‘The Nun’ film review
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
What’s the opposite of being at the edge of your seat? Because that’s how I felt watching The Nun directed by Corin Hardy. I had never watched a horror movie in theatres before and to be frank, I do not watch horror movies much at all; I hate the dark and find enough spooks within my own (very scary) life. We didn’t get a clear idea on the motives for any of the characters’ actions. Therefore, we might assume that the reason the Nun is so angry the whole time was because her skin is almost as bad as mine. (Spoilers ahead!)
The film begins with the stars of the movie, Father Burke (Demián Bichir), Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), and Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), striding on over to investigate the suicide of a nun in Romania, as you do, followed by many paranormal events that force the group to stay longer. It’s quickly apparent that the Nun is dim-witted—for example, the demon buries Father Burke alive, yet leaves him the bell within the coffin to ring for help. Lucky for us, Father Burke is no parental figure within the Goosebumps series; he immediately believes there is a demonic presence and does not have to be told twice.
In contrast to Father Burke’s fearless determination to rid the evil, The Nun provides us comic relief in the form of the character Frenchie: A good-looking French Canadian with legs that run faster to the nearest all-you-can-drink bar than the amount of time it takes him to rip out a giant wooden cross from the abbey graveyard prior to that destination. Sister Irene has her share of screen time due to her strange but quickly accepted psychic abilities—nobody really has time to ask questions.
My favourite scene is when Frenchie is lifted off the ground and the demon says something cringe-worthy along the lines of, “You’ve failed everyone you care about!”—which hit a little too close to home for probably most of the audience as they were watching this movie in theatres at two in the afternoon. “I’m French Canadian!” Frenchie says, spitting back at the demon who dares to call him simply ‘French’. This is apparently a harsh comeback since the demon flies back from the force of his words.
Frenchie was my favourite character, even if he’s far too melodramatic. His comedic relief, though timed terribly, still has effect. The problem is that relief comes when we don’t need it, such as during a scene where tension is finally building.
I will say that tension is built nicely throughout the beginning and middle of the film because of the amazing set and usage of the darkness surrounding the characters on screen. The mystery is taken away far too frequently towards the end of the movie because we see close-ups of the demon constantly and its screeches sound like an aspiring actor in a high school Halloween maze. Nonetheless, the demon nun is a scary concept and that alone saves face for all the face we had to see.
I rate this movie a 2/5 because I should have been easy to scare, yet it felt as though I was watching a two-hour-long stand-up comedy routine. When tension is there, it quickly evaporates thanks to poorly-placed comedic relief. There are too many plot holes regarding why we should care about some characters we aren’t properly introduced to and what the heck is going on. It lost me when they closed a demon portal with the blood of Jesus Christ, because they just have that lying around. I’m going out on a limb to say it probably wasn’t the real thing.
Despite all that, I’d probably watch it again just to see Sister Irene spit Jesus’ blood on the Nun’s face one more time.