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Blu-ray Review: The Nun

December 11, 2018

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

The latest entry into James Wan’s Conjuring franchise, The Nun is a prequel that takes place in 1952, and focuses on the origins of the creepy, demonic nun (Bonnie Aarons) that first appeared in The Conjuring 2.

The film opens with a young nun (Charlotte Hope) hanging herself at a cloistered convent in Romania after coming into contact with a demonic spirit. When the Vatican gets wind of this grave sin, they send Father Burke (Demián Bichir), who has some experience with possession, to investigate.

Joined by the young novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), who has yet to complete her vows, and a French-Canadian delivery man nicknamed Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who discovered the body and is acting as their local tour guide, Father Burke must determine if the site of the convent can still be considered holy. What they discover is a powerful, demonic force that has invaded the abbey, and can only be stopped by an ancient relic.

Directed by Corin Hardy, who is new to the series, The Nun is a passably entertaining prequel, but it’s also a bit of a disappointment compared to the high bar set by other entries in the franchise. The film itself looks great, with the production design and cinematography being appropriately atmospheric, and the three leads deliver decent performances. But The Nun suffers from having a somewhat cheesy script that doesn’t delve deep enough into its grander themes of good versus evil, and the characters aren’t as well defined as they were in the other films.

The film is overly reliant on horror movie clichés and jump scares, but the slow-paced and predictable story isn’t really able to build up enough organic tension for them to work as anything deeper than brief, in the moment jolts. It’s ok, and has some decent scenes here and there, but The Nun is also never really that scary and is easily the weakest film in The Conjuring series so far.

The Blu-ray also includes a selection of deleted scenes, and the three short featurettes A New Horror Icon, The Conjuring Chronology, and Gruesome Planet.

The Nun is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release. It’s 96 minutes and rated 14A.

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