New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers Pictures
Starring Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor
Written by Gary Dauberman
Directed by Corin Hardy
God, I really wanted to like this movie.
When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are 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 a demonic nun.
Normally I go into seeing a film with my expectations in check. It allows me experience a movie rather than critique everything about it that didn’t meet my expectations. I went into The Nun hoping for a good standalone horror experience that connected to the broader Conjuring universe. I got a small part of that.
The biggest issue with the film is the characters. Not the actors. The actors do a fine job with what they have, but there is nothing established with them that gives the viewer a reason to either engage or care what happens to them. Taissa Farmiga plays Sister Irene and she is extremely likeable in the role. Unfortunately, she and Demian Birchir’s Father Burke get dropped into the story with no clear direction or purpose. They’re supposed to be investigating the death of a nun, but there’s little to no investigation to be had.
Once they get to the abbey, the film degenerates into a series of jump scares and blank faces that never really gels together as a story. Even the back story explanation seems like it was thrown together at the last-minute to give the movie some much-needed plot development. The film itself seemed to be driven by a character, rather than character driven and that character isn’t even given enough screen time to be interesting.
As a fan of The Conjuring universe of films from James Wan, I expected something interesting in The Nun. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much there. The only saving grace is the scene at the end that connects The Nun to the larger Conjuring universe.