Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Nun: Film Review

The Nun: Film Review

Cast: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, The Nun
Director: Corin Hardy

The Conjuring universe gets its own Cloisters Encounters of the Interred Kind with this latest spin-off from the series, following on from the success of spooky doll Annabelle.
The Nun: Film Review

A priest with a haunted past (Bichir) and a novice (American Horror Story's Farmiga) on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the apparent suicide of a young nun in Romania.

When they arrive, they hear tales from local delivery boy Frenchie (Bloquet) of what's happened, but are forced to confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun. (Which will be familiar to those of James Wan's Conjuring films.)

You know what you're in for with The Nun.

Though in fairness, most of what transpires feels derivative and all-too familiar to really stand out on its own.
The Nun: Film Review

Essentially building a religious Mulder and Scully in the leads, and throwing in elements of The Exorcist, Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Hellmouth and spooky goings on in smoky cemeteries, The Nun does well to build an atmosphere of unease, and tensions with some sequences feeling like they've been dragged to the absolute edge of what suspense can do.

However, it becomes clear that what's being touted as "the darkest chapter of The Conjuring universe" doesn't quite believe in its own hype, with a series of corny dialogue moments mixed in with some truly awful comedy, which combine to puncture any kind of horror you may be feeling in your stomach.

It's a shame because the weighty issue of the sin of suicide at the start really sets a darker tone for the Transylvanian shot film - and it's a welcome one, but one sadly dispatched with for some jump scares and some horror punchlines which fall flat.

As the film progresses the wildly veering tone does more to unnerve than any horrors could do, and no amount of fleeting-out-of-the-corner-of-your-eye moments can rebuild what's being torn down.
The Nun: Film Review

Every horror works when the fear is primal, the boogeyman is lurking in the shadows to grab you - and it's here that Hardy works some cinematic magic, using corridors to great effect and pushing you as far as you can go.

But ultimately, The Nun doesn't quite capture its premise; its habit of providing some solid sequences (which look ripped from storyboards and writ large) don't quite gel together because of the sabotaging of its own narrative, and the film dissolves into a catacomb-set finale that's less climactic than it ought to be.

All in all, The Nun's penchant for unevenness is its undoing; it may offer a few moments of terror, but its proclivity for puncturing its own smarter edges make this one spinoff that doesn't quite prove to be as haunting or as much an atmospheric carny ride of terror as it ought to be.

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