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Date TimeSeptember 07, 2018
VoiceThis tedious prequel follows a team of clerics to Romania, where they unexpectedly encounter every cliche in the book
The Nun review – a clueless Conjuring cash-in that summons zero scares
The Nun is the latest in the fantastically tiresome and unscary Conjuring franchise – a prequel to The Conjuring 2, creating a backstory for the creepy sub-Marilyn Manson nun that we saw in that film. (Did Manson forget to trademark his image? Or is he getting royalties?) It also overlaps with the Annabelle movies – perhaps attempting to create something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe cash-cow.
Anyway, The Nun brings back in brief cameo the characters Ed and Lorraine Warren, the real-life paranormal investigators associated with the Amityville case, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. It is set just after the second world war; the heroine is a trainee nun, played by Vera Farmiga’s younger sister Taissa. The resemblance is striking, and maybe we are supposed to believe that this is Lorraine’s younger self, before a name and career change.
However egregiously silly it all gets, The Nun will insist on repeating the franchise’s deadpan mannerism of claiming to be based on documentary truth. An initial announcement flashes up on screen: “The following occurred in 1952.” (We need Ron Howard’s voiceover from Arrested Development to add: “It didn’t.”)

The horrendous suicide of a nun in Romania, deep in Dracula country, causes the Vatican grave concern. They send Father Burke (Demián Bichir) to investigate this nunnery of evil, and he takes doe-eyed novitiate Irene (Taissa Farmiga) with him for assistance. A tousled young local sinner called Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) goes along, too, fancying the wimple off Irene. There isn’t a genuinely frightening or interesting moment here. This is a film abjectly reliant on cliched soundtrack stabs and earthbound jump-scares.

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