The Nun was cursed before it even premiered.
The 2018 film, a prequel to The Conjuring movies, some of the most terrifying horror films of the last decade, was advertised through a six second trailer that ran before videos on YouTube.
People complained, likely because they wet their pants and it was shameful as well as inconvenient.
The ad began with a symbol indicating that the volume was down.
“Goodness!” the viewer thought to themselves. “I better turn the volume right up as to be able to hear this bizarre looking ad.”
It was at this moment viewers were presented with a jump shock so terrifying that people got GENUINELY ANGRY and made complaints.
Now I, like any horror movie enthusiastic, thought to myself: “This movie is about a demonic nun who runs at people for no reason, what could possibly go wrong?”
And the answer was simple: Everything. Literally, everything.
You can watch the trailer right here.
The Nun takes place two decades before The Conjuring 2, and begins with a young nun who resides in an abbey in Romania (obviously), running from a demon (obviously) and ultimately jumping out a window to her death.
Father Burke (Demián Bichir), who has a history with demon nuns etc., and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) are sent by the Vatican to investigate the peculiar series of events – but mostly to search for the ghosts and tell them to stop ASAP, please.
Within moments they discover, along with a French-Canadian farmer who goes by ‘Frenchie’ (Jonas Bloquet), that this abbey is… f*cked.
When Frenchie found the nun’s body, he moved her inside and laid her down.
But when the three of them go to recover the nun, she is obviously sitting up like she’s reading a book.
Father Burke thinks it might just be a result of sporadic movements after death which mysteriously make dead people stand up straight. But that’s not it, Father Burke. It’s obviously because of the demon nun that chased her out the window FFS.
What follows, like any horror movie, is a series of appalling decisions.
They decide to stay at the haunted abbey where nuns keep dying overnight because they’re too scared to travel at night (???) but Father Burke wakes to unusual noises.
He then follows the ghost of a giggling little boy into a graveyard as we all would and eventually gets pushed into a coffin and buried alive for reasons that are never made clear.
But Sister Irene knows because she has spidey senses, and so eventually finds him and digs him out of the coffin.
What ensues is… the chasing of a demon who dresses as a nun as to TRICK people (rude) … lots of dead people… lots of praying which doesn’t really work… and a snake coming out of someone’s throat more than once. Oh and Jesus’ blood which I doubt is real but OK.
Mostly though, people who have seen The Conjuring will be thinking “That chick looks heaps like that other chick…” as Sister Irene bears a striking resemblance to Lorraine Warren, played by Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring movies.
Well, that would be because Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga are sisters. How clever to have Taissa play a younger Vera! It works so well!
Except she’s not a younger Vera.
Their resemblance is never addressed and is apparently irrelevant. WTF.
The point is that a demon came up through the earth of the abbey and then haunted it since the beginning of time and then the nun's took over but the demon was still there. Hence why he started dressing as a nun.
All horror movies lose me when the entity doing the haunting becomes a... monster.
Because monsters aren't real. But ghosts might be, in my humble opinion as someone who has never seen a ghost but would like to.
The demon gets all big and loud and yells in someone's face and honestly I didn't sign up to watch The Avengers.
I'd spoil the ending but I didn't really understand it so I won't.
After watching the film and being adequately disappointed that I wasn't traumatised, I went home to do some googlin'.
And that's when I discovered the scariest detail about The Nun.
No, it's not its 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although that too is scary.
It's the backstory.
The Conjuring series is based on accounts and descriptions by Lorraine and Ed Warren, American paranormal investigators who were involved with someone of the most prominent hauntings of the 20th century.
The couple are behind the popularisation of the Amytiville Horror and the story of Annabelle.
But, you see, Lorraine claims to have been haunted by an entity that she described as: "A swirling tornado vortex with this hooded figure in there."
It was adapted in the film to be represented in the form of a nun.
I have no doubt that would be very scary, to look in the mirror and see a nun behind you just chilling.
But, honestly, if the footless nun as represented in The Nun, who looks really... hungover and... tired, came at me while I was going about my business, I'd probably laugh.
Because - when it comes to horror movies - the closer to reality the better.
We don't want monsters. We want REAL nun ghosts who do spooky things like pop up in the background when we're not expecting them to.