I always thought I couldn’t manage horror movies well.
Something either influenced by early childhood memories or empathizing with others who have had horrifying experiences due to film.
But I’ve found as I’ve grown that the conventional horror doesn’t do too much to me; Gory schlock pieces that tow bloody murder across the silver-screen come off as a study in tropes to avoid rather than entertain.
And unfortunately the latest addition to The Conjuring Universe, The Nun, represents everything about that.
When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest (Demián Bichir) with a haunted past and a novitiate (Taissa Farmiga) on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate.
Together, they uncover the order’s unholy secret.
Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
What I loved was how many people came to me asking how the film was after I had seen it. Having that kind of coverage of a film in the commercial market is always nice to see, cause even if you don’t enjoy a film, someone else will!
And I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the film.
I actually had so much fun cause I was giggling so much at the film. It blatantly sidesteps a lot of the best of what it’s shared-universe films produced; High-set pieces that excelled in tension building to the Nth degree.
Finding a heavy reliance on sound engineering, which is actually really awesome and utilises surround sound effectively, it reduces itself to a checklist of things characters should be avoiding but don’t; So much so, I felt a lot like Randy Meeks from the Scream franchise pointing out and laughing at all the very clear-cut scares that occur which are redundant.
Thankfully Farmiga and co. do enough to carry the movie’s thrills through to conclusion, and the Valak character itself still has an insurmountable amount of horrifying charm to it, but just…yeah.
It’s a movie. A horror movie. It does enough to continue The Conjuring Universe on its spooky journey through cinemas and wallets, but it lacks anything original or different to what we’ve seen.
While it’s current standing with the Box Office doesn’t reflect this, and a lot of the general audience love a good jump scare, it’ll be interesting to see where the Universe goes if it wants to continue on this path of success. Because if it plays into this typical system of lacklustre narrative and loud noises, then there may be nun more.
The Nun holds enough spooky juice in the tank to thrill the general audience. But with it's position in cinema, it should look to lead like it's originators and hopefully CONJURE up some real tension for its next outing (which it is totally getting).