Ever since The Conjuring 2 introduced the haunting image of "The Nun" to Lorraine Warren fans have been frothing at the bit for an origin story on this terrifying figure - so on September 13th 2018 they were appeased!
Starring American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga and Bonnie Aarons as the Demon Nun, The Nun follows the story of a priest with a haunted past and a young novitiate on the threshold of her final vows as they travel to Romania to investigate the death of a young nun at a convent there. They are then confronted with a malevolent force who appears to them as a terrifying demon nun, turning their every belief on their heads.
The Nun was the most terrifying part of The Conjuring 2, which introduced other spin offs including the creepy doll Annabelle. The dedicated use of lurking in the shadows, surprise entrances, and demonic activities that was popular in The Conjuring 2 is used again in The Nun with great success, adding in terrifying depictions of Catholic roots and successful jump scares.
The difference is the jump scares actually work this time and aren't there simply for the sake of it. There is something about the old school Catholic heritage that make the monumental image of wild staring nuns, random appearances, and things jumping out of the shadows reasonable, and The Nun plays up to this imagery. Walking down dark dungeon style halls with hundreds of crosses hanging from the roof is both eerie and not out of place in this abandoned convent in Romania, making it perfect for the spook factor. With the trio walking through the forest countryside and coming across hundreds of wooden crosses - including a few hanging in the trees as background images - makes for what could be an appropriate backdrop for 1952 rather than some Blair Witch style random occurance.
Stunning location aside, the storyline is appropriate for a modern day horror movie, complete with random acts of horror. But where Slenderman - arguably The Nun's current contender - fails in focusing on disturbing images, The Nun takes the darker side of devout life and turns it into a success. The movie is actually good, and is an enjoyable modern day horror movie that doesn't leave you in stitches over absurdity or scratching your head wondering what happened. It works, and to top it all off it connects itself back into The Conjuring universe with sleek precision.
The Nun has a classic Exorcism like vibe, and takes the possession idea to a whole new workable level. The Nun takes the cake as probably the best film in The Conjuring universe and Annabelle (in which a third installment is currently in production) pails in comparison.
If you want something to truely keep you up at night, The Nun will definetly haunt your dreams with her darkened eyes and terrifying image.
I give it four stars out of five!
The Nun is currently playing in Australian cinemas