It’s not always easy in a film series to maintain hype, let alone actually release a film worthy of its hype. But the Conjuring Universe seems to be able to churn out some relatively good viewing especially with the latest instalment, The Nun. Steering away from the usual jump scares, The Nun is both frightening albeit unlike the previous films with a little bit of humour seeping through.
Set in the early 1950s a Priest, Father Burke, is sent by the Vatican to investigate a suicide at a Romanian convent. To assist in his investigations, he is accompanied by Sister Irene, a Nun yet to take her vows.
Helped by local farmer and delivery boy Frenchie who found the dead nun, the three soon realise they are dealing with something far more sinister than a Nun’s suicide. Staying the night at the convent they struggle to know what is real and what is not as they battle one of the strongest demons, Valak.
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren tell of this story some time later and how they have crossed paths with this demon before.
The Nun shies away from the jump scares that has come to be expected from the Conjuring Universe. Rather it plays on the “what’s that around the corner” fright that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Playing into the religious side of the storyline adds a somewhat realistic basis to this demon.
The storyline doesn’t add much depth other than what you see is what you get. While there has been a build up over a number of films first featuring in The Conjuring 2 and again in Annabelle: Creation, The Nun is a stand-alone story that quickly jumps in and doesn’t seem to delve into anything too complex or in depth. It’s simply a demon in the form of a Nun who happens to possess and wreak havoc. That isn’t to say the simplicity of the storyline is lacking, far from. It is the simplicity of the film that makes it even more enjoyable to watch. You aren’t trying to figure anything out or stay focused in case you miss something.
Corin Hardy takes on this film as Director though the Conjuring Director James Wan who kick started the Universe stays on as Producer. Hardy isn’t new to the horror genre having directed The Hallow in 2015. The thing with Hardy’s direction is that it doesn’t take on anything too challenging. There’s nothing special about the script, there are no amazing special effects and he’s not pushed the Actors to give outstanding performances. Rather than play on these extra motives, Hardy relies on the simple storyline that has come to be known for the spin off movies of the Conjuring Universe.
Overall there is nothing that will compared to the original Conjuring films. However, this is a far more enjoyable and frightening option than Annabel. There are some funny one liners and even though there are some jump scares, for the most part the scariest is the audio rumbling your cinema chair and not knowing what is around the corner. It’s good to see a universe that isn’t super heroes and it can only get better as the series grows and gets deeper and deeper into the supernatural world.
Review by Jay Cook
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