FILM REVIEW: THE NUN
BY RALPH LINARDIC
The Conjuring universe is arguably the most successful shared universe outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each movie, while all being strictly horror, blend together while staying fresh. From the first Conjuring film, to Annabelle: Creation, this series deserves to be taken seriously. Marvel did have a couple of slight let down’s when it comes to films like Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, so no film series is perfect.
The Nun is the Conjuring Universe’s Thor 2. Nun is by no means a bad film. It had many enjoyable sequences that had my attention locked. However, after stepping out of the theater and pondering the movie, it ceased to leave an impression. All the previous Conjuring movies stood out to me as great genre films, and The Nun fails to live up to the high standards of the previous entries.
What The Nun does share with the Conjuring and Annabelle movies, is it’s scares. Director Corin Hardy’s sequences with the Nun in full wardrobe don’t reinvent the game, but they are executed well enough that fans of the series will be satisfied and left with chills. There were multiple scenes in the final act of the film that, in my opinion, are some of the best scares I’ve seen in years. Not Exorcist scary, but very well executed.
Story and character (s) are number one in importance to a film. The Nun, while getting my approval on the scares, put little effort in its screenplay. If the characters aren’t fully fleshed out, and the story surrounding them isn’t compelling and (relatively) fresh, why should I be invested in the movie? The best films are the ones that are character driven. Story is essential, but the characters are always the top priority. I can’t say that The Nun left me wanting more from these characters and this franchise (larger Conjuring Universe aside).
Taisa Farmiga (Sister Irene), Demián Bichir (Father Burke) and Jonas Bloquet (Frenchie) are all respectable actors in Hollywood. I’ve seen them in previous projects, was impressed. All that being said, the direction that Director Corin Hardy gives these actors/actresses is underwhelming. A lot of the dialogue felt clunky and awkward. Multiple scenes didn’t flow properly and had me laughing/waiting for them to finish. Corin is a good director, I have no doubt. He proved it with the horror sequences. A lot of work needs to be done with his other directing skills, however.
The Nun is not a bad film. It has above average scares some of the time. However, its characters are unimpressive, and its screenplay is shallow. Nothing stood out and separated it from this year’s (and recent years) movies. I was genuinely excited for this one, and while it’s a fine rainy-day Redbox rental, I can’t recommend seeing it in the theater.