With a cloaked head, the nun, has appeared with deep sunken yellow eyes as a terrifying image throughout ‘The Conjuring’ franchise. This could have been the set-up to a classic horror film but unfortunately it follows the original plot of most horrors; a repetitive and predictable saturation of jump-scares.
Perhaps the best thing about this film is the gorgeous setting which takes place 1958 Romania. The mood sets in quickly as we are taken through candle-lit passageways and fog-filled graveyards. The sense of dread is established in every shot and no amount of priests seem able to stop whatever evil lurks there.
Demon Hunter Father Burke takes sister Irene who hasn’t taken her full-vows to become a nun yet. Irene is taken along with the mission because of her history seeing viaions of a particular nun. Taissa Farmiga plays the young Irene as a women who devout to the cause although suspicious of her role. Her portrayal is engaging and believable as she runs through haunted halls and began for her life with hands clasped together helplessly. The duo become a trio when they are joined by farmhand Maurice (Jonas Bloquet) who provides the comic relief as a handsomely develish womanizer. He is there guide but has no idea of the evil that is about to be unleashed upon them all.
Things go south when in the abbey the gate slams shut and they are locked in for the night and the nuns all take a bow of silence until morning. This is when The Nun finally stalls the halls and elaborate pranks become rife in the ancient building lit by candlelight. Typical jump-scare ensue unapologetically.
The problem with this film is the loose plot and shaky antagonist desires. It’s unclear why The Nun is haunting the abbey which fills the tension. It ends up being a film of cheap rides with some promising parts but by the time it’s finished – you’ve already stopped caring.