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‘The Nun’ provides thrills but little more

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As one of the most anticipated horror movies of the year, the hype for “The Nun” on every form of social media is impossible to miss. Riding off of the success of “The Conjuring” franchise and opening to a massive $53.5 million domestic opening weekend, “The Nun” offers viewers an hour and thirty-six minutes of mild thrills overshadowed by questionable character motives and poor plot development.

Like any half-decent horror movie, the story begins with the suspicious death of a nun at an abbey in Romania, leading the Vatican to send our heroes Father Burke (Demián Bichir), a priest haunted by his past, and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), a novice who has yet to take her vows and holds a past just as crucial to the story, to investigate. Joining forces with the man only known as Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who had the unfortunate surprise of discovering the body, the trio embark on a journey to determine if the grounds of the abbey are still holy. Unfortunately for them, they very quickly discover that a demon is, indeed, lurking around the halls, disguising itself as a nun to prey on unsuspecting victims.

The movie seems to rely on the basic idea of “demon nun = scary” rather than attempting to create a thicker storyline for what could have been a much improved movie.”

Sadly, the movie stops here when it comes to possessing a decent plotline. The remainder of the movie seems to spend its time focused on jump scares, hoping that the audience will be too frightened to realize that virtually no plot development is taking place. The movie seems to rely on the basic idea of “demon nun = scary” rather than attempting to create a thicker storyline for what could have been a much improved movie. With fellow 2018 horror movies like “A Quiet Place” and “Hereditary” having made headlines earlier this year for their unique yet undoubtedly frightening tales, it feels like quite the disappointment that a movie as anticipated as “The Nun” did not live up to its successors. “The Nun” certainly has many moments that caused the audience to be left agape with fear, but that just isn’t enough for horror movies anymore. How is the audience expected to have the movie stand out in their mind when it’s ultimately the same plot as every other scary movie at the box office? The standards are being risen when it comes to what kind of story is being told, and “The Nun” just didn’t cut it.

“The Nun” continues to not be able to distinguish itself from the mistakes of other horror films in the sense that it is simply too unclear to understand the villain’s motives. We are expected to just accept that just because the demon is a being of evil, it should explain the entire plot of the movie. Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned backstory? The movie markets itself as a prequel to the demon nun who first appears in “The Conjuring 2”, but if anything, more questions have come up than those that have been answered. We are shown a sequence of events that show how the demon was brought to this earth, but what are its goals, exactly? Naturally, we assume that it wants to destroy humankind, but it is unclear of what exactly would have happened if (spoiler alert:) the demon had succeeded and gotten its way.

“The Nun” was a highly anticipated movie with poorly received feedback (currently 26% on Rotten Tomatoes – that’s only five away from being ranked the same as “The Bye Bye Man”, and we all know what kind of monstrosity that movie was). Although it made more on its opening weekend than any of the other films in “The Conjuring” franchise, it proved to be one of the more disappointing movies to come from the series. Although not containing the best plot by any means, if you’re looking to simply get scared this weekend, make a trip to your nearest movie theater, as its scare factor is practically the one thing that “The Nun” was able to get right.

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‘The Nun’ provides thrills but little more