The Nun starts like a homage to classic horror. It’s enjoyable to see scared horses cease when nearing the Abbey, like Dracula, and the ice-house in which the local comic-relief Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) stores the dead nun, reminiscent of M.R. James. The Abbey itself is also nicely designed for horror with stone floors shrouded in mist, hundreds of crucifixes hanging from the ceiling, and a lack of electricity which blankets everything in a thick darkness. And this works well with Maxime Alexandre’s drifty and well-coordinated visuals that add some suspense to the scares.
However, despite the intensity and imagination behind the scares, there’s not much to be scared of – mainly because, unlike the hype, the build-ups are tiny. It’s just two pious detectives taking a tour of an old church and scary stuff happens and that’s it, with very little in the way of plot- or character-development. Even the connection to The Conjuring, revealed in the closing minutes, is underdeveloped and stuck on the end to make The Nun feel important to the overall franchise.
The Nun is like an excited first-draft filled with nightmarish images and no idea how to tie them together. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman (It, the Annabelle spinoffs) has fun on occasion – especially through the character of Frenchie, who offers some light laughs among monotonous evils. But even Valak looks bored in her own story, and she’s nowhere near as frightening as her entrance in The Conjuring 2. And when the main villain doesn’t elicit so much as a light gasp, it’s an experience as dry as the Nun’s weathered face.
|What||The Nun film review|
06 Sep 18 – 06 Sep 19, 12:00 AM
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