The Nun Movie Review
The Conjuring universe had to puke out its own pea soup at some point, but who knew it could be this bad. The Nun is a dull, forgettable, and shockingly unshocking horror movie that for some reason abandons the formula that has made every other movie in the franchise—yes, including the largely ignored first Annabelle movie—worth seeing.
The Nun, as you might expect, creates a story around the creepy demon-nun that has popped up in some of the other Conjuring movies, most notably The Conjuring 2, in which Vera Farmiga is tormented by the spooky-as-hell monster. Set in Romania in the 1950s, the protagonists are a priest (Demián Bichir) and a young nun (Taissa Farmiga, Vera’s sister) sent by the Vatican to investigate a suspicious death.
Corin Hardy, whose only recognizable credit to date is the decent The Hallow, directed the film but appears to have been uninterested in adhering to the same cinematography techniques that have proven to be so effective at scaring the crap out of audiences. While not without its moments, The Nun plays like countless other generic horror movies that come and go in a year. The direction is impatient and unwilling to build suspense, resulting in cheap jump scares that simply aren’t very scary.
The story, too, is pretty forgettable and fails to take advantage of its freaky title character. The screenplay is by Gary Dauberman, who wrote both Annabelle: Creation (that’s the second one) and It, so he has some talent. But for whatever reason Dauberman takes things in the safest direction possible, delivering a pretty generic story that fails to hold attention.
Whether the issue is the screenplay or the direction or some combination of the two, nothing in The Nun is particularly noteworthy or memorable—other than the fact that one of the scariest characters that has come from The Conjuring universe is so poorly utilized.
The Nun is proof that a good horror movie needs good execution—and the execution here is… well, not good. A crucifix won’t save you here, nor will healthy praying. Your only hope is to keep this locked away in the Warren room, never to be seen or touched again.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.