Back in 2016, The Conjuring 2 was such a smash hit not only at the box office but the positive feedback of the monster was so strong, Warner Bros greenlit a spinoff starring the character. Unfortunately, if you like The Conjuring 2, The Nun does not pack the same punch as the film you saw two years ago.
Set in the 1950s, The Nun is a prequel set in The Conjuring franchise’s shared cinematic universe. After a Nun commits suicide under unusual circumstances, the Vatican sends Father Burke and a young Nun to investigate the location and detriment if the event and the area were influenced by unholy forces. It doesn’t take long for them to confirm that an ancient entity has taken over the monastery and they are the only ones that can stop this evil from gaining power and spread among the town.
Despite the fact that James Wan’s fingerprints are all over this movie, the film just doesn’t have the same feeling under the reigns of Director Corin Hardy. What this shared universe is lacking is the fact that outside of the Wan directed films, the spin-offs try to recreate the tension of his films but can’t pull it off without feeling like a cheap knockoff. The Nun just isn’t as scary as the film that preceded it. This film falls into the class of dumb horror movies. You’ll spend so much time groaning trying to figure out why our protagonists are making the same mistakes over and over, the plot induced stupidity takes you out of the film. Then there are the horror tropes, the monsters are always in the shadows, something always appears from behind our characters, the group is attacked individually several times and they keep deciding to split up. Instead of genuine horror, you find yourself yelling at the characters like it’s throwback Wes Craven film.
There are a couple of good sequences including a frantic graveyard chase scene and an eerie reveal in a church, outside of that what you have is a movie that feels like it doesn’t have enough meat to carry its own feature or enough scares to justify being a part of the shared universe it belongs to. The Nun shoots for being the darkest of the timeline, but only succeeds at being the dullest.