First things first, I’m a HUGE fan of horror movies. I love everything from the classics like Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) to more recent films like Martyrs (2008) and The Void (2016). My favorite era would probably be the 80’s when the world was introduced to Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Hellraiser and so many great titles such as Poltergeist, The Thing, The Shining, American Werewolf in London, The Fly and the list goes on and on.
However over the last decade or so I felt like it was harder to find solid scary movies that really shook me up the way those older films did when I was growing up. Every once in a blue something of substance would hit theaters like The Ring (2002), Saw (2004), Hostel (2005) and the occasional Rob Zombie flick, but for the most part a lot of what I was seeing lacked originality in a lot of ways.
That is until Warner Bros. released The Conjuring in 2013. I was instantly hooked. That was followed by the prequel Annabelle (2014), The Conjuring 2 (2016) and of course Annabelle: Creation in 2017.
Before I continue, for all of you wondering about the chronological order of the films, here you go:
1. Annabelle: Creation (Takes place prior to 1967)
2. Annabelle (Takes place 1967)
3. The Conjuring (Takes place 1971)
4. The Conjuring 2 (Takes place 1976 / 1977)
Now…..we have come to the movie that sets off this entire series: THE NUN! I was recently invited to a press junket in Mexico City where several journalists, critics, writers and people who work in all forms of media got to watch an early screening of the movie at an old 17th century convent called Ex Convento Del Desierto de los Leones. This place was the perfect setting to scare the crap out of someone who was about to watch a movie that deals with religion and a demonic nun. Add to that it was pouring raining, cold and foggy and the place was decorated to mirror the convent seen in the film.
I won’t spoil anything but I will say that I highly suggest you at least watch The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 in order to understand how these movies are all tied together. (Note: Other than The Conjuring 2, Valak the demon nun only appears in a photo and in a post-credits scene in Annabelle: Creation).
As someone who has seen quite a number of horror and thrillers throughout his life, I can usually tell when the director really understands what makes a good scary plot. In The Nun, there are plenty of well planned, good old fashioned jump scares that you sometimes see coming but are still not prepared for when it happens. They filmed this at the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Transylvania. This castle is the rumored to be the source of inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Castle Dracula and also where Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner. Based on that fact alone I have to give kudos to the cast and crew for even stepping foot in that place, especially at night. I really appreciate that they shot this at a real old and creepy location with history and not on a backlot or soundstage somewhere in Hollywood. The events in the movie take place mostly at night, and there are only a handful of characters so you’re really focused on what happens to each person. The movie gets going from the beginning with an intense moment and the death of a nun which prompts officials from The Vatican to send Father Burke (played by Demián Bichir) to investigate along with help from Sister Irene (played by Taissa Farmiga). So right off the bat you know you’re in for a ride. I will say that I was surprised by the sprinkle of comedic moments provided by the character Frenchie (played by Jonas Bloquet) who became a favorite of everyone at the screening. By the time it was over I have to say this definitely lived up to the hype and was worth the wait.
Special thanks to director Corin Hardy and Demián Bichir and Taissa Farmiga and also to Warner Bros. for their hospitality and a movie viewing experience I will never forget!
P.S. Shout out to Group #5 Kyle, Mo, Suss One, Jason, Carmen and Lisa!