Based in the same universe as The Conjuring and Annabelle movies, and featuring the demonic nun (Bonnie Aarons – Annabelle: Creation) that scared viewers in The Conjuring 2, The Nun takes us on a trip away from the bustle of the city and suburbia, and to Romania where Father Burke (Demián Bichir – Alien: Covenant) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) have been sent to an old abbey to confront evil, and face their fears.
The Nun has the making of scare, and if one were to judge it by the trailer, it certainly would not disappoint, but once we’ve seen the demonic entity in all its glory, the mind relaxes, and the tension dies somewhat. The second half of the film is a bit predictable, plot points that are set up at the beginning pop up as expected, and those devices play out in a somewhat mediocre way.
Not to say the story isn’t enthralling, there is fear to be had, but eschewing the jump scares and relying on a more sophisticated way to bring terror to audiences is both a gift from the film, and somewhat it’s third act undoing.
For horror fans, this is still a fun ride, and of course, anyone who has seen part of the greater universe in which the film is set dare not miss this next instalment.
Bichir gives us a performance reminiscent of Max von Sydow, and genre classic The Exorcist. Aarons is chilling in her stillness, and young Farmiga is both vulnerable, yet possessing an inner toughness. Not for a lack of talent, the story of The Nun is pulled together by an excellent cast. Add to this, a rather creepy setting, and there are the makings of enough fuel for ones imagination to keep the dark imagery alive for many nights to come.
A horror with fear, with talent, and an enjoyable way to while away an afternoon, The Nun opens in South African cinemas 7 September 2018.