The Conjuring universe has been more hit than miss for me. I enjoyed both Conjuring films and Annabelle: Creation. I was less thrilled with Annabelle. It’s not that Annabelle is a bad film, it’s just not particularly good either. The Nun is closer to Annabelle than the other three movies in the franchise.
It’s mostly entertaining for it’s 96 minute runtime but the minute you leave the theater, it’s hard to remember anything about it. It’s an average film that doesn’t live up to the others. There are some cool scenes, particularly the opening. But they are counter balanced by moments that stand out as odd choices. There is a joke when the priest and soon to be nun arrive in the village to investigate what has happened. It got a chuckle out of the audience but it was silly and horribly out of place.
Taissa Farmiga lights up the screen. She is the best part of the entire movie. Her performance as Sister Irene shows innocence and vulnerability on the surface while relaying a sense of strength underneath. Another actor that I really like is Demián Bichir. Unfortunately this may be the worst work that I have seen him do. He spends the vast majority of the hour and a half film speaking barely above a whisper. I don’t know if he felt that this gave an air of seriousness to his character or not but it didn’t work. Mostly it just served to annoy me. Speak up, Father! I need to hear what you are saying.
As you would expect, there is plenty of religious imagery and darkness in the film. Director Corin Hardy did a solid job dealing with both of these elements. Often when movies center on a religious theme, I find myself getting a bit lost. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been in a church in a number of years or perhaps it’s because the mythology can get a bit complicated. Whatever the case, Corin doesn’t let things get out of hand and it’s easy to follow. He also makes sure that you can tell exactly what is happening on-screen. If there is one complaint that I have about horror movies it’s that there is often way too much action taking place in the dark and the director doesn’t know where to put the camera so it’s easy for the viewer to become disoriented. Corin handled these sequences perfectly and I was able to tell who was who and what was happening. That’s a pretty big accomplishment.
If you love the Conjuring movies, I would recommend seeing The Nun. Maybe you’ll take something away from it that will inform future movies in the series. Overall though there isn’t much here. It’s your typical weird stuff happening in a dark, exotic location movie. It’s not bad and it’s not good. It just is.