The final movie in the Conjuring-and-Blumhouse modern horrors series: The Nun. It’s the only major title left off as of the time of this writing — I hit all the Paranormals and all the Insidiouses, all the Conjurings. Now for the one Nun.
I’ll start out with the first note here: I could do with more of this movie. Maybe not just this movie, but this series. Series newcomer Taissa Farmiga is great in her role as a nun, and Demian Bichir is absolutely phenomenal. I don’t know that they currently have plans for more, but they damn sure should. There’s something more to these characters.
This is where we meet Valak in the past, before the Conjuring. The evil bastard is trying to get in through a hellmouth type location where a Convent now sits. The portal is protected by near constant prayer, to keep Valak and Hell at bay. But then… well, stuff happens.
Our characters are Frenchie, a fellow living in Romania delivering supplies to the Convent, Sister Irene, Taissa Farmiga’s character, and Father Burke, who has some past with the Vatican and the folks who summon him to it for this mission.
The movie uses sparse effects, but when it chooses to use them, it does a good job. A lot of the creepy stuff in the movie (the burial scene toward the beginning of the Romanian leg), is just creepy without needing a lot of effects. The plot builds slowly but right away we know this thing is evil, and we also know pretty early on that it isn’t just some minor evil: anyone familiar with the Conjuring recognizes the evil that is Valak.
This is, as far as I can recall, the only movie in the Conjuring universe in which a gun fires. It’s pretty realistic, no magazine-emptying infinity bullets. Nobody flies around from a gunshot, nobody gets shot in the chest and gives a long soliloquy.
There’s about as close to gore as the series has gotten in a few scenes. Nothing offensive, but I’m not a fan of anything with eyes.
All in all, it isn’t the Conjuring. But damned if it isn’t as close as we’ll get with another cast. Dear Conjuring folks: C’mon, DO IT AGAIN.
Running Time: An hour thirty six.
Violence: A good bit, mostly demon on person and the reverse.
Gun Use: An old shotgun that is fired once.
Gore: It gets up to the line of squick without ever crossing it.
Creepy? A bit, yeah.
Monster Type? An asshole demon.
Funny? A little, when it wants to be.
Pacing: Pretty good.