Spinoff films in an established movie universe can be a slippery slope, especially if the spinoff develops a character’s origin or backstory.
The power of horror films is when the villain isn’t given a motive for their actions, and the randomness of the situation is terrifying.
The Nunattempts to give the most menacing interesting villains in The Conjuringmovie series an origin story that robs the character of its power. This is the fatal blow that stops the film from being a welcomed addition to The Conjuringcinematic movie universe.
The movie begins in a creepy church/convent in Transylvania damaged by missiles during World War II where a local delivery boy named Frenchie discovers a dead, hanging, mutilated body of a nun.
The Vatican enlists one of its high-ranked priests, Father Burke, to go investigate the death at the church, and much to his dismay, tells him to bring the underqualified Sister Irene with him. The trio head back to the church to investigate the hanging.
That’s when all hell breaks loose.
Taissa Farmiga gives an outstanding performance in her role as Sister Irene. She showed she can carry a movie like her older sister Vera Farmiga does as Lorraine Warren, the real-life demon-hunting heroine in The Conjuringmain movie series with her husband Ed Warren. But it is Jonas Bloquet who steals the show as the wise-cracking delivery-boy-turned-hero Frenchie.
Demian Bichir, who plays Father Burke, gives the weakest performance out of the trio, not because of his acting but due to the powerful performances of the other two actors.
What hurts this movie is that it relies on jump scares and loud noises instead of the terror of fighting against a demonic entity.
This error could’ve been fixed by fleshing out the script more.
The creation of Valek, the true identity of the nun character, is cheesy and uninspired. It kills any chance of the character of becoming a horror film icon.
The Nun is a mediocre horror film that should be avoided, unless you’re entertained by The Conjuringfilm series, but even then it’s not worth paying movie theater prices to see.