Review: “The Nun” gets a jump on scary movie season

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“The Nun” is the fifth film in “The Conjuring” franchise, produced by James Wan, and second spinoff, with “Annabelle” and “Annabelle Creation” released in 2014 and 2017 respectively.

The film follows the story of Father Burke, played by Demián Bichir, a priest specialized in paranormal investigations on the order of the Vatican to investigate the apparent suicide of a nun at a cloistered abbey deep in the woods of Romania.

Along with Burke, the Vatican sends a novitiate nun, Taissa Farmiga, that has yet to take her vows to speak with the other nuns at the abbey.

(Trailer courtesy of IMDb.)

Falling more in line with the Wan directed “Conjuring” and “Conjuring 2,” this film relies more on atmosphere and well-crafted set pieces rather than jump scares.

This is director Corin Hardy’s second feature film, having previously directed “The Hallow,” which was released in 2015 and revolves around a demonic creature terrorizing a family in the remote woods of Ireland.

Hardy’s experience with the paranormal shows in the film with the references to holy and desecrated land and an above average understanding of exorcisms than most B-movies.

While many scenes follow predictable storylines that audiences have seen year after year, the real success for “The Nun” is a simple but effective use of visual effects and creative sets.

Verdict

Overall, “The Nun” is exactly what it appears to be from the trailers, one of just the numerous ghost and horror films that are released for Halloween; this one just came out a month earlier than the rest.

Beyond that, the film kept my attention for almost all of the tight 96-minute film. Even though horror fans will see the set pieces far before the planned scare, what shines is how perfectly executed those scenes were.

The film’s tendency to favor atmosphere over heart pounding scares could leave some moviegoers bored, but the film does give a solid start for this year’s scary movie season.

6.5/10