Okay, I’m just going to be straight up. I thought that this movie was absolute garbage. I haven’t been this disappointed with a horror movie since watching “The Devil Inside.” I’m not sure who would enjoy this movie or who their intended audience was. I mean you would think that they would target “The Conjuring” fans since that’s the universe this movie takes place in. If that was the plan, this movie is the equivalent of having someone shit in your laundry. You’re shocked and disgusted and you’re thinking “There’s no way this is happening to me.” Oh, but it is happening to you, Sharron. Someone just shit in your laundry. This movie just missed the mark entirely and is a disappointment to anyone who enjoys “The Conjuring” franchise. See, I enjoy “The Conjuring” movies! I even liked “Annabelle” (don’t @ me). But this movie just doesn’t add anything to this universe. I’m going to break this review down into three parts: the plot, the scares and the acting.
The Plot (or Lack Thereof)
Coming in, I thought that this movie would explain the backstory of the nun character introduced in “The Conjuring 2.” I mean that would make sense, right? It is literally named after this demon, but the origin story just came off as lazy writing. This demon went from being terrifying to being lackluster. Anyways, let’s jump into the plot (spoilers obvi).
We open in a Romanian abbey where two nuns (#1 and #2) are traveling down a spooky hallway towards a door that reads “God Ends Here.” #1 walks into this dark room beyond the door holding a key while #2 starts praying. The demon does what demons do and #1 comes out covered in blood and hands the key to #2 before being sucked back into the dark room (thanks demon!). #2 does what she needs to do and hangs herself in front of the abbey. Obviously, having a nun commit suicide is concerning to the Vatican so they send their Goon Squad to investigate. This includes Father Burke, a seasoned veteran when it comes to the paranormal, and Sister Irene, who hasn’t taken her vows yet and has a different view on the bible (Alexa, play “I’m Different”). Father Burke is told that Sister Irene has experience with Romania but is told, by Sister Irene herself, that she has never been. But Father Burke is satisfied that the Vatican knows what they’re doing, and they head off to Romania. Their first stop is to question the man who found the body of the nun, Frenchie. Frenchie immediately addresses Sister Irene as if they knew each other or had been lovers (this is what I heard, but they were mumbling so I may be wrong). This is the second time that Sister Irene is associated with Romania. Does this get explained? Nope! Anyways, Frenchie tells the two that the village and the abbey have this agreement that the village would supply the nuns with food and whatnot. But that’s the only person who comes into contact with the abbey as the entire village believes it is evil. They get to the abbey and talk to this old cloaked woman, Mother Superior, who comes out of nowhere. Mother Superior doesn’t seem to know about the nun who died but agrees that the Goon Squad can interview the nuns the next day. The nuns are currently not able to speak until the next day because of this vow of silence. The Goon Squad is asked to spend the night in a separate area from the nuns and Frenchie leaves, promising to come back in a few days. On his way out, Frenchie encounters a zombie demon nun thing. It was…interesting.
As the Goon Squad eats dinner, Sister Irene shares that she has visions and a reoccurring message is that “Mary Points West” (or something like that). Father Burke talks about this boy Daniel, who had visions as well but died while Father Burke performed an exorcism. Soooooo does that mean that Father Burke wrongfully exorcised this little boy, or does that mean that Sister Irene is possessed? (Girlllllllllllllllll I have no idea.) Anyways, they go to bed and Father Burke wakes up to music playing. He ends up chasing what he believes is Daniel to the cemetery, where he gets buried. This whole sequence plays like a dream/nightmare because it just jumps around and the ground that Father Burke is buried under doesn’t look disturbed. But nope, it’s really happening. Good thing Sister Irene wakes up. She walks around and finds nuns praying when she has an encounter with THE Nun, and all of the other nuns disappear (foreshadowing). Then she hears a bell ringing and immediately assumes it is Father Burke and digs him up.
The next day, Sister Irene is allowed to interview the nuns and they’re kinda creepy. She sees at least one nun constantly praying and is told why later on by a different nun. Basically, back in the day this evil dude was in the middle of performing a ritual for this demon but the church busts in at the last second and seals the demon portal with the blood of Christ. Years later, the portal is reopened because of some bombs deployed during a war (World War II). So, the way to stop the evil demon from entering this world is to have the nuns pray nonstop. I guess the prayer isn’t working because this demon is seen roaming around disguised as a nun to blend in with the others. That’s the explanation of Valak. See? Fucking boo boo. Really? Some evil dude a long time ago did a ritual to create a portal? GIVE ME A BREAK. Anyways, Sister Irene ends up sleeping alongside the other nuns because it now the time of day where they can’t leave or speak. Meanwhile, Father Burke is doing some research and finds out about Valak. Father Burke soon realizes that Sister Irene is lowkey trapped and begins to figure out a plan to get to her. That’s when he discovers that Mother Superior hasn’t been alive at all. So, he starts freaking out even more. Frenchie is back in the village and finds out that some little girl killed herself. The whole village believes that the evil from the abbey is spreading. This scene is so odd and out of place, but sure. Frenchie grabs a gun and heads back to the Goon Squad. Father Burke is also attacked by a zombie demon nun and saved by Frenchie. They end up getting into the space that Sister Irene is in and try to find her. Sister Irene is told by the other nuns that the evil is getting stronger and that they must all start praying. As they do, crazy shit starts happening and all of the nuns are getting attacked. Father Burke and Frenchie find Sister Irene, and this is when they find out that all of those nuns are actually ghost nuns?? Very important ghost nuns because they told Sister Irene how to stop Valak.
So, the Goon Squad and Frenchie prepare to face off with Valak. They find the blood of Christ in a very “National Treasure-esque” way and try to find the portal to close it. Honestly, I thought Nicolas Cage was going to pop out or something. I mean if there are zombie demon nuns, there can be Nicolas Cage right? Okay, back to this awful plot. They fight and what not. Valak possess Sister Irene at one point, Frenchie saves her by smearing the blood of Christ on her face, then Frenchie gets chocked by Valak itself. Then Sister Irene and Valak have a standoff in this flooded corridor. For whatever reason, Valak tries to drown Sister Irene and when she becomes still brings her up to face it. Sister Irene wasn’t really dead and spits the blood of Christ in Valak’s face. Boom. Demon begone. Everyone lives! Even Frenchie who was being chocked out by Valak the last time we saw him. This demon isn’t very good at killing people. The Goon Squad and Frenchie leave the abbey, with Sister Irene declaring it as holy ground. This is when we find out that Frenchie’s real name is Maurice and he starts rubbing the back of his neck where we see an inverted cross appear. Then we cut to the middle of “The Conjuring” where Carolyn Perron attends the Warren’s seminar. This is the part of the movie where they show this poor possessed dude, and that dude turns out to be Frenchie. THE END.
Honestly, this movie could’ve been so much better if they just put more effort into the plot. Why were the two nuns in the beginning doing this? I know that the first nun was trying to put a stop to things, but why was she doing it alone? Why didn’t they try to stop this demon before all of the other nuns died? Did they know where the blood of Christ was this whole time? So why wait? Like, how can Valak be killed by the blood of Christ, but still exist through Frenchie? This demon can split up its being, but it can’t choke out Frenchie or Sister Irene? Girl, bye. Why did Valak feel the need to dress as a nun if none of the nuns were alive? In the beginning, the two nuns seem to be the last ones alive in the abbey. So what was the point in disguising itself if there was only two people there? What was the point of Sister Irene’s visions? Literally the only message she got from this was that “Mary Points West” and she didn’t even utilize this message, Father Burke did. The vision we see her have in the movie doesn’t really add anything either. Father Burke was haunted by what past exactly? Why were the dead ghost nuns also zombies???? Please someone explain. Speaking of zombie ghost nuns, let’s talk about the scares.
The scares in “The Nun” were predictable. What else is there to say? It wasn’t scary. The big twist is that all of the people the Goon Squad encountered were already dead. DUUUHHHH. When everyone appears out of nowhere, you gotta know that they dead. THE Nun wasn’t even scary. I think what killed it for me was Valak’s inability to kill anyone. It would choke them for what? Aren’t you a demon? Why are you using your hands? There were some moments that could have been pretty creepy if the sound effects weren’t complete garbage. For example, Father Burke encounters these hooded “nuns” that all look up at him at the same time. Instead of just having a creepy song play in the background, they put this like bone creaking noise in. Did they all break their necks?? It completely took me out of the moment and just made me mad.
I mean I don’t really get scared from movies, just a few jumps at the loud sounds, but as soon as the movie started I was mad. That mostly has to do with the acting.
The beginning scenes are important since it sets up the entire movie. Of course, “The Nun” opened with scenes from “The Conjuring 2,” to simultaneously grab at all of the straws available to connect the movies together and to give you some context as to who THE Nun is. Now, I’ve already described the beginning of this movie in the plot section of this review. This scene could have been the perfect set up for this movie, but the acting was unbelievable. The second nun, who hung herself, was just unbelievable when it came to her being scared. If she would have been convincing, everything would have changed, for me at least.
The other problem I had with this movie was mumbling. Goodness, I couldn’t understand a damn thing they said throughout this movie. The biggest culprits were Father Burke and Frenchie. Besides mumbling, I enjoyed Father Burke and Sister Irene. Yes, they were kinda dumb but they were good actors. The acting overall could have been stronger. No matter how strong the acting is, nothing can help a trash ass script.
- The Plot: 3/10
- The Scares: 4/10
- The Acting: 5/10
I would skip on it and wait for it to come onto Netflix. You really aren’t missing anything when it comes to “The Nun” as it literally adds nothing to “The Conjuring” universe. Good try guys, maybe the next nun movie will be better.