Tag Archives: Corin Hardy

The Nun (2018) Review

Time: 96 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Horror & deals with suicide
Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene
Demián Bichir as Father Burke
Jonas Bloquet as Maurice “Frenchie” Theriault
Director: Corin Hardy

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past (Demián Bichir) and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows (Taissa Farmiga) are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together, they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

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The Nun was a movie I’m curious about. I loved The Conjuring movies and I quite liked Annabelle: Creation, and as bizarre as the concept of it is, I’m interested in this Conjuring Cinematic Universe that they are creating. The Nun isn’t bad and is okay overall but it is very flawed with its lack of effective scares, as well as a rather average story. It does however have some bright spots, like with the acting and the direction.

The story for The Nun is nothing wholly original or interesting, you’ve seen parts of this story in other movies before. This movie is just over 90 minutes long but it feels quite drawn out. This movie actually does pretty well with its atmosphere (which is what keeps you somewhat paying attention to what’s going on) but it fails to deliver on most of its scares that it tries to build up. The third act actually has some pretty unintentional funny moments, especially when it tries to be scary. The scares are too over the top, visual effects heavy and physical for what they were going for with the scare before. There’s particularly a moment with a nun and a shotgun which was absolutely hilarious, I’m not sure what they were thinking with that. One of The Nun’s best parts however is that it ties up the connections to the Conjuring movies well (even if it’s right at the end). I should also mention since The Conjuring 2 had a post credits scene, The Nun doesn’t have a credits scene.

The actors do a good job, it’s mostly just 3 characters that are focussed on. Demián Bichir plays a priest with a dark past that is sent to investigate the suicide of a nun, he’s good in his role. Taissa Farmiga is in this movie playing a nun who’s assisting Bichir’s character, she’s also good in her role. Just don’t expect her to be somehow connected to Vera Farmiga’s character of Lorraine Broughton in The Conjuring movies despite the two actresses being sisters. The problem with these two characters is that there’s not enough to them, and they are quite uninteresting. Sure, Bichir and Farmiga’s backstories are briefly touched upon but outside of that we don’t learn enough about them. Granted the lack of depth in their characters is the least of the movie’s problems but it does bring down the movie even more because the characters are rather boring. Someone who doesn’t have this problem is Jonas Bloquet, he plays more of a comic relief side character but he fits in well with the movie oddly enough and adds a bit of entertainment factor to the movie at least.

This is the first movie I’ve seen from director Corin Hardy (who also did The Harrow, a movie I haven’t seen yet) and his direction of The Nun is mostly good. One thing this movie does well is the setting, it’s a very gothic location and it takes advantage of it. As I mentioned earlier, the big parts that don’t work are all the scares. You can predict most of the scares, it follows an invisible formula that you can pick up on if you watched a lot of modern horror movies, with the way the camera is positioned, who or what it’s focused on, and what the characters are doing. And yes, unfortunately most of the scares are jumpscares. When I watch a horror movie in the cinema and I get the feeling that there’s going to be a random jumpscare, I tend to look to the side of the screen, let’s just say that I was looking to the side a lot, and most of the time I was right. Yes, I jumped sometime but most people would when a large noise happens. The third act is particularly over the top and not scary. Any worries you have about The Nun in the third act kind of dies away in the third act, in the large ‘scary’ scenes, I didn’t even find myself turning away. You’re just watching things happen on screen. It doesn’t help that goes over the top and heavy on the CGI that you can’t take a lot of it seriously. The Nun as the entity especially becomes less scary in the third act, when you are getting constant close up looks of the character, you just get used to how it looks and you don’t feel particularly scared of it. It does have more blood than any of the Conjuring-verse movies but it doesn’t make the movie any scarier.

The Nun is okay enough and isn’t one of the worst horror movies in recent memory, but it does feel like wasted potential. It doesn’t have an interesting story and it fails to deliver any memorable or effective scares. However it does have some good acting (despite the weak characters), solid direction and even some story aspects that work reasonably well. It’s not a misfire but it’s not a hit like The Conjuring movies or even Annabelle Creation.