“The Conjuring” movie franchise has shaken up the world of horror. It is based off the real-life cases of American paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren and the scary-doll-next-door, Annabelle.

The movies have served both stellar blood-curling plots and cheesy Halloween-esque jump scares.

The much awaited prequel, “The Nun,” unfortunately falls into the latter category.

Scary movies never captured my interest enough to stay perched onto the edge of my seat (with my hands over my eyes of course) until “The Conjuring” hit theaters in 2013.

It was everything the horror genre needed. It consisted of well-developed characters with a script that pulled you into the large old house where the movie took place. Throughout the movie, there was a stream of scares that felt a little too real. 

“The Conjuring 2,” though not as spellbindingly horrific, was an example of a strong and terrifying sequence of events. It left viewers feeling like they have to sleep with the lights on for the rest of the week.

“The Nun” introduced recurring character, Valak – a demon who was summoned from the pits of the hell. 

Valak takes the shape of a nun who has made an appearance in almost all the movies in “The Conjuring” franchise.

It has haunted multiple characters through this extensive timeline, all while leaving our eyebrows raised on the how’s and why’s of its origin.

“The Nun” was “The Conjuring” side-tale that had me excited for months. I was hungry for answers to the giant mysteries  surrounding American paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The movie, however, does not give any answers or revelations related to the why a demon-faced nun is walking down the hallways of a random apartment in the middle of the day. 

As uncomfortably grim as it is to say this, the movie gives Valak, “the demon of all demons” no justice to its name. 

Most of the film takes place in a small Romanian monastery in 1952. A priest and a soon-to-be nun set off to investigate the apparent suicide of one of the monastery’s own nuns.

The visit has them face to face with a dark paranormal force that curled an indestructible grasp around the holy grounds – that force being Valak. 

Religious beliefs obviously play a key factor in the development of this haunting. One expects a plot based entirely inside a religious institute to provide a backstory explaining how an entity could break through sacred walls.

“The Nun” fails to address any of these questions in a depth that would allow viewers to understand it beyond the scope of scary sounds in dim lighting. 

The jump scares were too predictable to evoke any form of surprise, even though I really wanted to give some of these moments the benefit o the doubt. 

The film did a terrible job at planning a substantial build-up to its peak. 

The idea behind the characters, the location and the religious components that sparked the controversial conversations of exorcism could have turned into everything a movie would have needed to tell the story of Valak.

I wanted to know what exactly it was and how it got so powerful. 

I wanted to know how it made its way from 1952 Romania to the all-American family cases of the Warrens. 

I wanted to know what part of its history made it want to keep coming back.

Instead, I found out that a face was going to pop up every time the movie scores died down into silence and that Valak was indecisive when it came to what it was going to do next. 

The origin story of Valak, however, does not end here.More movies are bound to burst their way into theaters. A third “Annabelle” movie was announced for release next year. 

“The Conjuring” universe, with all its true-story case depictions and spin-off demon origins, is a universe stacked with rich history as well as big religious and paranormal questions. 

However, “The Nun” ended up far from the standard of horror the movie series previously achieved. 

2 out of 5 stars

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