Boasting a breathtaking fogset Romanian church setting amongst the top bckdrops in modern horror history and fine Taissa Farmiga-lead – sadly ~wasted by thinly-chopped, tonally-unbalanced, potential-diluted, & very basic jump scares. 5.6/10.
Plot Synopsis: When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together, they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Summary: With chilling cinematography and a horrorful setting of a Romanian countryside church in glorious fogset moonlight, eerie chantful scoring, dark religious imagery, and overall-good performances led by Taissa Farmiga of AHS-fame, The Nun had all the tools of a great horror movie. While still beautiful to behold with some strong set pieces and watchable as an ok supernatural horror flick sometimes bordering into great, it is still massively underwhelming for what it could’ve (and really should’ve) been. The length is thinly-chopped at a bizarre hour and a half decision really needing some more fleshing out and an extra 15-20 min of character development, tone unbalanced with maddening comedy puns interjected at ill times diluting the scariness of the overall experience (shame since the opening build-up and final water chamber finale are objectively great but then ~wasted), light in Nun origin explanation, and unrealized in horror potential resorting to cheap, stock jump scares like a 10th-sequel slasher movie and lazy plot points like letting a powerful (& instantly frightening) supernatural being be even remotely affected by silly trinkets like guns or better yet stopped in from even getting more than two nuns throughout the entire film. The Nun is still something you should see for the attention to detail in crisp moonlit cinematography with beautifully-set shots & setpieces, but don’t expect the grand supernatural horror of its series brethren or promised by its premise and trailers. 5.6/10.
Most Memorable Moment: 1. Opening Nun introduction scene, 2. Water-chamber finale, 3. Trailer jump scare, 4. Pick-a-mask set-up
Pros: Chilling cinematography with beautiful sweeping shots of the countryside and a great setting of Church in the Romanian mountains at night (with well-designed fog-assisted Church pieces), phenomenal opening epic in scoring and chilled moonlit horror teasing, good period authenticity and choice of for the origin story of the (well-designed) and scary spectre of the Nun, some well-executed jump-scares like the famous trailer one that rocked audiences and had to be banned from YouTube and the confessional mirror one, Taissa Farmiga a great choice for scream queen as a strong horror actress of AHS fame and pedigree being Vera’s daughter assisted by a fine cast overall, epic scoring with dark chanting and dark religious feel, epic finale in the water-chamber and phenomenal teasing at the end with the Frenchie scene central in Conjuring lore and tieing it together with Lorraine’s story, great closing credits sequence with artful visuals being its main offering
Cons: Very opening teasing the other Conjuring movies unnecessary for a prequel, stupid plot point of using its national platform to feed trolls imbecilic enough to believe dinosaurs weren’t real because of The Bible.. just why even bring that up or give it any mind?, Taissa Farmiga looks a bit uncomfortable bizarrely since she’s such a great horror actress, some of the scares a bit dumb like the zombie nun, bit slow of a first act after the great opening sequence, non-trio acting can be heavy-handed like in the Black Bear pub warning, Frenchie coming with a shotgun and axe cheesy and shouldn’t work in a film about religious combatance and supernatural, ill-timed and included humor – this is a horror movie, don’t need cute puns or anything to dilute that fact, so many artful scare opportunities npt fully realized like the pick a mask, nun doesn’t get any kills or really accomplish much, doesn’t need the light love-story like ending, feels too short and like it needed 15-20 min of more development, barely reveals ANYTHING about the origin of The Nun
Overall Rating: 5.6/10