If getting scared of seeing the horrifying face of Valak is enough to satisfy the viewer in you, then The Nun of the conjuring franchise might well be your cup of tea. After the highly successful Conjuring from James Wan, most of the films in the franchise tended to have a repeating nature and for me personally, those movies started to feel like a series of scares. With The Nun, the burn out is more evident and I feel that the franchise needs to work on reinventing itself.
In 1952 an abbey in Romania witnesses the death of two Nuns and the circumstances were so mysterious that the Vatican decides to send a priest named Burke and a novitiate sister Irene to the place to identify the reason behind the unusual things happening there. The two along with a local guy named Maurice decides to go there and The Nun is ultimately about how they all survive the days there.
The Conjuring franchise has capitalized on the success of the first film’s victory at the box office with the sequels that weren’t as genuine as the first one. Now the question is whether this franchise needs to have introspection. Every cliché is fresh when it was used for the first time and thus there was a making uniqueness that sort of broke the typical mold which made Conjuring a special one. The Nun is the fifth installment in the series and by the looks of it, I can really sense the writers clearly not investing in being novel. The Nun is just series of scares largely through graphic visuals in an ordinary ghost plot.
Corin Hardy sort of knows the visual texture of the franchise. But the screenplay by Gary Dauberman has little surprise to offer you and the only time I found an appreciable moment in the movie was in that blood spitting scene in the end, which by the way now doesn’t look that exciting. Maybe it was the creative dullness of the movie till that point that made the viewer applaud for that scene. There are standup comedy videos that made fun of the characterizations of horror movies and James Wan’s Conjuring was a film that was at least able to make us forget about such criticism while we watch the movie. In The Nun, the people sitting in the theater were continuously mocking the characters and like I said, the scares are largely happening because of the terrifying faces we see. People were predicting how the camera will pan and from where the ghost will come etc. perfectly. Because of the insensitive behavior of the characters in the movie, the whole watching experience of The Nun turned out to be a hilarious one with all the comments from the audience came without any interruption. The combination of cinematography and edits has a key role in horror films and here the pattern applied is a tried and tested old school one.
The performances are perhaps the only bit of relief here. Taissa Farmiga plays the role of Sister Irene and she manages to make Irene that novice personality. Her reactions are also impressive. Demian Michir as Father Burke has done justice to the role offered to him. Jonas Bloquet plays the character of the chilled out Maurice. Like I have already said, the problem with the characters is that their instinctive reaction to seeing something spooky is not at all like any of us. They are in a haunted abbey and every time they see any Nun at unusual places, they will just go after the Nun shouting “hello”. Just get the hell out of there dude!
The Nun should be a wakeup call to the studio to reinvent the series with story ideas that will have peculiarity rather than familiarity filled with jump scares. It was just a 105 minutes long movie and I must say that I had a good laugh at the end of it, which apparently was not the intent of the makers.
The Nun should be a wakeup call to the studio to reinvent the series with story ideas that will have peculiarity rather than familiarity filled with jump scares.