The Nun is Christian Horror Nonsense

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Despite its Wan bonafides, a producing credit that, like most producing credits, means very little for the final product, “The Nun” is no Conjuring or even Conjuring 2. It’s a waste of a spinoff with a plot holy narrative that wastes no time getting our lead characters to their spooky destination at a Romanian convent, but wastes plenty of time on jump scares and a convoluted if somewhat intriguing backstory. Chief of all, this is a horror film for Christians. Demons outta hell, blood of Jesus, relics outta heaven, and bloody crucifixes around every corner, this is horror for those who believe in the Bible and that never-ending battle of good versus evil. In fact, surprisingly, that’s one of its strongest assets amid an otherwise plentiful feeling of malaise. When it’s not scary, which is most of the time, “The Nun” travels in Necronomicon lore as well as Biblical mythology at the basest of levels. While not exactly novel, it’s at least occasionally appealing in terms of setting the film apart from the rest of the Hollywood horror movie pack. Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and relative unknown Jonas Bloquet do their best to enliven the proceedings with minor measures of soul (Farmiga), gravitas (Bichir),  and charisma (Bloquet), but their two-dimensional characters exist mainly to react to their surroundings and not much else. There’s also a pretty big missed opportunity with Sister Irene’s character given Taissa’s true-life relation to sister Vera of the Conjuring films. In the wake of so much spiritual doom and gloom, a climactic battle for the fate of the convent is refreshingly fun, complete with snakes, spitting blood, and one epic one-liner. It’s all too little too late, and there’s no greater sin in horror moviedom than failing to elicit the holiest of vows: scares. Maybe it’s the “habit,” that iconic tunic and veil of cinematic nunery. It’s inherently not scary.

Grade: C- 

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