The most popular protest given by Christians as to why they choose to avoid any installments in James Wan’s massively popular “Conjuring” cinematic universe can be summed up in four words:
It seems too real.
Like others before, “The Nun” at first follows what resembles a Catholic approach to the sinister supernatural. The primary evil in the film is Valak the Defiler, a powerful demon with a colorless face and dark eyes who sacrilegiously dons a nun’s habit (attire). As the film progresses, however, Valak becomes less of a demon of scripture and more of a cheap, omnipowerful jump-scare tool.
Unlike “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2,” “The Nun” features a story in which calling upon the name of Christ is not enough to cast out the evil. Instead, the protagonists must rely on the use of a relic—the actual blood of Jesus—to defeat Valak. Because of this, this installment feels more godless than the others. Prayer and petition to God fall short, and physical—not spiritual—means are needed to deliver the protagonists. This trope recurs throughout the movie, as it becomes evident that things such as guns can be more effective than holy water.
Christian horror fans will either rejoice in being able to fully categorize “The Nun” as fiction or loathe the lack of narrative tension. Either way, the movie is good for a few jumps and a plot hole-induced head scratch every now and then.