and frightening experience, we got a creepy and dull horror film that was unable to live up to its potential. I'm pretty sure that Valak isn't happy about this. Then again, it isn't happy about everything except death. If you still feel like seeing it, I would recommend waiting until it's on television. If not, then don't worry about it. You're not missing much.