- Aug 19, 2003
The Nun: 1952. "There's a time for prayer and a time for action. This is a time for action." So says Fr Burke (Demián Bicher), Exorcist and Vatican investigator of Miracles and other strange phenomena. This Indiana Jones of the Curia is joined on a trip to Romania by Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), a Novice Nun. They are to investigate the apparent suicide of a nun at an isolated Convent. We of course know that the Nun killed herself to escape possession by a Demonic Entity which had aLready slain another Nun. Arriving at a village they meet Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who discovered the Nun's body hanging from a window. He escorts them to the Convent where Fr Burke meets with a veiled figure who introduces herself as the Abbess.
There are many Nuns in this film, Zombiesque Nuns jumping on their victims from above, Nuns dragging nooses through graveyards, jumping out of Cloister doors, strangling and biting people. We even have a choreographed group of Sisters marching in to a Chapel to pray against the return of the Evil One. Fr Burke has has his personal demons as well as those resident in the Abbey. We see a flashback to 1942 when an exorcism ge performed resulted in the death of a young boy whose ghost now torments him. Sister irene in the past had visions which now seem to be relevant to events in the Convent.
The attitude of the villagers towards the Convent is like that of Transylvanian villagers towards Castle Dracula. Apparently it was once the abode of an evil Count who practiced Necromancy and tried to bring Demons through from Hell to walk the Earth. There is a line of humour running through the film which results in some scenes having a tongue in cheek aspect. Indeed Frenchie seems to be present to provide comic relief. Some good frights and jump scenes but this is no Classic and the narrative is confusing as to how the story fits into The Conjuring series. A coda to the film is a bit heavy handed in it's attempt to provide that link. Still, some solid Horror. 7/10.
The Nun II: Sister Irene is back in an Italian convent but Fr Burke is dead so she gets a sidekick, Sister Debra, a novice from the US. Frenchie is also still around working at a girls school in France. The Demon is also back, leaving a trail of dead nuns and priests across Europe as it travels westwards, We see Father Noiret in Tarascon, France being confronted by the Demon in the form of a Nun, he is levitated and bursts into flames, Demonic activity also takes place at the girls school. A Cardinal sends Irene forth to investigate the deaths and Debra sneaks along as well. Their quest involves strange visions for Irene, some harmful others help them on their way. much of the drama at the girl's school is soapish but the tinges of horror continue, Eventually these narrative strands will combine. the Demon as a a Nun often appears in from within pareidolia, emerging from/retreating into stains on walls, sculptures, even a rack of magazines whose pages are stirred by a breeze. The Demon also takes on shapes of friends or relatives to confuse it;s victims. At one stage it becomes even the Devil in goat form attacking and goring people. This film is quite disturbing, plenty of shocks and violent deaths and possessions along with psychological horror. Surpasses the original and it is a worthy contribution to The Conjuring Universe. Directed by Michael Chaves, from a screenplay by Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing, and Akela Cooper. 7.5/10.