After a nun commits suicide in a Romanian monastery in 1952, Father Burke (Demián Bichir) is asked by the Vatican to investigate into the matter along with a novitiate named Irene (Taissa Farmiga). Along with a local guy called Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), they are guided up to the convent which is considered by the locals as cursed, only to realise as to why.
How come a supposedly holy place is cursed? Why did the nun commit suicide?
Positive Points: –
- The Nun is heavily boosted by its performances without which it wouldn’t be half as bearable as it is.
- It successfully creates the eerie atmosphere required for the story and its genre.
Negative Points: –
- Albeit having a fine basic plotline, the screenplay simply obliterates all possibilities of liking this movie thanks to its poor structure and haphazard arrangement of different elements all along the premise.
- The Nun shamelessly gives away to its genre clichés with silly characters performing even sillier actions and of course, the insipid jumpscares.
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
What works wonders for The Nun is the fact that it’s a part of a well-established franchise which has its own set of good movies. So, the connection it sets up with its predecessors as a prequel is appreciable, but then that’s all one can commend about its writing and structure. This doesn’t mean that the ideation behind the movie was weak. The problem lay in the overall execution which is not just poor but outright asinine and meaningless. As an origins story, the movie is very weak as it hardly explores the sinister past of the monastery and instead tries to get away with a brief synopsis of the same, much to the audience’s disappointment. Neither the story nor its characters are fleshed out properly and both lack any ounces of intelligence or logic. I don’t understand for once if an entity is so baleful, why is it playing around with people? Why isn’t it finishing them off in a stroke? Though the horror ambience has been unceasingly effective, the film becomes less scary as time goes by as we see ghosts being slashed off with axes and fired with shotguns. Bleh indeed!
There are three prime actors in this flick and albeit neither gives a performance worth remembering, one can’t deny the fact that they impart life into an otherwise dead narrative. Leading from the front, Taissa Farmiga easily impresses the viewers with her simplistic charm and effortless performance. She shows a lot of potential as a thespian and can prove to be a very dependable actress just like her elder sister Vera (who interestingly plays Lorraine Warren in the same franchise). However, the same thing also seems like a casting issue because the (obvious) facial similarities between the Farmiga sisters might confuse the viewers that even their characters are related to each other, which is not at all true.
Demián Bichir (of The Hateful Eight fame) is subtle as Father Burke and shows a lot of maturity in his performance. On the other hand, Jonas Bloquet portrays the charming and largely likeable Frenchie gives the film some comic relief, though the requirement of comedy in this film is again debatable.
Final Verdict: –
There is no denying that The Nun could have been a very good horror flick if not a doozy one. Though the performances and the atmosphere keep the film alive, they still fail to alleviate it from its poor writing, direction and lack of astuteness. The only reason for which one should watch this film, however, is to connect it to the other instalments of the franchise. But, take my recommendation, do it at home.