By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Well I was sure hoping and praying that “The Nun,”
the new horror, spinoff movie from James Wan’s “Conjuring” franchise would scare me like crazy, but it fell short of my lofty expectations.
Wan produced and co-wrote “The Nun” with fright master Gary Dauberman (“Annabelle: Creation” and “It”). It’s the fifth installment in The Conjuring Universe and is directed by newcomer Corin Hardy (“The Hallow”) who is big on blood splattering images and loud noises.
While “The Nun” won’t make you sleep at night with the lights on, it does have some moments of genuine creepiness and terror that may haunt your dreams.
“The Nun” takes place in 1952, long before supernatural/paranormal experts Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga, “The Conjuring”) and Patrick Wilson arrived on the scene.
Now we get to meet Taissa Farmiga, the real-life sister of Vera Farmiga. Taissa stars as Sister Irene, a young woman who hasn’t officially committed to the church and its vows.
Sister Irene is joined by the staunch, Catholic priest, Father Burke (Damian Bichir, “Alien: Covenant” and “The Hateful Eight”). He’s the one the church looks to in times of crisis. And there’s a big one brewing.
Sister Irene and Father Burke have been asked by the Vatican to go to Romania to investigate the suicide of a demonic nun at the Carta Monastery.
They stumble upon a handsome chap named Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”). The French-Canadian farmer was delivering foods and other goods at an abbey and made the grisly discovery of the nun hanging from the rafters of a medieval castle.
When Father Burke asks Frenchie to take them to her, he’s reluctant and with good reason. Even the horse pulling their carriage stops midway in the area because it knows the area is pure evil.
What’s worse, is when Frenchie arrives inside the place where he laid down the nun’s body, it’s now sitting upright.
If that’s not a cue to jump back in the wagon and get the horse to giddy up, I don’t know what is.
What caused the nun to take her life? And why is this area so forsaken?
The answers are startling and confusing.
There is a connection with demonic Sister Valak (Bonnie Aarons, “The Conjuring 2”) who really should have had much more screen time here.
To their credit, Hardy and crew do a fabulous job capturing a dark, spooky, atmospheric vibe in “The Nun.” But then they allow the movie to fall prey to the predictable “gotcha” jump scares like so many other low budget horror flicks.
“The Nun” should have been bigger, better and most of all scarier.
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Check Out This Trailer For "THE NUN"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.