‘The Nun’ movie pre­miered this past month. | Courtesy IMDB

“The Nun” was one of the more antic­i­pated horror films of the pre-Hal­loween menu of movies this year. Pre­views depicted it as hor­rif­i­cally demonic and rooted in con­flict between the earthly and the super­natural, the mundane and the sacred, between heaven and hell.

What movie­goers will get instead is a film full of jump scares, devoid of any plot, and cringe­worthy dra­matic structure. It didn’t instill a fear of evil and the demonic realm, which was likely part of its goal.

The film is set in 20th-century Romania, where the Carta Monastery has been haunted by a string of demonic activity, the latest being a sui­cidal hanging by one of the nuns at the monastery. The Vatican sends Father Burke and Sister Irene, who has yet to take her final vows, to inves­tigate the case.

They are accom­panied by Maurice, oth­erwise known as “Frenchie”, a layman whose lack of knowledge about monastic life is sup­posed to provide comic relief. But the film’s spare attempts at humor often make no sense, and its bizarre depiction of Frenchie’s romantic interest in Sister Irene falls mis­erably short.

As the story pro­gresses, more demonic activity occurs at the monastery, often pre­sented as sudden, jolting appear­ances by the Nun. These instances quickly become pre­dictable, since they are often intro­duced with dim lighting, a low vocal drone, and eerie movement by oth­erwise inan­imate objects.

The one bit of char­acter devel­opment takes place in Father Burke, who is haunted by his own demons of exor­cisms past. He reflects upon his har­rowing expe­ri­ences with demon pos­session at certain points during the film, adding a dose of humanity to the story.

Ulti­mately, the wan­dering plot builds up to a climax that, were it not for its terror, would be laughable. The igno­rance to reli­gious terms and ref­er­ences is evident throughout the film, espe­cially in the rising action and con­clusion.

For con­sumers who love horror movies for the sake of the adren­aline rush and leaping out of their seats, perhaps “The Nun” won’t dis­ap­point quite so much. That it relies on jump scenes so heavily, however, makes it com­pletely non-unique to the horror film genre.

All horror movies have jump scares, but what sep­a­rates a worth­while horror film is not the “scariness” of the scenes, but the “creepiness” of the plot. Good horror movies, like earlier install­ments of “The Con­juring” series, contain an element of pure evil inter­woven in the plot that are well-crafted and unpre­dictable. “The Nun” lacks that essential char­ac­ter­istic to have the potential to be a classic horror film.

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Nathan is a junior at Hillsdale College studying Rhetoric and Public Address and Journalism. He is Sports Editor and beat reporter for the Football, Women's Basketball, and Baseball teams for the Hillsdale Collegian. When he's not watching or writing about sports, Nathan enjoys playing organ and singing. Originally from St. Louis Missouri, Nathan now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can follow Nathan on twitter @nategrime or Hillsdale Collegian Sports at @HDaleSports.