By: Daylon Bonner, Staff Writer
“The Conjuring” horror film universe made its return to cinemas with its latest installment “The Nun.” The film is a companion piece to the second “Conjuring” film and attempts to give backstory to the titular nun. The film follows new characters Sister Irene, Father Burke and Frenchie, a local villager, as they investigate an abbey in Romania after a suicide occurs there.
Truthfully, I have never really cared enough to see the other movies in this franchise. After seeing this film, I probably will not be taking time to see them because this was rough to get through.
A definite point in favor of the film is its sense of atmosphere. Something felt off about the abbey they were in from its first appearance. Obviously, this is the case because the characters would not be here otherwise. However, the site oozes that something vile happened there. It is shrouded in gothic architecture and shadows, albeit maybe too much on the shadows as it did get difficult to make out the scene at points.
One could say the film has a sense of humor.
The titular nun does make the film a bit more interesting when on screen. However, she is not on screen often, and her presence is sorely missed when not on screen.
This film is less than one hundred minutes long, and it felt like it was two hours. That is probably because the characters did not have many interesting qualities about them. The most noteworthy thing about Sister Irene is that she is a novice (a nun in training) and has visions. The most compelling aspect of Father Burke is he distrusts the Vatican. The most interesting thing about Frenchie is that he is French-Canadian.
I was not looking for characters as memorable as Ash from the “Evil Dead” franchise. However, as of this writing, I saw this film yesterday and barely remember anything about these characters.
Another flaw is the film’s reliance on predictable jump scares. The camera will pan away from a character then turn back to reveal something behind them. A character may look behind them and notice something while the real scare come from the side. The use of jump scares is one thing, but I should not be able to count down in my head when they will happen.
There is also a serious problem I noticed within the film. If this was not the intent of the filmmakers I will redact this statement. Father Burke and Sister Irene meet this French-Canadian man, eventually revealed to be named Maurice instead of Frenchie. He makes a pass at Sister Irene during their first encounter. She brushes him off stating she is a novice. However, they do continue a somewhat flirtatious interaction throughout the film.
This bothers me for two reasons. The first is that the film specifically brings up that she is a novice. Bringing up that fact during this interaction felt unsettling as Maurice seemed overtly intrigued by the fact that Sister Irene had not taken her final vows yet. The second reason is the age difference. I by no means claim to be an expert on Romania or the Catholic Church, but I do not think that Sister Irene, at least in the film, is older than eighteen. Maurice, on the other hand, is probably in his early to mid-twenties. To say their flirtatious interactions are awkward would be the best way of putting it.
I do not think this film is terrible. The scenes look, at least when you can clearly make them out, great. However, it relies too much on common horror elements and wears out its welcome quickly. Furthermore, it is not as interesting as it could have been. “The Nun” gets a three out of ten. The film is in theaters now.