Director: Corin Hardy
Cast: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet
Release Date: December 4, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The latest installment in ‘The Conjuring Universe’; ‘The Nun’ takes viewers back decades prior to a much simpler time as a priest that focuses in troubling matters for the church and a young nun are selected to venture to an abbey in Romania following the mysterious death of a nun in order to figure out the best course of action, as well as to determine whether the ground remains sacred. Upon their arrival they soon find themselves confronted with various odd and unexplainable occurrences that prompt them to investigate further. Unfortunately for them, something else far more sinister is lurking in the dark and their hunt for answers may just cost them more than they ever fathomed if they aren’t careful, especially once the presence sets its sights on them.
Directed by Corin Hardy (The Hallow) from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle) which was based upon a story by Dauberman and James Wan (director of The Conjuring 1 & 2), Hardy does a great job at the helm of ‘The Nun’ capturing a fitting tone and sense of unease amidst a beautiful landscape. The film also features a quite capable cast that includes Demian Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Taissa Farmiga (TV’s American Horror Story), Jonas Bloquet (3 Days to Kill), Bonnie Aarons (The Fighter) and more, with the majority providing solid overall performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Nun’ takes viewers much further back than any of the other installments in ‘The Conjuring Universe’ and explores the history of the demonic nun who was first introduced in ‘The Conjuring 2’; even bridging the tale with excerpts from it featuring the Warrens. Filled with breathtaking scenery and sporting a highly capable cast, ‘The Nun’ manages to deliver some enjoyable chills and eerie moments, but unfortunately finds itself falling back on tired patterns far too often, serving up all of the horror moments and frights primarily in the way of jump scares without much else at hand to keep things unique or interesting. It’s an entertaining enough entry in the franchise that does well with its surroundings and in accurately recreating the time period, yet even with its share of positive elements to consider, it never comes anywhere remotely close to reaching the levels of terror and unique, creepy excitement that ‘The Conjuring’ movies themselves so easily capture, instead finding itself more on par with the first ‘Annabelle’ film. Albeit its faults and lack of anything truly spectacular, I would still encourage fans of the overall universe who have been looking forward to this one to try and give ‘The Nun’ a chance whenever convenient, many of whom will probably even enjoy it for the most part, even while far from the best offering the franchise has provided.
Overall, ‘The Nun’ has its charms and brings fans of ‘The Conjuring Universe’ a horror period piece with some creepy moments, gorgeous scenery and settings, as well as a talented cast. Although it certainly has its share of issues and its repetitive nature and reliance on jump scares can result in things becoming a bit redundant and even somewhat boring at times, I would still recommend ‘The Nun’ to fans of the overall ‘Universe’ that haven’t yet had the chance to check this one out but have been looking forward to it. It’s probably unnecessary to do so immediately though (unless you’d prefer to) and I would encourage folks who haven’t yet seen this one to try for a rental option prior to purchasing a copy just to be safe. For hardcore fans of the horror franchise it’s likely to at least prove worth a watch and probably the price of a rental if nothing else.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Nun’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great altogether and provides a clean, smooth and sharp presentation from start to finish, with no problematic elements or notable faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up impressively even during the many incredibly dark sequences that are prominent throughout, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that looks great throughout and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD presentation. This multichannel soundtrack compliments the film quite well and delivers a crisp, clean and fairly active audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send eerie sound effects, along with bits of dialogue, nature elements and more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate and never causing any dialogue or other important audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this a highly capable Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds consistently clean and sharp every step of the way and contributes some additional fun and scares to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Nun’ includes a few extras that fans of the franchise and the film itself should enjoy. Included are a handful of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 12 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a few brief Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing the film to life and feature interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus some behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘A New Horror Icon’ (running approximately 5 minutes), ‘Gruesome Planet’ (approximately 6 minutes) and ‘The Conjuring Chronology’ (4 minutes).