The Nun (2018): Film Review
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
In the world of modern day horror films, The Conjuring franchise is the most powerful franchise in the game. Since it's inception in 2013, the series has seen two feature films, and three different spinoffs. The two actual Conjuring movies received critical acclaim and box-office glory, and the Annabelle spinoff's have been a rocky road, but have seemed to get on the right track with 2017's Annabelle: Creation. Now, in 2018, we have been gifted with the worst film in the Conjuring franchise yet. And honestly, it even falls in the category of the worst film's in big box office horror. Everything that made the Conjuring films so scary and awesome has completely been abandoned in the third spinoff, titled The Nun. And that's a damn shame, because there was so much story and potential to work with, and the results are even more than below average. The Nun's biggest problem is this: it just isn't scary enough. And there are so many reasons why. "Witness the darkest chapter in The Conjuring universe", says the tagline on the poster for The Nun. The statement is truly hypocritical, because honestly, the film falls as probably the lightest of the universe. The film tells the story of a priest, a trainee-nun (who has not said her vows, they make that very clear), and a farmer who are tasked to figuring out why a Nun at a Romanian Abbey committed suicide. Once they arrive at the Abbey, they realize that things are not as they seem, and that the Abbey, and the people inside it, are being haunted by something that is not human, and ready to kill them. The film had a lot of story to work with, and a good backbone to provide many scares; which is why it's even more confusing that the film is a complete mess-up. For an electrifying trailer that delivered one of the most bone-shaking jump-scares I have ever seen, the movie seems to divert from that idea. Because, in its 96 minute runtime, the scares are completely lackluster. The jump-scares would be good if the thing that was about to do the scaring didn't show up in the background of the camera every single time a scare is set up. The stakes don't feel high enough, and there are so little consequences to the character's actions that it becomes a repetitive bore to watch. It follows a simple and awful cycle: walk around, look around, turn around, encounter "The Nun". And I can't stress this fact enough, that is the only thing that happens, over and over again. The story and plot are abysmal, and the acting can't make up for it, because the story is so burnt and awful that nothing can save it. Even the connection to the actual Conjuring movies was just awful. I spent more time in awe that they really got two Farmiga sisters in this extended universe than paying attention to what was actually happening on screen. But the biggest problem with The Nun is this: it is just so evident that the film was nothing more than a useless cash-grab. And when there are so many good independent horror movies out there, like Hereditary and The Endless, it's just not worth wasting time watching these stereotypical flicks. The world is changing, and it's time the box-office-booming horror movies change with it. It's not just about the money - it's about making the audience scared to look at the screen, and see what happens next. Once these movies achieve that, they will start to reach a new level of sophistication, and change the genre itself. Simple as that. The Nun is just another reminder that horror movies need to be rewired. And they need to be rewired as soon as possible.