Ah……The Conjuring Universe. It might not be as cool or hip as the Marvel Universe – but it’s still a thing. I dug the first two entries of The Conjuring. Did not dig Annabelle, but I have an unmistakable love for Annabelle: Creation. And so now in the world of horror spin-offs, we have The Nun aka Valak – who first terrified us in The Conjuring 2 and now gets the spotlight for her first movie focusing solely on the Valak character. So is she just as terrifying here as she was in The Conjuring 2? Ummm. No. Let us pray…….
I’m going to do something different with this review. I’m not going to get into the specifics of the storyline (dark shadows, creepy nuns, bad jump scares….rinse, repeat) – I’m going to rant about how they fucked this up so badly. You have a creeeeeepy character in Valak (god bless actress Bonnie Aarons for doing her best with what she was given here) and you choose to focus more on an exorcised kid and other nuns not named Valak. Adding insult to injury, Valak gets a terrible backstory involving Jesus’ blood (and an equally terrible ‘Holy shit’ joke) and the biggest sin: she’s barely given any screen time until almost the end of the movie (with a part in the middle involving Taissa Farmiga running from Valak being the effective exception).
Everything that should be spooky, creepy, frightening is stripped away here and dumbed down with non-effective jump scares. There are multiple moments in The Nun when you think a scene is going to pay off, and then as soon as it should………we cut to another scene and never revisit the previous. Oy. See, but here’s the thing – The Nun made over 50 million at the box office this weekend. So, I would imagine that a sequel will be on the way (after another Conjuring movie, and an Annabelle one, and another spin-off for The Crooked Man). You see…..money talks. And unfortunately at times (if not all of the time), that’s what matters to the studio. The Nun and the Valak character in general deserved way better than this. Perhaps the real creepiness of the character will be resurrected in the inevitable sequel. But until then…….Jesus wept.
(1 Out Of 5)