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MOVIE REVIEW

The Nun also known as “The Nun: La vocazione del male,” “La nonne,” “A Freira Maldita,” “Az apáca,” “A Freira,” “Mníška,” “Vienuole,” “Calugarita: Misterul de la manastire,” “Monahinja,” “Valak,” “Dehsetin Yüzü,” “Monahinja,” “Η Καλόγρια,” «Монахинята», «Проклятие монахини»

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Supernatural Horror Mystery
Length:
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
September 7, 2018 (wide—3,700+ theaters)
DVD: December 4, 2018
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Relevant Issues
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Who is SATAN, the enemy of God and all people? Answer

demons in the Bible

The reality of the ongoing battle between good and evil in our physical world and in the spiritual world

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

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DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

exorcism

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MALEVOLENT SPIRITS—Where do these dangerous, hostile, and evil entities come from? Answer

What is the Occult? Answer

THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

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about Roman Catholicism

Dinosaurs and the Bible

Sister Irene correctly tells students that the mother superior was wrong when she said dinosaurs never existed.

DINOSAUR ORIGIN—Where did the dinosaurs come from? Answer

Are dinosaurs mentioned in the BIBLE? Answer

WHY did God create dinosaurs? Answer

LIVING WITH DINOSAURS—What would it have been like to live with dinosaurs? Answer

Copyrighted illustration, Films for ChristEXTINCTION—Why did dinosaurs become extinct? Answer

NOAH’S ARK—Did Noah take dinosaurs on the Ark? Answer

DINOSAURS AFTER THE FLOOD—Following the Flood, what happened to dinosaurs? Answer

The Great Dinosaur Mystery On-line
Visit our dinosaur-size Web site where you’ll discover a mountain of knowledge and amazing discoveries. How do dinosaurs fit into the Bible? You’ll find the answer to this and many more of your questions. Play games, browse and learn. Includes many helps for teachers and parents.
Featuring: Taissa Farmiga (younger sister of actress Vera Farmiga) … Sister Irene
Bonnie Aarons … Demon Nun
Jonny Coyne … Gregoro
Charlotte Hope … Sister Victoria
Demián BichirFather Burke
Lili Bordán … Marta
Ingrid Bisu … Sister Oana
Sandra Teles … Sister Ruth
Sandra Rosko … Captured Nun
August Maturo … Daniel
See all »
Director: Corin Hardy—“The Hallow” (2015)
Producer: Atomic Monster
New Line Cinema
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: New Line Cinema. Trademark logo.Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.
New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Ah, Romania. It’s such a beautiful, quiet mountainous region of the world. Within a small part of Romania, lies an abbey in which several nuns quietly go about their business in service to God, praying on a daily basis to keep the evil spirits away from the abbey for reasons that, well, are unknown. For 300 years, it seems, the nuns’ continual prayers have kept at bay any evil circumstances or happenings, until one night when one of the sisters mysteriously hangs herself by walking off the ledge of the abbey.

Shortly thereafter, two officials of the Vatican, Father Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), are called upon to investigate the suicide and determine whether or not the abbey is deemed a holy site anymore. As Father Burke and Sister Irene’s investigation goes deeper and deeper, they begin to discover the abbey’s dark and malevolent past that has unleashed a demonic presence upon the abbey (the same demonic presence we meet in “Conjuring 2”). Father Burke and Sister Irene must ask the question, “Will faith alone be enough to combat the demonic presence?

I remember when the first Conjuring movie came out. I remember how hesitant I was to actually go to the theaters to see it. In fact, I actually recall coming to Christian Spotlight and reading the review to gather some perspective as to what spiritual pitfalls and content concerns I might face and whether it was something to even subject myself to. In the end, after reading the review, and those of other trusted reviewers. I ended up going to see The Conjuring. As other reviewers stated (and I’m paraphrasing here), “though ‘The Conjuring’ film deals with demonic possession and even matters of the occult, the focus is on how these possessions are combatted using the Lord and not through other means.”

Still, as time as progressed, each film in “The Conjuring” series has gotten progressively darker, as one reviewer from Plugged In stated, to the point where if once Christ’s presence MAY have existed at the beginning of the series (I say MAY because this argument is still in debate as to whether “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2” have Christian elements in them) His presence has, no doubt, ceased to exist in the Annabelle films (both “Annabelle” and “Annabelle: Creation”) and now “The Nun.”

To put it plainly, “The Nun” is void of hope, joy and Christ, even amongst its main characters. Evil is allowed to reign on screen and we bear witness to all the damage that it does to what is presented as holy (the abbey, the Church and its servants [nuns, priests]). There is absolutely no need for a “demonic entity origin story” of this aptitude, and, to be frank—since this isn’t really much of a spoiler, it doesn’t really give us the demon’s origin. It was like the writers got together with Warner Bros. and said, “Hey, how dark can we go with the series? Who can we offend next?” Sure, the filmmaking quality is good, and the performances are good, but, honestly, who cares when you make a film this sacreligious and, frankly, ungodly?

Content of Concern

Violence: Extreme. In a flashback we witness a character being impaled by a plank. We witness a nun being dragged and when she crawls out she is covered in blood before being dragged again. A nun commits suicide by hanging herself off the ledge of the abbey (we later witness her corpse hanging and being eaten by crows, as well as see her rotting corpse and missing flesh as a result). In another scene a boy is shown being tied up and possessed. A character is seen being buried alive. A character’s face is attacked by a creature. Various characters are seen being tossed, attacked and killed throughout the film.

One of the characters, Frankie, decapitates a demon by hitting it with a shovel. A demon come backs to life and stabs Father Burker. Another demon is set on fire. We see a snake come out of one demon and attack a someone. Characters are choked and knocked unconscious. One character is shown being drowned. A character is seen dissolving and dying in a graphic manner.

There are multiple instances of extreme terror caused by the demon Valek throughout the film. The movie is very dark in nature.

Profanity: Profanity includes the following: “Oh my G*d” (1), “Oh G*d” (2), “My God,” “holy mother of God,” “h*ll” (1), and “holy sh*t” (1)—to which Father Burke replies, “It’s the holiest.” A door in the catacombs says, in Latin, “God ends here.” Frenchie says it’s a shame that Sister Irene is going to take her vows to serve God. Frenchie flirts with a nun.

Sex or nudity: A flirting man apologizes for his impure thoughts toward a woman, after discovering she’s a nun in training. A man apologizes to a nun, when giving her CPR, for giving her the “kiss of life.” Sister Irene’s bare back is shown as the demon, Valek, carves a satanic symbol on her.

Spiritual Issues

Faith is one of the main themes in this film. It is one of the main tools which Sister Irene uses to fight Valek. It is her belief in the Lord that He can bring the abbey out of the darkness that gives her the strength and courage to confront Valek.

Faith in the Lord and prayer, in times of darkness, are powerful tools in our fight against the enemy. Only through fully trusting in the Lord can we ever hope to overcome our adversary in our darkest time. Scripture tells us…

“The righteous cry and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.” —Psalm 34: 17

Scripture also tells us to…

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” —Ephesians 6:11

“Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit. Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people…” —Ephesians 6:14-18

For more information on how we, as Christians, can combat our enemy, I highly recommend consulting Christian Answers’ resources regarding this particular topic.

Who is SATAN, the enemy of God and all people? Answer

Is Satan A REAL PERSON that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

SATAN’S STRATEGY—What is one of Satan’s most successful strategies in dealing with followers of Christ? Answer

What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer

What is HOLINESS? Answer

Three months ago, when the trailers came out for “The Nun,” alarms went off in my head saying, “Absolutely not. This film will be an abomination against the Lord.” I chose to do this review so that you, my brothers and sisters, will hopefully be spared from the COMPLETELY unnecessary desire to see “The Nun.” To be perfectly clear, I do NOT recommend this film to any audience, Christian or otherwise. It is not for children, teens, or adults. Do not subject the Holy Spirit to such unholy, ungodly filth.

  • Violence: Extreme
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: Minor
  • Sex: Mild
  • Occult: Heavy

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” What enables Hollywood Liberals to continually attack the Bible in movies and present immoral and even abhorent programming? Money. Christian, are YOU part of the problem? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I enjoyed the movie. Although, of course, not theologically correct and with the common Hollywood pitfalls when they try to understand evil and the Christian faith in general. I have to say the movie was not entirely Anti-Christ. ***SPOILER*** The blood of Christ is shown in the movie to be the only thing that can defeat the demon, this is a fundamental Christian truth and this truth is forefront in the heroes fight against the demonic enemy throughout the movie. We see things such as personal sacrifice, prayer and faith shown in a positive light, despite some VERY dark and mature themes in the movie, these attributes are easily seen in the characters and honored in the film.

I do enjoy horror movies that show evil for what it is, I also enjoy horror movies that do not glorify evil despite how dark it delves. My favorite horror films though are those that show the power of Christ over evil, this is one of those horror movies. Any movie that shows the power of the blood of Jesus Christ and is not afraid to make Him the only way to defeat evil should not be so easily written off and honestly I’m shocked your review did not mention this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Joshua, age 32 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…a total, screaming blast… a mouth to hell, guarded by terrified nuns who participate in perpetual adoration and prayer to keep the demons at bay, though they aren't doing all that great a job of it. …The surface may be ominous, richly textured and morbidly fascinating, but storywise, it remains shallow. …[2½]
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
…conjures up an onslaught of horror-movie cliches… Director Corin Hardy lards on the frights so relentlessly that the moments don’t build to any sort of sustained narrative momentum. …Long before “The Nun” is done, the audience may find itself thinking: Let me out! [1/4]
Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
…“The Nun” shrouds itself so much in darkness that it at times verges on becoming a nightmarish abstraction. You almost lose sense of what exactly is going on, as Sister Irene falls into a labyrinthine abyss. …[3/4]
Jake Coyle, Associated Press
…lame… as frightening as a Walgreens Halloween display, where any terror derives from uninspiring shock value, and given that each and every pop-up scare can be seen from over a mile away, the movie fails in that respect, too. It’s exhausting even. …
Michael Roffman, Consequence of Sound
…Employing just about every trick from the Hammer Horror playbook without wasting time trying to make any sense, it provides a serviceable 96 minutes of standard-issue jump scares and supernatural hokum. …
Andrew Barker, Variety
…Shockingly predictable… Rich in atmosphere but bereft of new ideas about how to scare an audience, The Nun is like being stuck inside a club with cool decor where the DJ keeps playing the same song over and over again… [1/4]
Oliver Jones, Observer
…more funny than frightening… “The Nun” resorts to makeup effects to put a frightening face on its supposedly scary sisters. …relies heavily on jump scares…
André Hereford, Film Journal International
…There are nuggets of potential underneath, but they’re ultimately buried in a loud, monotonous experience…
Ryan Oliver, The Playlist
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—Okay, I HAVE NOT SEEN THESE movies, and I don’t plan to, but, for Christians that have, let me ask you this, do you not feel like you’re inviting the devil into your life? I mean, why play with fire like that? I totally don’t recommend seeing this movie
My Ratings: Moral rating: no opinion / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Chris, age 29 (USA)
Negative—I have not seen this movie nor do I plan to. I won’t see this movie because graphic violence does not advance the story telling or character development. Just judging by the critics” reviews, this film would offend and disgust ANY person with even moderate moral standards. Today’s culture has become so morally bankrupt, we have become tolerant of just about anything!
—Steven, age 67 (USA)
Negative—I never saw the Conjuring movies, but my cousins did, and so did my brother. When the Nun came out every horror movie fanatic at my high school went to go see it except for me. I liked “47 Meters Down” and “A Quiet Place,” and I watch the classics “Jaws,” “Gremlins,” and “The Lost Boys.” Needless to say while I know that the Mogwai aren’t real as well as aliens and vampires, demons and Satan however are very real. I still can’t watch 2009’s A Christmas Carol because that movie scared me so bad when I was 8, and to this day even though I’ve seen more movies than I did at that age, I still can’t handle it.

I’m a born again strong Christian in my faith, I dealt with fear for 13 years, I’ve had nightmares that were demonic, and my mom had experienced things that were demonic in her life before I was born. I was jumpy and scared during the trailer to the Nun when it previewed during the movie Skyscraper this year. My mom and I were huddled in the theater during the trailer. The trailer alone had a demonic presence. When I saw the movie Alpha the other night, there was a teenage girl my age who told me that she had to leave the theater because she could not handle it and because she was too scared to tell her mom about the movie she saw, and that when she gets home, she’s watching her favorite Disney movies, so that she’ll be able to sleep. I told her that she should buy a ticket to Alpha or Crazy Rich Asians or The Meg. She hung out by the concession stand with me while I was waiting in line for my popcorn and drink.

The movie trailer was demonic and hearing her reaction after seeing the movie, her body language alone, suggests that the movie is not one my brother or anyone should be seeing. Watch “A Quiet Place” instead.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: no opinion
—Chelsea, age 17