You know you’re in for a good time when the audience bursts out laughing at the first jump scare. It set the tone for the rest of the film as well, as The Nun is a horror that’s more entertaining than it is scary – as seems to be the trend in modern high-budget horror films.
Sort of spinoff, sort of prequel, The Nun is the newest film in The Conjuringverse. Its story is built around a cursed abbey in Romania. After a deliveryman finds a nun hanging from the abbey’s entrance, the Vatican sends two operatives to the small village to determine if it’s still holy, and surprise surprise, it isn’t. One of these operatives is Sister Irene (played by Taissa Farmiga of American Horror Story fame), an American nun yet to take her vows who is working as a teacher in an English school. The other is Father Burke, an Irish priest who does his best Robert De Niro impression throughout the hour and a half running time.
They try to persuade the deliveryman named Frenchie (played by Jonas Bloquet) to lead the way to the abbey. Frenchie brings comic relief to the film, which at times brings it to life and at other stages takes you right out of the scene. His motivations are questionable at best – he only joins the expedition in the first place because Sister Irene smiles and asks him politely.
It’s campy as hell, and after watching the film I still have no idea why a lot of things happened. Some characters are undead, some are just dead, and then some that are alive turn out to be undead after all. There are a few jump scares but nothing scary enough to keep you up at night. This doesn’t stop the film from being a fun time though, as it was short enough to keep my focus and I was entertained throughout.
Sometimes answers aren’t required, and this is probably one of those cases. If you’re in for a reasonably enjoyable romp, The Nun will hit that spot as long as you’re not expecting the next Halloween. It’s a Conjuring film by name more than anything else, which is okay because there are more Conjuringverse films on the way.
While it did have a small handful of jump-out-your-seat moments and the odd giggle here and there, The Nun isn’t anything more than a decently watchable ‘horror’ film. One could say it’s a jack of all trades, but a master of Nun.