The Nun

The Nun

2018, R, 96 min. Directed by Corin Hardy. Starring Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu, Jonas Bloquet.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., Sept. 14, 2018

First off: The Nun is quite likely the best entry in the blockbuster The Conjuring cinematic franchise. However, this is still not much of an endorsement.

The series has been built around canonizing infamous mumbo-jumbo hucksters Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by series regulars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, and seen here in an opening flashback montage. Mercifully this fifth film quickly drops their Seventies globe-trotting for (insert title card) Romania 1952. That's where surly exorcist – sorry, miracle hunter – Father Anthony Burke (Bichir) and novice nun Sister Irene (Vera Farmiga's sister Taissa, so expect that familial link to come up again in any of the three planned follow-ups) have been sent to explore the recent suicide of a nun at a secretive convent in the mountains.

What does any of this have to do with the rest of the series? Well, enter the demon nun (Aarons), first seen in The Conjuring 2, who apparently needs a backstory, one that involves the convent residing in a converted castle that was built on a gateway to hell.

Scriptwriter Gary Dauberman has been charged with expanding franchise creator James Wan's unstoppable money earner, so far being responsible for the dreadful Annabelle and the merely disappointing Annabelle: Creation (inexplicably, he's also co-credited on the script for the far superior It adaptation). This sloppy mishmash of long pauses, broken up with rushed exposition, pulls shamelessly from dozens of much better films. There's some attempt to gloss over the incoherent script by claiming that the demon nun is a form of Valak, and that spirit's powers of deception (although, per the grimoires, Valac is actually a spirit skilled in finding treasure, so more akin to Paimon in the far superior Hereditary). But no simple explanation can brush away the sloppiness of the script.

The saving grace is director Corin Hardy, known previously for his intriguing debut, 2016 pagan eco-horror The Hallow. Within the laid-out confines of the series' visual aesthetic (such as it is), Hardy pushes The Nun into Hammer Horror territory, veering just the right side of camp by injecting some extremely well-executed jump scares.

But he can only do so much, especially with so many baffling decisions – interchangeable supporting nuns, inexplicable accent choices, painfully laugh-resistant jokes delivered by dashing village handyman Frenchie (Bloquet), and a denouement that peddles in medieval-style Catholicism as a bundle of superpowers and trinkets. At least Hardy seems to know that this is just a 90-minute fun house ride.

Showtimes

Mon., Sept. 24

11:00am, 3:00, 5:40, 8:25, 11:20

Tue., Sept. 25

3:00, 5:40, 8:25, 11:20
AFA 11:00am

Wed., Sept. 26

11:00am, 3:00, 5:40, 8:25, 11:20

Thu., Sept. 27

11:55am, 2:35

Mon., Sept. 24

3:35, 9:45

Tue., Sept. 25

10:30

Wed., Sept. 26

10:20

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Mon., Sept. 24

12:15, 2:55, 5:35, 8:00, 11:00

Tue., Sept. 25

2:10, 4:50, 7:30, 10:15
AFA 11:30am

Wed., Sept. 26

11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:35

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 12:10, 1:15, 2:50, 5:30, 6:50, 8:10, 9:30, 10:50

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 12:10, 1:15, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10, 9:40, 10:50

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 12:10, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10, 9:40, 10:50

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:45, 10:20

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 11:55am, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:15

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 11:55am, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:15

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 11:55am, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:15

Thu., Sept. 27

digital 11:55am, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:15

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 10:00am, 12:25, 2:50, 5:20, 7:50, 10:15

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 10:00am, 12:25, 2:50, 5:20, 7:50, 10:15

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 10:00am, 12:25, 2:50, 5:20, 7:50, 10:15

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 12:30, 3:50, 7:50

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 12:30, 3:50, 7:50

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 12:30, 3:50, 7:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., Sept. 24

1:45, 4:45, 7:40, 10:10

Tue., Sept. 25

1:45, 4:45, 7:40, 10:10

Wed., Sept. 26

1:45, 4:45, 7:40, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., Sept. 24

1:00, 3:25, 5:50, 8:20, 10:45

Tue., Sept. 25

1:00, 3:25, 5:50, 8:20, 10:45

Wed., Sept. 26

1:00, 3:25, 5:50, 8:20, 10:45

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Mon., Sept. 24

CC 1:30, 5:00, 8:00, 10:30

Tue., Sept. 25

CC 1:30, 5:00, 8:00, 10:45

Wed., Sept. 26

CC 1:30, 5:00, 7:45, 10:30

Thu., Sept. 27

CC 1:30, 5:15, 10:45

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Mon., Sept. 24

12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40

Tue., Sept. 25

12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40

Wed., Sept. 26

12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40

Thu., Sept. 27

12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40
CC/DL/HI 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:20, 9:40

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Mon., Sept. 24

12:10, 2:30, 4:50, 7:30

Tue., Sept. 25

12:10, 2:30, 4:50, 7:30

Wed., Sept. 26

12:10, 2:30, 4:50, 7:30

Thu., Sept. 27

12:10, 2:30, 4:50, 7:30

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 2:10, 4:40, 7:15

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 2:10, 4:40, 7:15

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 2:10, 4:40, 7:15

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:05, 5:30, 8:10, 10:40

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:05, 5:30, 8:10, 10:40

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:05, 5:30, 8:10, 10:40

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 12:20, 3:05, 5:30, 8:10, 10:40

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Mon., Sept. 24

1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Tue., Sept. 25

1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 26

1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Thu., Sept. 27

1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Mon., Sept. 24

10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., Sept. 25

10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 26

10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Tue., Sept. 25

1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Wed., Sept. 26

1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Thu., Sept. 27

1:30, 4:00, 6:30

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Mon., Sept. 24

2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 8:40

Tue., Sept. 25

2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 8:40

Wed., Sept. 26

2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 8:40

Thu., Sept. 27

2:20, 4:40, 7:10, 8:40

Mon., Sept. 24

5:00, 7:00, 10:50

Tue., Sept. 25

5:00, 7:00, 10:50

Wed., Sept. 26

5:00, 7:45, 10:50

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Mon., Sept. 24

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:40

Tue., Sept. 25

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:40

Wed., Sept. 26

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:40

Thu., Sept. 27

12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:40

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40, 10:00

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40, 10:00

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40, 10:00

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 11:00am, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Nun, Corin Hardy, Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu, Jonas Bloquet

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