The Nun is the highest-grossing installment yet in The Conjuring film franchise; the shared universe of horror films. It is the fifth entry in the series and a spin-off of The Conjuring 2 (2016). Released in September 2018 by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film met with mixed reactions from critics but went on to gross $365 million on a budget of $22 million.
It depicts the battle between the living and the damned. The plot revolves around a priest, Father Burke, and a novitiate, Sister Irene as they attempt to unravel the mystery behind the death of a young nun in a 1952 Romanian abbey. The abbey was apparently haunted by a habit wearing malevolent named Valak, the same demonic force seen in the 2016 film. The duo risked not only their lives but also their faith and soul as they come face-to-(phantom) face with the demon nun.
The film was directed by Corin Hardy and written by Gary Dauberman, from a story by Dauberman and James Wan. Bonnie Aarons reprised her role as the Demon Nun while Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and Jonas Bloquet also star in the movie. A sequel is already being developed.
The Nun: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Movie
The Nun is set in a way to make you watch it from behind your fingers and that could make you miss out on a number of details about the movie. We bring to your notice 5 things you didn’t know about the movie.
1. It is Both a Sequel and a Prequel to The Conjuring 2
Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators kicked off the entire horror film series in 2013 with The Conjuring. Then came The Conjuring 2 three years later. The second entry may as well be regarded as the origin of Valak being that it was the first encounter we had with the malevolent nun but in reality, Valak all started in The Nun.
The Nun is the origin story of the demon nun. In the ending part of the film, the footage is shown of Ed and Lorraine trying to exorcise a possessed Maurice nineteen years later. Remember him? Maurice formerly known as Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) was the villager that brought news of the nun’s (Victoria) death to the Vatican’s notice, prompting the sending of Father Burke and Sister Irene to Romania. He was possessed by Valak, unbeknownst to the Burke and Irene during the final battle with the demon in the abbey’s catacombs.
In the footage, Maurice gave Lorraine visions of Ed dying prior to their investigation of the Hodgson home haunting in the 2016 film. Also, during their encounter with the possessed Maurice, he implanted into her visions of the universe’s biggest and most important baddie, Valak itself. That was the moment that made The Nun both a prequel and a sequel to the first two Conjuring movies.
Finally, what began in the 1952 Romania ends in Enfield, a London suburb in 1977, as the Warrens banish Valak from the earthly realm — for a little while, at least.
2. The Film is Based on a Handful of True Events
Just like its predecessor, The Conjuring is based on the real case files of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Nun is also bits and pieces of different true stories. The couple came face-to-(ghostly)-face with a phantom nun while visiting a haunted English church in the ’70s. Apparently, she had been buried alive in the church walls as punishment for having an affair with a monk.
Moreover, director James Wan, on his own part, says The Nun was inspired by a demon that haunted Lorraine Warren’s home. Lorraine once described that demon as a “swirling tornado vortex with this hooded figure”. Wan built on that description of the demon and developed the nun character which eventually made its debut in The Conjuring 2.
3. Valak is Actually the Name of a Real Demon
While The Nun is a product of Wan’s imagination, the entity behind the habit is rooted in real-life lore. Valak has appeared in several demonology books including The Lesser Key of Solomon but has never taken the form of a nun, only in Wan’s universe. It is described in the book as the grand president of Hell who gives true answers of hidden treasures, tells where serpents may be seen as well as commands legions of demonic minions. Valak takes the form of a winged child who rides on a two-headed dragon.
4. Some of the Props in the Movie are Familiar
Are you wondering where you have seen some of the props in the movie before? The production used some familiar props such as a group photo of some nuns and a cross from Annabelle: Creation.
5. The Nun is Overly Reliant on Jump Scares
Although the film is not a straight-up horror movie and incorporates elements of other genres such as adventure, viewers can’t help jumping out of their skins. Some of the cast like Farmiga who portrayed Irene were not left out. She couldn’t even watch herself onscreen and had to peer through her fingers half of the time she saw the film.
Even the YouTube ad was not spared of the whole scary business. The seven-second ad had to be removed by the video-sharing website after a warning advising users not to watch was retweeted more than 100,000 times. Though The Nun was lauded for its strong performances and spooky atmospherics, it was heavily criticized for its inconsistent logic, weak narrative and over-reliance on jump-scares.