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The Nun

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Nun and parts of the Nun II

After the release of the first Nun movie, many horror and Conjuring fans have been anticipating the release of this second section in the franchise. However, with the recent decline of movie quality – with many big companies favoring quantity over quality – was it worth the wait?

The Nun: Summary
This movie was designed to be an ‘origin story’ for the Nun that was presented in the first two Conjurings. It starts out at the Abbey of St. Carta, with two unnamed nuns. One gets killed by an unknown monster while trying to obtain an ancient relic, while the other commits suicide to avoid this monster. Demon hunter Father Burke and ‘nun in training’ Sister Irene are sent by the Vatican to discover what is plaguing this holy site. On the way, they meet Frenchie, the local farmhand, who guides them to the Abbey. Frenchie leaves the two, who end up getting stuck in the Abbey for multiple nights. After frequent visions and hauntings from the Nun, who is seen frequently in the background, and who even comes out to haunt the two personally from time to time. Eventually, Frenchie comes back to save them, and the three figure out how the demon came to this world, and how to send it back. The Nun, a demon named Valek, was summoned around the medieval ages by a Duke, but holy knights used the blood of Jesus to seal the gate that was opened, thereby banishing Valek. The Abbey was bombed in WWII, which is what reopened the gate, allowing Valek back out. The three protagonists find the vial of the blood hidden in the Abbey, and then use it to banish Valek again. Right before the end of the movie, we see an upside down cross pushing out of Frenchie’s neck, setting up the beginning of the next movie, when the Nun escapes.

Let’s Talk About This
Before the Conjuring, most horror movies weren’t exactly scary. Most were full of dumb teenagers being thrown into scary situations. The jump-scares were good, but the audience could start to tell when they were coming, and the entire time the audience wanted to yell at the protagonists because why would you split up and go into a haunted mansion alone?

The first Conjuring changed this. We were introduced to a group of characters that felt realistic and likable, and, when faced with scary, unexplainable events, had different yet realistic reactions. The characters were all smart about what they did – mostly, some of the kids did dumb things, but then again, they’re kids – making the audience want to root for them. Additionally, we weren’t thrown from one jump scare to the next, the story painted a terrifying picture of the horror story that previously occurred at the house, and then how it affected and drew in the new family. All these aspects are what made people love the Conjuring, and had them on the edge of their seats for the next one – which also held up to expectations.

With the Nun, we see a return to the original style of horror movies: frequent jump scares that the audience could predict and characters splitting up and doing dumb things. While the characters are likable, the whole point of the movie was unclear. What was the Nun doing, what was it after? That was slightly unclear, other than it wanted to possess someone.

Additionally, the serious tone of the movie was broken up by a comment or line said by one of the characters, making the audience break out of the hold the horror had on them. So, in all, while the Nun was a good movie, with some good scares, it didn’t quite hold up to the Conjuring’s standards.

The Nun II
In this movie, a few things are changed. One, we already know some of the main characters, Frenchie, who now goes by Maurice, and Sister Irene. Two, the movie utilizes a split narrative, focusing on two separate people who are in two separate places in alternating scenes, once again Frenchie and Irene. Three, we already know who the villain of the story is. Four, it cleared up what exactly the Nun was after, a relic that would give it enough power to be an angel again.

It was nice to see Sister Irene and Frenchie back on screen again, as they were good characters. It was especially interesting to see how the movie handled showing the two narratives at the same time, though it was slightly unclear from time to time. It was also interesting to see how the writers tied the story in with more Biblical relics and history, connecting not just the Nun’s goal, but also Irene herself back to the same person and the same relic.

However, other than that, not much changed. There were still lots of jump scares, which became predictable, and the characters still did dumb things – though this time it was mostly the young kids doing dumb stuff, sort of making it excusable. While also being a good movie, it didn’t quite hold up to the standard that the Conjuring set.

I would recommend watching it, because it was entertaining, but it wasn’t one of the best movies out there. If you want something truly captivating, just rewatch the first two Conjurings.

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Julia Fulginiti, Reporter
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