Written By: Andrew D. Hurley
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Companies: Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema and The Safran Company
Director: Corin Hardy
Producers: Peter Safran and James Wan
Scriptwriter: Gary Dauberman
Main Cast: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jona Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons and Ingrid Bisu
Released: September 7 2018
Running Time: 96 Minutes
You may be surprised to learn that The Nun is only the second film ever directed by Englishman Corin Hardy. His previous effort was the 2015 low-budget horror film The Hallow, which he also co-wrote, and is set in a remote village in Ireland. It was inspired by Irish Folklore, and by such films as The Evil Dead, Alien and The Fly. One thing that is apparent, though, is that horror runs through the veins of Corin Hardy, and he has already proved that a promising career in this genre awaits him.
Gary Dauberman, who wrote The Nun, is also no stranger to the horror genre, as he has also written Annabelle and Annabelle: Creation, and he co-wrote the screenplay for Stephen King’s IT, the highest-grossing horror film of all time! He is due to make his directional debut in 2019 as he completes the Annabelle trilogy. That is certainly one to look out for.
The Nun, a spin-off to Conjuring 2, is a gothic, supernatural horror set mainly in the remote village of Bierton, Romania. At the edge of the village lies a large castle built in the dark ages by the Duke. It was used for rituals and occult practices, until the Catholic Church took it over and banished all malevolence from the castle through centuries of perpetual adoration and prayer, effectively turning it into an abbey. During World War II, the abbey is damaged through enemy action, somehow allowing the evil to return.
One evening in 1952, two nuns are killed at the abbey. One of the nuns, Sister Victoria, throws herself out of a window and hangs herself while fleeing from a mysterious presence. Frenchie, a local French-Canadian who delivers supplies to the abbey every three months, discovers her dead body the following day, and the news eventually reaches the Vatican in Rome. Father Burke, a Miracle Hunter, and Sister Irene, a young and novitiate nun, are dispatched to the village to investigate the matter further. They call to the house of Frenchie, and he reluctantly leads them to the abbey. Even his horse refuses to go any further as it nears the abbey as it can sense evil, so they have to travel the remainder of the way on foot.
At the abbey, they discover that Sister Victoria’s dead body has been moved from where Frenchie left it when he found it, and fresh blood appeared where she had hanged herself. They also come across a rather strange-looking key which later on helps them to unlock the dark secrets of the abbey. In their search for answers, they encounter possessed nuns and are attacked by demonic entities. Only the blood of Christ can save them now.
The Nun is a striking film visually, with superb lighting throughout. There are moments of tension, and both Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene and Demián Bichir as Father Burke put in sterling performances. Despite this, it is the film’s rather weak plot that lets it down a little and tends to rely on jump scare tactics rather than a strong storyline. The film did show promise and, as a sophomore effort, Corin Hardy should be pleased with what he’s achieved.
The Nun was certainly enjoyable to watch, and despite its downfalls, it had all the ingredients that a supernatural, horror movie should contain. With Halloween season just around the corner, this is a good film to watch in order to whet your appetite for the evils that lie ahead …
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Good