Warner Brothers guides us back into the dark of the Conjuring universe with The Nun (Bonnie Aarons), which looks into the character that haunts Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) in the first two Conjuring titles, detailing her personal history, and possession by the demon that corrupts her soul.
Set in 1952, this film marks, to date, the earliest entry into the Conjuring universe, as it tells the tale in St. Carta Abbey in Romania. The story follows a young sister, Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who is assigned to investigate the suicide of a nun at a remote abbey. She is to accompany Father Burke (Demian Bichir). They are joined by a guide, Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who will prove to be connective tissue with the rest of the series by the film’s end, and of course, not to mention the family connection between the two Farmigas.
They soon discover that there is an evil presence within the abbey, and we are introduced to the possessed nun that would come to haunt Lorraine Warren.
This is the shortest entry into the ever expanding series, and also the weakest on character and story. For the original Conjuring films, they took documented paranormal cases as their launching points and then with Annabelle they began building their own universe (although an actual Annabelle doll does exist and is kept safe in the Warrens home). The Nun is very much a creation for the Conjuring universe, and though a dark tale (visually and thematically), it definitely leans more towards jump scares than a tale that gets under your skin with mood, atmosphere and story.
That may be in due in part to the fact that the demonic nun, Valak by name is scarier without a backstory completely detailed. Little hints fire the imagination, if you shine the light of storytelling into every corner, you take away some of the idea’s frightening power.
The blu-ray includes a look at the creation of a new horror icon in the form of the nun, a look at the location shooting in Romania (allowing for some truly Gothic interior and exteriors), a chronology of the films not that there are now five films in the universe. Also included is the roundup of usual deleted scenes.
The Nun, the latest installment in the Conjuring cinematic universe is available now from Warner Brothers. The horror series will continue, so get caught up now with all five films, now available!