This is a guest post by Thom Frost.
The Nun (2018). In this spin-off from The Conjuring series, a convent is haunted by the ghost of an evil nun.
The main cast consists of:
Demián Bichir as Father Burke
Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene
Jonas Bloquet as Frenchie
Bonnie Aarons as The Nun
I give it a 2.5 out of 5
Warning spoilers in the review.
The first scene we see is a hall lined with crosses and then a door with a sign saying, “God ends here”. Then two nuns enter the room. One nun starts praying and we hear a scream from nowhere. Then we see the older nun who is now all cut up and crawling on the floor towards the younger nun. She tells her to take the key and she knows what she must do.
We then come to the first jump scare, which there are many, where we see the older nun dragged into the darkness.
The younger nun runs away and locks herself into a room where she prays for forgiveness and then hangs herself. Before she does, she looks back into the room and we see a cross on the wall start to turn upside down. Then the nun jumps, and we see the rope go taught and the cross catches fire.
It then switches to London where we first meet Sister Irene. She is in a classroom talking to several students. Then we see the first of many flashbacks or premonitions. Why? Because reasons.
Frenchie has a dream where he sees a pool of blood hitting the steps of the abbey.
Father Burke and Sister Irene are sent to the abbey in Romania to investigate the death of a nun.
Frenchie is asked by Father Burke to take him and Sister Irene to the abbey in his horse and buggy. This is where we find out that Sister Irene hasn’t taken her vows yet, and that the townspeople avoid the abbey. The only person who goes there is Frenchie, who delivers supplies.
Near the end of the road to the abbey, the horse refuses to go on, so the three of them must walk. They see on the way to the abbey crosses hanging from the trees, ala Blair Witch. This is the first movie rip-off we see.
Father Burke, Sister Irene, and Frenchie walk up to the abbey and see the blood stain on the steps. Sister Irene comments on how the blood is still fresh after several weeks.
Upon entering the abbey this is when we are introduced to the nuns and the Reverend Mother whose face is covered up. The Reverend Mother suggests that they should leave the abbey, but Father Burke says they want to stay. Frenchie leaves the abbey and starts walking back to his horse in the dark. He then spots the Nun and he tries to chase her down in the dark. He comes across a nun hanging from a tree. In this jumpscare the rope breaks, the nun falls on him and comes back to life and attacks him.
Frenchie manages to get away and makes his way into the abbey’s graveyard, where the nun stops following him. Upon seeing that he grabs a cross from the ground, holds it in his arms and runs for his horse.
After this, the movie slows down quite a bit and they try to do character building where we end up getting lots of flashbacks.
That is pretty much the first 30 minutes of the movie. Beyond that, it slows down, and we see the shadow of the Nun. The sisters in the abbey kind of come and go almost like they were an afterthought.
The jump scares you can see coming. There were only two that I didn’t really see coming. The rest of them I was like “Jump scare in 3… 2… 1…”
This movie steals elements from other movies like “The Blair Witch Project”, which I alluded to earlier. The shadow of the Nun on the walls which we did see in the “The Conjuring 2” and we first saw in the 1992 “Bram Stokers Dracula” movie. We also see them take from “Silent Hill.” There is a scene in the movie where we learn that the nuns of the abbey are all dead and were never alive when Father Burke and Sister Irene got there. This was my first feeling that something’s up with the nuns in the abbey, and I was proven right.
The nuns stood around like the nurses did in “Silent Hill” and when they moved we would hear cracking sounds, which is a complete rip off from SH monster design.
We find out that the abbey was built by a Duke that used it for devil worship and he tried to conjure the demon we see in “The Conjuring 2”. The father finds out about this and he ends up in the room that the Duke used for conjuring the demon. This is where the next kind of rip off comes which is from “The Ring. ” The room floods with water for some reason.
We find out through flashbacks the nuns used the Blood of Christ to try and seal the portal that the demon is going to come through.
The movie is kind of all over the place until the last 20 minutes.
Towards the end, the Nun tries to drown Sister Irene who has the Blood of Christ vial around her neck. Sister Irene then while underwater manages to somehow break the vile underwater while the Nun is choking her. Then manages to hold the blood in her mouth then as the Nun brings her up out of the water. Sister Irene then spits the blood on to the Nun’s face the water turns red and then we see the Nun pretty much end up being flushed down the hole in the floor when all the water is gone the hole closes. Then it flashes to “The Conjuring 2,” where we see that the Nun was not gone.
For me, there was a disconnect and didn’t make me really for the most part care about the characters. They tried to do some character building, but they didn’t do it right in my opinion. The movie didn’t totally bomb but, it could have done better. It’s like once they get into the abbey the movie just dies until the last 20 minutes.
Jump scares are plenty in this movie, and they don’t really work. As I said above you can see them coming and set there waiting for them. They telegraph the jump scares.
The movie is slow and takes time to build up to anything and then it drops the ball. It seems like I should give this movie a score of less than 2.5, but sadly because all horror movies seem to do this now, it kind of gets a pass. It’s a sign of bad writing and doing what’s popular at the time. Jump scares should enhance not be the only type of scare in a movie.