'Nun' too pleased with 'The Conjuring' franchise

"The Nun" is the fifth movie in "The Conjuring" franchise—and the worst. This installment traces the origins of the demonic nun from "The Conjuring 2" back to the abbey she came from, where a young nun recently committed suicide. Within the haunted abbey, a priest and a postulate investigate the death.

From this point in the movie, the plot is less clear. It is obvious from the beginning a malevolent force is in the abbey. This force later takes the form of a dark, demonic nun who the priest and novitiate exorcise.                  

The nun herself is a horrifying figure with a gravelly voice and a face hidden by dark dress, but the lore behind the abbey and the nun was lacking. There was little backstory given to the origin of the abbey, but it was clear the nearby community was aware of its evils.

This left me longing for a clearer history about the abbey and the nearby community, which was an opportunity missed by the filmmakers to raise the level of suspense.

A saving grace for this movie was the incredible soundtrack that did more to set the tone and create suspense than the story itself. Several times, the only suspense in the scene came from the haunting, classical music. Thankfully, the dark, gothic-style abbey, with a surrounding forest and graveyard were chilling enough to make up for the lack of information about the location.

The environment could not, however, make up for the lack of character development. The brief introductions to the main characters left me feeling ambivalent toward them. Because of the lack of investment in the characters, I was not scared for their lives, or hardly at all for that matter.  

Because of the blatant disregard for a solid story line and characters, the film relied heavily on gore, creepy costumes and cheap jump scares. The priest and novitiate nun seemed extremely naïve and ignorant as they pieced together the Abbey’s history and were dragged down a dark hall of horror clichés.

Around each corner was another distant shadow, hand reaching through the darkness or a loud bang, all of which become monotonous after the first half of the film.

I left the theatre feeling underwhelmed and like I must have missed an important part of the movie, though I watched it through the credits. The film, especially as a part of "The Conjuring" franchise, was an overall disappointing experience. Sloppy spinoffs like "The Nun" are degrading to "The Conjuring" franchise, which seems to be lazily cashing in on their previous successes.

While the premise of the movie was promising, it was poorly executed. The atmosphere, actors, jump scares, suspenseful soundtrack and horrifying nun were all there.

Unfortunately, the plot and character development were nearly "nun"-existent. If you simply enjoy horror movies, do not mind clichés and like jump scares, it is worth watching once. However, if you are looking for a horror movie with depth, I do not recommend "The Nun."

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