"The Nun" DVD
As if the Catholic church
didn't have enough image problems already, horror veteran Brian
Yuzna comes back to give them one more bugaboo in "The Nun",
a high-calibre horror romp that
will make sure you never look at a nun the same way ever again.
So what we have here
plotwise is, undoubtedly, every Catholic schoolgirl's worst
nightmare--a psychopathic nun that comes back from the dead in water
form to take out her
former misbehaving students. Of course, it probably doesn't help
matters when you're one
of the misbehaving students. And it really doesn't help matters
when you were involved in
the incident that made the nun dead in the first place. So having
the nun come back and try
to kill you is pretty much guaranteed to ruin your weekend, even
if you're only the daughter
of one of those misbehaving students. What follows is a manic romp
of blood and habit-clad
mayhem as Sister Ursula, the evil Catholic water-demon nun from
beyond the grave (say THAT
three times fast! Go on--it's fun.) tries to put paid to her old
Now, the first thing
you might notice is that Brian Yuzna's involved in this. This makes
the movie an object with huge potential--it could be a spectacular
success or a spectacular
failure, but the chances of it being merely mundane on Yuzna's watch
are slim to none, and
slim's waiting on a bus out of town.
And indeed, the extended
nightmare sequence that occupies the entire first five minutes of
"The Nun" is sufficient to make me think that we've got
a real explosive little package on
our hands. Plus, there are a great plenty of creepy moments included
throughout the movie,
most of them revolving around sudden drips and trickles of water
that lead to explosive
scares of various degrees.
"The Nun" also
does an excellent job with building suspense. The first appearance
water demon / former nun at the fourteen minute eighteen second
mark is preceded by almost
four minutes of suspense building, a move which shows some truly
impressive restraint. And
even the standard Twilight-Zone "there's something on the wing"
homage comes off scarier
than normal due to the suspense built in advance.
And the effects are similarly
well done--the water demon has a very clear and sharp shape to
it and carries some real dramatic weight. So too with the water
almost certainly CG, it's a very clear and very subtle CG. Thus
CG's greatest failing, its
clear and present unreality, is muted and used to best effect.
What's especially interesting
about "The Nun" is the fact that the story plays out in
reverse, making more sense as it goes along, but also leaves itself
almost half the movie
thereafter to build on the past that it establishes for itself.
By the time the first hour
is up, you know exactly how Sister Ursula became the water demon,
but there's also about
forty-five minutes left to go.
Though I do frown on
the convenience aspect of things when we find out just what it is
Sister Ursula is looking for. You'll see what you mean--I can't
tell you without giving
away a goodish chunk of the plot. But rest assured it's just far
The ending is, again, pretty convenient, but still solid. There's
lots of action here and
even a couple good scares, which is more than you can ask for out
of a lot of horror movies.
And there's a really nice twist ending besides.
The special features
include audio options, Spanish subtitles, English closed captions,
behind the scenes footage, and trailers for "House of the Dead
2", "Return of the Living
Dead 4: Necropolis", "Tamara", "Satanic",
"Caved In: Prehistoric Terror", and "See No Evil".
All in all, "The Nun" is a solidly done horror package--certainly
no great failure here--and
every bit worthy of Brian Yuzna's body of work. It's more than worth
your time to rent,
especially if you like a lot of action with your horror.
DVD Directed by Luis De La Madrid
Written by Jaume Balaguero, Manu Diez
Starring Anita Briem, Belen Blanco, Manu Fullola, Alistair Freeland
Produced by Julio Fernandez, Brian Yuzna
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