The Nun is set both before the Conjuring movies (which I have seen) and the Annabelle movies (which I haven’t), but as every continuation of strangely successful movies comes along, they’re always prequels so that’ll make them more accessible to everyone who hasn’t been around since the first, even though I can see some elements of Conjuring in there – not least the inclusion of the Warrens (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) with the latter’s sister, Taissa Farmiga (above), playing young novitiate Sister Irene, making the audience think “OOH! They found someone who looks like her!”
As a young nun is found brown bread, Father Burke (Demian Bichir) is sent over by the Vatican to investigate what happened, and I figured that however this film turns out, it’s always good to see Michael Smiley (as Bishop Pasquale) onscreen – albeit briefly, and if the name doesn’t ring a bell, then as well as the recent Madame, he also plays cop Benny Silver in Luther, alongside Idris Elba, even if his character in that show proved he isn’t very good at describing bad guys…
On the plus side, I’ve never seen a zombie nun until now, although they didn’t put up too much of a fight, and could at least have chased one particular character around the graveyard for a while.
On the downside, it’s full of lazy jump-scares and I’ve had bigger surprises when British Gas overestimated my energy usage. It’s amazing just how long a film can run for with so very little happening and, in this case, your answer is 97 minutes.
Plus, The Nun looks like it wants to throw in some humour from time to time, but quickly backs out. It really should’ve been more knowing and allowed that, as it’s hardly a serious horror movie. However, it does try it later when Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) exclaims, “Holy shit!” and Father Burke replies, “The holiest(!)”
Even though this film was only shot in Dolby Vision (so not a single IMAX camera was on set), can you believe that they actually created an IMAX print for it, and that a lot of people paid £20 to see this on a slightly bigger screen than normal? Now THAT is scary…
All you’d really get is the additional speakers to listen to, as while this film for most people has a 7.1 soundtrack, in IMAX you’d get a 12-track soundtrack, but compared to the likes of surround-sound-fests like the Insidious movies, this was very subdued by comparison with nothing to get excited about.
But, of course, I am clearly in the wrong, since based on a budget of a mere $22m, it took a staggering $365m at the worldwide box office.
As for any connection between this movie and 1966’s The Nun (aka La religieuse), there is… none.
The extras are as follows, but even fans will find them fairly perfunctory:
- Deleted Scenes (12:18): 8 scenes cut out for a reason, and no reason to watch them. I suffered so you don’t have to.
- A New Horror Icon (5:18): The cast and crew kiss each others’ backsides, saying how amazing they and the film’s premise is. It’s all done in the usual extras style of mixing film clips with soundbites from the cast and crew.
- Gruesome Planet (6:18): Looking at the set locations in Transylvania, Romania, because it looks all creepy and gothic. That’s probably one of the few things they got right.
- The Conjuring Chronology (3:50): Does what it says on the tin with this film set in 1952, then Annabelle in 1958, Annabelle: Creation in 1970, The Conjuring in 1971 and The Conjuring 2 in 1977. Since they keep going back in time, perhaps The Nun 2 can go back to the early ’40s and harrass Hitler? I’d enjoy that.
At this point I’d talk about the menu and chapters etc, but there was something up with the disc I received in that I could access the movie files on it if I played them in my PC, but I couldn’t play the disc in the traditional sense.
Running time: 97 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Released: January 14th 2019
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English and others I can’t determine
Subtitles: English SDH and others I can’t determine
Format: 2.39:1 (Dolby Vision)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Corin Hardy
Producers: Peter Safran, James Wan
Screenplay: James Wan and Gary Dauberman
Music: Abel Korzeniowski
Father Burke: Demian Bichir
Sister Irene: Taissa Farmiga
Frenchie: Jonas Bloquet
The Nun: Bonnie Aarons
Sister Oana: Ingrid Bisu
Ed Warren: Patrick Wilson
Lorraine Warren: Vera Farmiga
Carolyn Perron: Lili Taylor
Sister Victoria: Charlotte Hope
Sister Ruth: Sandra Teles
Sister Abigail: Maria Obretin
Daniel: August Maturo, Jack Falk
Mother Superior: Lynnette Gaza
Sister Jessica: Ani Sava
Bishop Pasquale: Michael Smiley
The Abbess: Gabrielle Downey
Cardinal Conroy: David Horovitch
Grigore: Tudor Munteanu
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.