[Review] The Nun (2018)
The Nun – When a young nun at a secluded abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows is sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun who first appeared to terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.
The movie is based on a demonic Nun named Valak, who made her brief but horrific appearance in ‘The Conjuring 2’, which chronologically comes before the first and original film, ‘The Conjuring’. In this Conjuring installment, the Nun tells the story of the origins of that demon. I had been patiently waiting for this movie to come out ever since it was announced. I am a very huge fan of both ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘The Conjuring 2’ movies. I can also admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the two ‘Annabelle’ spin-offs, however.
The backstory of the film is set in 1952 and takes place in Romania It mainly revolves around a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun known only as Valak (Bonnie Aarons), and a young nun who is shown clutching an ancient key and hanging herself in the Abbey of St. Carta. There’s also a door inscribed with “Finit hic Deo,” which translates to “Here ends God.”
At the Vatican a few days later, a group of bishops sends a priest with a haunted past, Father Burke (Damian Birchir), to investigate the mysterious tragedy, and also suspiciously requests he take a lovely novice, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), with him to this remote and very creepy abbey. We learn that the abbey was built centuries ago by a Satan-worshiping Duke to house a portal or gateway to hell. After many deaths, it was over-run and eventually sanctified by a group of Christian knights, assisted with the aid of a religious relic containing a cross and a small vial said to hold the blood of Jesus Christ.
The thing I was most pleased with was the location they chose for this film. The scenery and special effects were simply amazing. The setting of the abbey itself helped create the dark and haunting atmosphere of the movie. Right down to the truly creepy camera work and lighting were also phenomenal, built with dim lights and misty blue fog, a dark and mournful graveyard setting, with candles and bells upon the graves no less. Not to mention the creepy as hell catacombs. All of this and the grim, dark tones really set the mood and made it a most un-nerving watch, making you feel isolated and alone throughout the entire movie.
Another positive point was the characters. I had no problem what-so-ever with any of the acting of the characters. Taissa Farmiga played her role as Sister Irene, a charming and intelligent young nun, in top form. She actually stole the show in my opinion, as the central character. Taissa, by the way, is also the younger sister of Vera Farmiga from all the other ‘Conjuring’ films. You’ll probably best know her from ‘American Horror Story’.
Father Burke intrigues as the experienced administrator with a dark past while the French farmer (Jonas Bloquet), named Frenchie, no less, charms his way into your heart with his gentle manners and light humor. All three of these remarkable characters complement each other perfectly. As for Valak herself, I really feel that Bonnie Aarons gave an outstanding performance and truly brought the demonic nun to life. Valak was very creepy and menacing at the same time. I loved how alarming she could look during the times she was shown. All of the actors and actresses were definitely solid.
If I had to pinpoint what I thought were the best aspects of the movie, I’d definitely say the wicked atmosphere and the musical score. The atmosphere from the very opening scene right to the very end. The music was just ominous and dreadful (in a very good way) throughout the entire film, and I especially loved the closing track, it could have very well been taken straight off of Rotting Christ’s, “Ritual” album. No joking. Another favorite scene was when the guy entered one of the dark rooms and you could see several forms standing around unmoving.
Upon the camera scanning around closer you could tell that they were all dead nuns that had some sort of cloths over their heads, kinda like cloth sacks. Once the guy had them all in view he slowly begins inching forward, only to make the slightest noise, causing one of the nuns to come to life with a snap of her neck, or more like a neck-breaking sound, as she turned to face him. Several nuns take turns slowly doing this as he moves forward and it totally reminded me of the part in ‘Silent Hill’ where the nurses came alive and moved and jerked around with sounds. Very creepy indeed!
The film contains a lot of occult themes, a horrible suicide scene, some physical violence and a bit of gore. I think it would be safe to assume that there might be many adults, especially Christian and Catholic that would find this film very troubling. The MPAA has rated it an ‘R’ for restricted. No one under 17 and requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian. For me, I thought it was a great movie. The story was definitely interesting, and it had plenty of chilling moments, and I would no doubt highly recommending it to anyone into the horror scene.
Title: The Nun
Release Date: September 7, 2018
Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Studio: Warner Brothers Studios
Starring: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet
MPAA Rated: R
Directors: Corin Hardy
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
Our Rating: 3.6 /5
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