If you are unfamiliar with The Conjuring franchise, this is now the fifth instalment in the series and while it isn't completely necessary, I'd highly recommend seeing the previous films first, as some parts of this film may be somewhat confusing to those who have not seen them.
The film is set in a Romanian nunnery during 1952 and centres around a priest called Father Burke, played by Demián Bichir, played by Demián Bichir (2011's A Better Life and 2015's The Hateful Eight), who unfortunately mumbles most of his lines and is very difficult to understand throughout the film. Father Burke is sent by the Vatican, along with nun in training, Sister Irene, played by the exceedingly talented Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story and The Final Girls), to investigate the mysterious and absolutely tragic suicide of a local nun at the Cârța Monastery. The nun who was discovered by a man named Frenchie, played by Jonas Bloquet (3 Days To Kill and 2013's The Family), who serves as the brilliant comic relief of this movie and absolutely stole the spotlight in all of his scenes!
I'd love to see more films in this franchise add some comedy and wit to the mix.
The Cârța Monastery is actually a real place, however, the building in the film is not faithful to the original buildings layout. Currently, it is an Evangelical Lutheran church, in a country with a heavy Eastern Orthodox history, so the film's claim that it is the home of a Catholic nunnery would be quite silly to any history buff who views this film.
In the movie, The Cârța Monastery is said to contain a portal to hell and it is up to the nuns to keep it at bay, but everything changes when the demon Valak breaks through into the human world to walk the Earth, causing complete and utter chaos and destruction, while disguised as a creepy looking nun, played by Bonnie Aarons (The Conjuring 2 and The Princess Diaries).
For those of you, who are not familiar with demon mythology, Valak is a demon, who first appeared in the 17th century goetic grimoires the Lesser Key of Solomon as an angelically winged boy riding a two-headed dragon, attributed with the power of finding treasures, which again, is very different to how he is portrayed in The Nun.
As a fan of The Conjuring franchise, I am always impressed with the clear influence of classic horror films and this film does not disappoint with a strong storyline written by Gary Dauberman (2017's IT and Annabelle) and James Wan (Saw and Furious 7) and brilliantly directed by Corin Hardy (2015's The Hallow and 2003's Butterfly), The Nun is riddled with interesting cinematography and has a very Dracula feel to it.
Personally I did not find this film to be the least bit scary, however, if you have a phobia of demons, possessed nuns or faceless nuns all together, then this could be one of the scariest films you will ever see. Nevertheless, this is definitely a very enjoyable film, which brings the nun's story to full circle.
The Nun is rated MA and is not recommended for people under the age of 15 years of age, as it contains strong horror themes and violence.