I had a feeling in the back of my mind, like a little intuitive voice that was whispering in my ear, that the latest movie in the Conjuring series, The Nun, was going to be terrible. Simply just from the trailer, it seemed that the horror aspect of the movie was only half-hearted in comparison to what the movie’s predecessors have done in the past. Yes, I know IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes warned me in advance, but I like to see things for myself.
And I was right. I wish I wasn’t right. It seems like good horror movies are few and far between. I feel like I get a really good one, like, maybe once every few years. If I’m being dramatic here, I’d have to say that this was amongst the worst horror movies that I have seen in theaters, and that’s surprising since both The Conjuring and its sequel did such a fantastic job.
The fault lies in the hands of the director, Corin Hardy’s. He has a very small and unimpressive portfolio of consisting of only one other movie, The Hallow. Why he chose to take on such a beast is beyond me. The set up for this character in the second Conjuring was perfect, and if done right, the lead into a spin-off could have been wonderful for the series. It seems, however, that the director of The Nun took everything that was terrifying about the original and threw it away.
Valak the Nun was first introduced as the lead antagonist in The Conjuring 2 and the introduction to her/his character was bone chilling.
She genuinely scared the shit out of many viewers. Her portrait that Ed Warren paints (why he would paint that in the first place is beyond me) is unsettling and allows us to see the creature in complete clarity without having to guess by being shown spooky flashes throughout the movie. This is something that both the Conjuring and its sequel have been very good at. It isn’t the first time that they’ve taken an object of horror and showed in plain light as a seemingly harmless object. While it’s unsettling, yes, but it’s still just an object. Think Annabelle who sits in case, but is rendered useless in the movie as she remains locked inside it.
This scene does two things. One, it allows the suspense to do its job in scaring you more so than the actual jump scare. Especially when she goes to turn the light on for a second time. The image of the Nun looks as though it has changed as though Valak is standing there waiting to jump. There’s a sigh of relief when she turns the light on again and the portrait seems to be the same as before.
The monster itself works so well at being unsettling. She is a woman in makeup, and the simplicity of that works to her benefit. The first image is of Valak from The Conjuring 2 at the movie’s climax. What CGI they used in this screen is barely noticeable.
There’s something in the second film that got lost in translation. In the screenshot from the newest movie, there’s something wrong with Valak looks. Her appearance, mouth, eyes, and the obvious appearance of CGI simply makes it not scary. Instead, it makes her look comical.
All in all The Nun was lackluster, uninteresting, and overall a large disappointment.