‘The Nun’ relies on tired devices

Parker Otto

Riddled with a poor story and very few creative scares, “The Nun” is a disappointment compared to its predecessors in the “Conjuring” universe. “The Nun,” released Sept. 7, is the fifth film to appear in the “Conjuring” series.

The film follows Father Burke, played by Demián Bichir, and Sister Irene, played by Taissa Farmiga, as they investigate an abbey in 1950s Romania. Burke is an experienced traveler for the Vatican and has experience in exorcisms, and Irene is a young girl who has yet to take her vows. The abbey has been overtaken by the evil spirit of a nun whose presence has caused the death of nuns of the abbey and townsfolk, and it’s up to the duo to keep the evil trapped where it came from.

The film’s suspense suffers because of these lazy attempts to frighten. A moment rarely occurs when the audience is on the edge of their seats. The film is a bore, plagued by predictable jumpscares and tired plot devices. It’s repetitive, easy to spot and not scary.

Another problem with the film is its thin plot. After the main characters are established, nothing of significance happens, aside from the aforementioned jump scares. When the demon’s backstory is explained, it feels like it was made up by middle schoolers playing “Dungeons and Dragons.” The pacing suffers, and what was an hour-and-a-half film feels like a three-hour drag.

Some aspects of the film are relatively well-done. The performances from the two leads are dynamic, and as the movie progresses, more is learned about them which in turn makes them more relatable.

Visually, the film production design is impressive. The abbey is well-designed with many towers and corridors; it looks and feels like an evil Hogwarts. At times, there’s even fog on the floor. The entire film resembles an old 1950s Hammer horror movie. The budget of this picture was $22 million, and it clearly shows, according to Box Office Mojo.

While “The Nun” may have a strong sense of atmosphere and great performances, the film proves to be of little substance. If the audience wants a terrifying film akin to others in the “Conjuring” universe, “The Nun” is not where to find it.