By Dashon King
The Conjuring may be the first installment to the Haye’s brothers film series but it’s The Nun that takes us back to the root of their demonic contemporary horror filled universe.
The Nun is a gratuitous take on actual events from demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren who have encountered the demon before and beaten it. The plot of the story takes place in 1952 in the country of Romania where young nun Sister Irene and Father Burke go to investigate the death of a nun. The duo soon learns the history of how the demon came into their world and the havoc wrecked afterward.
The main demon, which appears as a horrifying white-eyed nun, is based on the demon Valak that was once declared the scariest of them all and according to lore from demonicpedia.com, Valak serves as high-president of Hell. The Nun made two appearances in the conjuring universes, one was in the Conjuring 2 as the main antagonist trying to steal the soul of a young British girl and terrorizing her family, and the other is a brief cameo in Annabelle: Creation where it appears in the end credits.
The cast of The Nun is promising, especially Taissa Farmiga, who is known for her performances in the dark American Horror Story series, so she is no stranger to the horror genre. Additionally, she is the real life sister of Vera Farmiga, who stars as Lorraine Warren in the Conjuring universe. It might be a sister thing to star in horror movies together, so it definitely helps to have two scream queens as the main roles in a popular horror series like this.
The plot is well structured and tells the backstories of these hauntings easily to an audience who may not have tuned into the first parts of the Conjuring series. The real fear comes from what’s hidden behind the curtain: anything ever seen in the world can serve as a demonic force at any time.
Because there weren’t many jump scare gimmicks used in the film, the tone is different than other movies in the Conjuring series. Taking away audience’s expectations of common jump scares can leave them on the edge of their seats, waiting to be spooked in the traditional way of the film.
Despite excellent cinematography and smooth plot transitions from one movie to the other, The Nun did not live up to the hype that it was expecting.
However, The Nun is cashing in on the Halloween season and has been turning a profit from an expecting audience. According to Forbes’ senior contributor Scott Mendelson, “the fifth movie in the Conjuring franchise has now earned a whopping $131 million worldwide on a 22 million budget.” If James Wan, creator of the Saw series, continues to produce this series, audiences can expect another handful of gimmicky but effective movies in the Conjuring universe.
If Warner Bros. decides to make a sequel, they should consider adding a more digestible storyline and more horror film techniques instead of overused jump scares to really shake its audience to the core and double check that they’ve locked their bedroom doors and pulled the curtains closed to hid from the darkness.