Plot: After the corpse of a nun is discovered by a visiting villager, the Vatican decides to take action and dispatch veteran priest Father Burke (Demian Bichir), who is no stranger to violent or supernatural investigations. By his side will be the young Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), who seems like an odd choice for such a dark assignment, but she has visions and could be of great use to Burke’s search for truth. As soon as the two arrive, it is clear that not all is well at the abbey, but that is mostly brushed off as some of the more unusual routines present. But Irene quickly begins to have more vivid, frequent visions than she’s ever experienced before, while Burke continues to be haunted by his own past. An evil of some kind is lurking in the abbey’s shadows, but can Burke and Irene find the truth in time to save the abbey and themselves, or is this evil too strong for even their faith to overcome?
Entertainment Value: The Conjuring Universe is rooted in the real life claims of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators who worked on some of the most famous supernatural cases ever. The cases have overlap of course, especially when the Warrens are the heart of the stories, but the movies don’t feel as forced with the connections, at least when compared to other cinematic universes. The Nun marks the fifth film in the series and the Valak narrative has been much anticipated, but the movie winds up as a rather middle of the road horror picture. The narrative is capable, with some nice twists and turns, but I hoped for more of a focus on Valak, which doesn’t turn out to be quite the case here. Taissa Farmiga is good and conveys the spiritual attunement needed, but I wanted more Valak, while The Nun seems content to lean on Farmiga and Demian Bichir instead. When Valak is around, the movie benefits and the horror vibes are amplified, so I just wish that was the bulk of the picture. The atmosphere is fine and is helped by some eerie visuals and the religious iconography involved, but the scares are mostly loud noises or jump scares, which is a let down. But there is a lot to like here, especially if you are interested in the religious elements and The Nun is a solid chiller, regardless of the issues that pop up. So if you’re a fan of The Conjuring Universe, The Nun isn’t the best of the series, but it is worth a look.
No sleaze whatsoever in this one, just some mild flirting toward the young nun and that’s about it. So this might be all about the nuns, but the typical nunsploitation vibes are minimal, to say the least. There is some bloodshed, but this isn’t a gore soaked style horror movie, so don’t expect rivers of the red stuff. A crow feasts upon a corpse, a snake chomps on an eyeball, various decomposing nuns are seen at various times, and there’s some supernatural skin etching, which proves to be the most graphic of the assorted violence here. The horror is more about eerie visuals and jump scares in this one, so while the blood isn’t ever present, the general approach taken here doesn’t require a lot of gore thrown around. The dialogue is about what you’d expect, mostly serious with a religious slant, but we do have a comic relief character present, Frenchie. He has the movie’s wildest and more outlandish lines, some of which feel out of place, but even then add some camp value. He isn’t around all the time, but he has a prominent role and is given plenty of ridiculous exchanges to chew on. As for general craziness, The Nun is eerie and leans on the religious elements, but overall remains a pretty typical horror movie. So aside from Frenchie’s outrageous lines and a few of the creepier moments, not much gets out of control here.
Overall Insanity: 2/10
The Disc: Warner Brothers released The Nun on Blu-ray and as you’d expect from such a new movie, it looks excellent in this treatment. The image is pristine and razor sharp, with terrific detail and depth at all times. The movie has a darker visual design, but detail isn’t hampered in the least. This is thanks to the stark, accurate contrast, while colors are natural, if a little toned down in some scenes. So fans should be quite pleased here, as The Nun looks fantastic in high definition. The supplements include three promotional featurettes, as well as over ten minutes of deleted scenes.