HOLLYWOOD—Horror, I love a great horror movie and as of late I have not been that entertained to say the least. Look, I think you can absolutely make a great movie with a PG-13 rating, but you are limited to a degree with what you can do. When you implement the R-rating, you are not limited, but at the same time you don’t have to be excessive with the gore. It is all about the element of suspense, and “The Nun” has plenty going for it.
Now, many of you might be asking me if you need to see “The Conjuring 2” before venturing into the theater to see “The Nun.” The answer to that question is: no! This is an origin tale, if anything, watching “The Conjuring 2” will make you fear ‘The Nun’ aka Valek who is the main antagonist in that movie. The character’s presence alone is spooky as hell. However, if you have knowledge of “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2,” the movie “The Nun” ties in well with those two movies.
There are things that really work with this horror flick. 1) James Wan is on board as a producer and helped with story duties for the flick. For those not in the know, Wan is responsible for crafting the scripts for “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2.” This is a script that doesn’t divulge all the secrets immediately to the audience; there are tidbits and hints given here and there and it’s up to the spectator to put those pieces of the puzzle together. That is what you call a good mystery! You give clues to the audience, but make them so subtle that it’s not obvious or that it takes just a bit of rational thinking to piece things together. 2) The movie has a wicked opening that sets the stage for the entire movie.
This is important, especially in the world of horror where you have to suture the audience with a premise of a series of events that keeps their interest as the film’s narrative progresses. 3) Let’s talk about our leads. Taissa Farmiga, that last name may ring a bell, she’s the sister of Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga, and one hell of an actress. Taissa instantly caught my attention in the first season for “American Horror Story” and has proven to be a powerhouse since.
Without a doubt Taissa, who portrays Sister Irene carries this film a ton, with a compassionate, yet naïve character, who, the more she digs learns that she has been placed in a very dangerous situation as she investigates the deaths of two nuns in the early 50s in Romania. To tag along with the journey is Father Burke (Demian Bichir) who also learns he is a bit over his head as he battles the demon Valak (Bonnie Aarons). Now, I will make the argument with horror, the less I know about the antagonist the scarier they become. We also have to talk about the character Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who has an interesting backstory that is unveiled towards the climax of the movie; it’s a nice twist that as a viewer threw me off.
“The Nun” does shed some light on Valek and how the demon came to be unearthed, however, we don’t get a massive backstory, just enough to leave the audience intrigued to want to learn more, but still to be aware their presence is one to be worried about. There are absolute jump out your seat, grab the edge of your seat scares that you will not see coming. That comes with precision in a clever script and the direction of Corin Hardy who ensures to utilize the camera’s placement to deliver the biggest reveal to the audience. This movie left me unnerved and I loved every minute of it. Expect to be scared when watching “The Nun” it is the testament of true horror done right. Keeping it simple, keeping it direct and delivering a few surprises the audience might never expect.