The Nun, the fifth instalment in the Conjuring universe, details the somewhat haunting story of a priest, a nun, and a local French man who travel to a cursed abbey in Romania. Though it is unlikely for this film to become a paragon for future horror films, it does deserve a commendation for its substantial scare factor, along with its palpable showcasing of acting ability and well-considered plot.

Deciding to begin by hitting the audience with the fear of god, quite literally, the audience is shown two nuns in quantifiable terror as they head towards a passage marked ‘god ends here’. One nun is then pulled into some evil force beyond the door, whilst the other subsequently commits suicide. After the body is found by local man Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), the Vatican then sends “miracle chaser” Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and nun-in-training Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) to investigate whether the grounds are still holy.

The witty comments of Frenchie enable a certain layer of humour to permeate the horror film bubble, and it’s a plus that he’s attractive to the eye. The dynamic between the three protagonists is tangible and you find yourself rooting for the somewhat implausible romance between Sister Irene and Frenchie. Whilst the plot and script results in a wholly terrifying and exciting experience, as soon as the idea of Jesus Christ’s blood is mentioned, the plot seems to sink. A haunted abbey is one thing, but let’s not take poetic license too far.

A few directorial choices are also questionable, creating a scene more in line with that of a comedy rather than a horror. The image of a nun rising from the water during the climax is actually laughable (people in the cinema really did laugh) and whilst comical moments are a vital element within horror films for that sense of relief, laughter at such a pivotal moment seems somewhat misplaced.

Despite this, the final revelation of the film and the link with the rest of the Conjuring world, neatly ties off the story. This allows a torrent of gasps and exclamations to ripple around the cinema. If you’re a fan of the Conjuring instalments, this one is not to be missed.

3 Stars

Image Credit: Movie DB.

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