The Nun (2018): ‘Hollywood’s Contemporary Horrors’ – A Film Review

 

Introduction

This year has been a good year for horror films, which I’m honestly surprised to say. Earlier this year we had UnsaneA Quiet Place and Hereditary. All may have had faults but seemed to add a new bit of life to a genre that had been largely reduced to jump scares and the monotonous ghost/telekinesis/hallucinations. Then we have The Nun. The Nun is a spin-off of the successful Conjuring series, which has already seen the successful spin offs of Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation. These films are part of the many films, which use the Amityville Murders as a basis for their narrative. A suspected supernatural occurrence of a haunted house following a terrible incident in that house. However, the concepts that are now part of The Nun are perhaps quite far removed from this initial ‘truth’.

 

Look and Sound

The Nun keeps with modern cinematic visual troupes. It is well shot with some interesting visuals and both enhanced and held back, by the CGI. It looks generally as if it’s expensive but relies too much on that to be too distinct. Fortunately, the heart of any horror film seems to be the soundtrack and the compositions do really help everything that occurs on screen. Enabling the atmosphere and distilling each shot with an air of things to come – namely jump scares.

 

More of the Same

This is just the thing; The Nun is exactly the kind of film you’d come to expect from a big budget horror film from a studio that just wants to play it safe. Little story, little characters and little moments. In brief we explore a concept but quickly learn everything we need to know. We have very little time devoted to each character leaving little to develop with them and just allowing them to exist in the spaces we’re given. Whilst the moments of action or plot points aren’t given much time, either, and often feel quite held back – the ending for example, was anticlimactic.

 

Conclusion

Looking nice but without much substance at all, The Nun works as a mediocre horror film. It will do its part but there’s nothing to really take from it. As part of the ever-growing Conjuring franchise it will be just one amongst many: not too bad, not too good. It’s disappointing, as we’ve had so many better horror films released this year and it’s the franchise builder that holds horrors back. This would seem to make sense, but one would hope for more from a franchise film like The Nun, one would hope that they’d put more into it, creatively. This would be what’s wrong with modern American horror films, they keep things the same, held back and with very little originality.

 

Synopsis

In 1952 Romania, a nun commits suicide. Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) are sent in to investigate why, with help new friend Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet).

 

Ratings

Entertainment:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Performances:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Technical:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

 

A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.

 

Films Mentioned

A Quiet Place (d. John Krasinski USA 2018)

Annabelle (d. John R. Leonetti USA 2014)

Annabelle: Creation (d. David F. Sandberg USA 2017)

Hereditary (d. Ari Aster USA 2018)

The Nun (d. Corin Hardy USA 2018)

Unsane (d. Steven Soderbergh USA 2018)

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with the Cast

Interview with Corin Hardy

Interview with Taissa Farmiga

Conjuring Timeline

James Wan (Director of The Conjuring) on why it’s become a Franchise

 

If you liked this

Hereditary (2018): ‘Burn the Witch’ – A Film Review

A Quiet Place (2018): ‘A Quiet Family’ – A Film Review

Unsane (2018): ‘Stalker Selfie – A Personal Look at Stalker Victims’ – A Film Review

 

This was an analytical review of….

 

The Nun (d. Corin Hardy USA 2018)

 



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