Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Nun

THE NUN (***)

Make no mistake, THE NUN is not a good movie. It is quite terrible in certain moments (it has the most generic scare moments and some truly awful dialogue—there is actually an exchange that goes: “The blood of Christ” “Holy shit.” “The holiest.”), but it’s a lot of fun and really quite something to look at. My interest was piqued when friends and other critics I trust had mentioned that the film had a very Italian feel to it, specifically Michele Soavi’s THE CHURCH. There is a bit of Soavi’s THE CHURCH in that there is an evil buried beneath a beautifully creepy old religious building, but that’s just plot stuff. Where THE NUN really gets it right is in the tone, and this is where I could see the Italian connections being made. THE NUN moves along quickly enough (the movie is only 96 minutes, which is a plus in my book) and its ridiculous plot is really just there to just act as a backdrop for the impressive setpieces. And this is where the comparisons to Soavi and Italian horror are apt. Director Corin Hardy (whose previous film THE HALLOW I'm unfamiliar with but am now definitely interested in checking out) has a lot of fun dumping everything on the viewer in the same nonsensical way that Italian horror eschews narrative coherence (there are a lot of scenes of characters just wandering around searching in spooky locations—I had no idea why, but it didn’t matter to me) for tone. THE NUN gets the feel of an Italian horror movie right, and if one approaches the film with the mindset just enjoying the film’s setpieces (whether they be the copious amounts of eerie shots inside the church, fog drenched woods, or the hallucinations of the characters), I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised. Hardy seems to understand that one does not come to a movie called THE NUN thinking there will be new ways in which a film of this ilk will scare you. But THE NUN did surprise me because the tone is perfect (it’s always interesting to look at) and the filmmakers seem to be having fun with this goofy premise.


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