Movie Review: Total Nonsense from The Nun

Movie Review: Total Nonsense from The Nun
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. He is a graduate of Journalism from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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With each new September comes a new fall movie season. That bundle is usually loaded with an onslaught of horror and thriller flicks for the upcoming Halloween holiday. If The Nun is an indication of this year’s genre offerings, it’s not off to a good start.

So what if it’s part of the newly touted “The Conjuring” universe? The exploration of one good film in 2013 is now seemingly being pummelled into the ground with spinoff stories. At the rate it’s going, it could become the newest disaster after the highly popular Saw franchise.

Set in 1952 Romania, the spinoff is a prequel to the events of The Conjuring 2. Having seen any of the series’ other films will give a slightly deeper appreciation to the prologue. Though unlike many franchises, there’s no need to have seen any of them to understand or follow what’s going on.

This surprisingly short movie is mainly set at a convent in the Romanian mountains. A church investigator (Demián Bichir) and an English nun in postulancy (Taissa Farmiga) travel there at the Vatican’s request. Upon their arrival, they quickly discover there is an evil entity lurking in the walls.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

What isn’t lurking is any of the charm or suspense from the original Conjuring. None of the creative scare scenes of Annabelle, either. It’s disappointing having every scary moment ruined by an obvious build-up. I counted nearly 20 cases where a sudden silence or darkened room would come right before something jumped out from hiding.

Yet none of The Nun’s predecessors has quite the same spectacle. What makes it unique in the franchise is some breathtaking production design. The gloomy mountains, medieval castle and stark stone architecture add to a satisfying spooky set. That goes double for its costumes and props, department too.

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The gravest sin by far isn’t any of the cast’s demonic behaviours. Director Corin Hardy’s misstep is directing the story with no purpose. What do the characters learn after their spooky encounters? What is the audience supposedly to think about differently?

Beyond the shallowness of the narrative, what does happen is short and implausible. The secret backstory behind the haunting are laughably dumb, and heighten the already uncomplying story. It’s more basic than a cheap episode of the popular TV series Supernatural.

Frankly, most of the film isn’t scary – it’s disturbing. That goes for both it’s dark, unsettling imagery of demons on fire (or pools of unwashable blood) and it’s interruption to any superior entertainment that could occupy your time. Either way, neither way is how you should be disturbed.

However stylish and decorative the film looks, it’s about absolutely nothing. With no substance, there’s no intrigue or suspense to keep movie-goers invested. It’s complete and utter nonsense to think The Nun is scarier than the quickly growing ticket prices to see it.

The Nun
1 out of 4 stars

14A, 1hrs 36mins. Horror History.
Directed by Corin Hardy.
Starring Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir Jonas Bloquet and Bonnie Aarons.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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