September 9, 2018

The Nun: Reality is Scarier Than Fiction

The nun 2018I really liked The Conjuring, and I thought The Conjuring 2 was better than the average horror film but a step down from the first one. Despite almost never enjoying killer doll films, I thought Annabelle was worth watching, though I could have skipped the sequel, Annabelle: Creation, without missing much.

The next entry in this film franchise, The Nun, recently hit theaters. The reviews I've read have been mixed, but the early consensus seems to be that it is not very good. Many of the reviews note that the film seemed unnecessary and that explaining the origins of the demonic nun from The Conjuring 2 detracted from her mystery and made her less scary. That sounds like a good reason to steer clear of The Nun to me. Worse, many reviewers did not find the film scary and said that the director used excessive jump scares in place of creepy atmosphere or effective storytelling. I am sure I will see it eventually, but I can't say I am in a hurry to do so.

I found myself wondering recently if the whole "scary nun" concept might work better on Catholics or ex-Catholics than people like me who have never been Catholic. I can't say I've ever found nuns to be scary. I have heard from a couple Catholic friends who attended Catholic school when they were young that nuns are indeed something to fear. Maybe a film like The Nun would be more effective for them if they were willing to see it (which they aren't).

As for me, I find the reality of child rape by Catholic priests and the subsequent efforts to hide it by the Church hierarchy to be far scarier than any demonic nun could be. That said, I don't think I'd be in any hurry to see a horror film centered on that subject matter either. Demonic nuns seem far more palatable in comparison.