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Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Nun - Movie Review

The Movie: The Nun

The Director: Corin Hardy

The Cast: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Charlotte Hope, Sandra Teles

The Story: Remember that creepy nun from The Conjuring 2? This movie is a prequel and tells where it came from.

The Review:
Okay everyone, my first word of advice here is about expectation. What do you want to get out of this movie? Are you looking for the intensely disturbing thrill ride of the main titles or are you willing to settle for a bit less knowing that's a very high bar to reach? I went with the latter and ended up being mostly satisfied. The story is solid and wastes no time getting you to the scary stuff. I can't stand it when horror movies slow burn for half their run time before giving any sort of payoff so bonus points for that. Corin Hardy makes a valiant attempt at capturing elements of classic horror cinema but ends up falling into more of the genres pitfalls than anything else.

The main problem I ran into with this movie is that the villain is a little goofy looking when it's not in a painting or half hidden in shadows and there are moments of dialog, two in particular that were comedy gold only without any intention of being that. This movie is in no way shape or form meant to be any sort of comedy or parody of the genre and everything is played 100% straight yet those two moments (you have to see them for yourself) drew some of the biggest audience laughs I have witnessed all year long. You just can't let this happen when you are trying to build and maintain a sense of dread and intensity throughout your movie.

On a much more positive note, Taissa Farmiga is fantastic in this movie and it's fun to see her as this character since her mom, Vera Farmiga, plays Lorraine Warren in the primary Conjuring films. It's uncanny how much she looks like her mom and, within the story, it adds an interesting layer of connective tissue. Meanwhile Demián Bichir was generic and uninteresting as the preacher with a past who is sent to save the day which is really basic stuff to begin with and he did nothing to improve upon the given material. Completing the leading trio of actors is Jonas Bloquet who is sort of there for comedic relief although, like the previously mentioned unintentional humor, did more to take you out of the mood and story than anything else. His character also suffered from poor, generic writing and is filled even more with stereotypes and cliches than Bichir's character.

The Verdict:
The Nun is almost a decent horror movie that benefits greatly from being part of the Conjuring franchise. Without that pedigree and the requisite references to the other films, it would most likely never have seen the light of day. I really wanted to like it and kind of do but the bad definitely outweighs the good.

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