The Nun


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Nun
"The honour of horror has been disemboweled by this film" | Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/© 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.

It's getting harder to scare people. Where's the fear?

The Nun is a collection of trailers stuck together. The concept might have sounded plausible when pitching to the money guys in Hollywood but once the light turned green and the special effects crew took over the plot suffered a bad reaction from Overkill, a dangerous drug that upsets the balance between common and sense.

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Thumbnail sketch: a nun hangs herself in an isolated Romanian nunnery, circa 1952, and the top honchos at The Vat send a grizzled plain clothed priest (Demian Bichir), who looks like a tough-as-nuts PI from a French TV cop series, to check it out. He takes with him a young girl (Taissa Farmiga) who is still at the novice phase of her Giving It Up To God audition.

Once they reach the place, which, from above (helicopter shot), looks as big as Buck House, they are attacked by everything in the Devil's toolbox. Ghosts emerge and reemerge at irregular intervals. Some have sharks' teeth. A river of blood floods through the hall and hands come out of walls to strangle anyone with a pulse. The priest is hurled into a coffin and buried alive. All that's missing is an alien monster, dressed as a cardinal, with Satan's sign branded on its forehead.

Every door creaks. The music starts gloomy and ends gloomier. Lit candles crowd empty rooms. A French Canadian (Jonas Bloquet) from the village volunteers to help. He's young and hunky. Why French Canada? Why here? He fancies the girl until he finds out that she's a breath away from marrying Jesus.

Comprehension is a word meaning I know what's going on and I care. It is erased early. As for performances, what is there to say? How many ways can you scream?

And so you are left with effects, special and otherwise, which is why the finished product resembles a bundle of trailers that never hold back when it comes to giving away the most juicy attractions, in this case spooky death traps.

The honour of horror has been disemboweled by this film and its name from this day forward shall be The None.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2018
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A priest and a novice investigate devilish goings on in an isolated Romanian nunnery in the Fifties
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