Words Glenn Blomfield
The latest film by director Corin Hardy is a prequel to The Conjuring series and Annabelle series. As with The Conjuring, which is based on true events and real people, the film has taken some liberties, in a way, it relies on the fantastical, edging on the far-fetched. It also relies on its family-line connection from its rich horror genetics. The story takes place in the far reaches of Romania in 1952, set in a ruin castle that is resided as a Nun monastery. It also houses a distinct Evil, that has taken home deep within its caverns. It can’t be contained and has taken possession of a young Nun. The Vatican has received reports of a Nuns suicide at the cloistered Romanian abbey and has requested a investigation. The quest is taken on by a Priest (Demián Bichir) that has experience in the paranormal activities, setting forth with a young fresh Nun (Taissa Farmiga), she has yet taken her devout vows to God and church. Ty head off to a world of ‘Hammer House of horror’ looking set designs and bombastic loud jump scares.
I personally like my Horror films to be grounded. In a relative way that connects to its primal subconsciousness, one that digs into the human psyche. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised that James Wan’s The Conjuring was effective. The character of the Nun’s appearance in that movie stood out enough to garner its own film for fans. It’s just a shame it’s not a winning formula. The Nun for me came across more like the wicked witch from The Wizard of OZ or Badjelly the Witch, or, even Witchy-Poo from H.R .Puffinstuff . Maybe that’s a bit critical, but it’s also a slight comical reaction on my part.
I took a bit of tongue and cheek watching this film. However, it failed to win me over. The heavily layered special effects made the film more a fantasy outing than horror. Don’t get me wrong, there is the odd jump scare, but it’s purely from jolt than its scariness. The Nun doesn’t have fun with itself, and you do at times enjoy the scary awkwardness of the characters. The Nun is average at best, with some fun moments, but for doesn’t generate those all important scares. The lead antagonist, the evil Nun, just simply isn’t frightening enough, a wrong turn in The Conjuring film universe in my opinion. Oh well, until next time….BOOOOOOO!