‘The Nun’ falls short of expectations

The next installment of the extended “Conjuring” universe, “The Nun,” explores the background of Valak a character introduced in the second “Conjuring” movie. Although the movie was held together through a loosely structured plot, the overall visuals and suspense make it one worth watching.

“The Nun”, set in 1952, follows the journey of Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) as they investigate a suicide at a cloistered abbey in Romania. However, they soon realize the abbey is harboring a dark secret and that they must work together to defeat the evil within.

The characters in the movie were typical archetypes but had enough personality and dialogue to keep the movie interesting and entertaining.

Set in an established universe, “The Nun” has several tie-ins to characters or events which have occurred in previous movies. Not going into the details, they do serve has a nice coming together and thus deepens the story connection each movie shares.

The movie follows similar hallmarks of previous “Conjuring” movies, including the slow, silent build-up before a scare, and the classic mirrors placed in specific areas that are meant to mess with the audience’s mind.

Visually, the scenes and general landscape shots of the film serve to highlight both the beauty and terror of an isolated abbey in Romania. Every overview shot of a location was stunning, and some were even calm and serene, though these shots also served to heighten fear in scenes of suspense.

However, the characters and plot were underdeveloped and held together by only a string of loosely held together events. The movie begins with questions of faith and belief, but quickly falls apart in favor of scares. The substance of the plot quickly vanishes only to be reintroduced when convenient for scares.

But, this choice limited what “The Nun” could have been. Granted, the story relied less on real events and more on fictional ones, the plot should have been more impactful. One great part of the original “Conjuring” movie was the connected and moving plot and thus made it a stand-out in the paranormal horror genre.

Overall, “The Nun” is a good installment in the “Conjuring” universe. It is a movie any fan of the series, or of the horror genre, should make an effort to see.