Strong plot, twist at end save Nun from mediocrity

Abbey Dissette, Feature Editor

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After the success “The Conjuring” brought to theaters in both numbers as well as increased expectation for horror in movies, I entered fifth installment believing it would live up to the same hype that the first movie had. In short, I was rather underwhelmed.
While the visuals and creepy religious imagery were impeccable, the movie relied on common horror movie tropes: The usual, abandoned building, the vengeful, demonic entity, and the predictable jump scares every five minutes.
Set in 1952 Romania, “The Nun” follows the investigation of an apparent suicide of a nun who was attacked by an unseen presence. The thrilling fast-paced chase as the Valek, a demon that was unleashed from the depth of hell, went after Sister Victoria set strong expectations for the rest of the movie. Even after the initial drama has died down there is still creepy imagery weaved throughout the movie, a suspenseful mood that left everyone on the edge of their seat.
Weeks later, the decaying body is found by Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), a man living in a neighboring village that oversees delivering supplies to the abbey. Unable to bring her body back on his own, he moves her to the delivery cellar to preserve her body.
After the Vatican learns of the incident they send Father Burke (Damien Bichir), a priest with a troubling past, and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), a nun who has not yet made her vows, to determine whether the grounds are still holy.
With the help of Frenchie, they arrive at the abbey to find fresh blood where the nun had died and her body in a seated position in the cellar, rather than laying down as Frenchie had left the sister.
As the movie went on there was less and less subtlety, transitioning into lackluster clichés that just about every scary movie includes. The music felt as though it was picked off a shelf titled “the most cliché horror movie soundtrack.”
The Demon Nun (Bonnie Aarons), while her realism was astounding, filled the plot with predictable jump scares. Her character would have better fit as a subtle reminder to the demons roaming the halls.
While the horror may have been lacking, the twists in the plot helped to reestablish the mood. Many of them, unlike the jump scares, worked rather well with the plot and religious tones of the movie.
This may not be the scariest movie of all times, but as an addition to “The Conjuring” series it creates a whole new level for the franchise. Looking past the jump scares, the plot twist at the end is what truly has people leaving the theater with shivers running down their spine. The way everything is tied together is what gives this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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