As human being, we find darkness scary, we hate it because we cannot see properly and thus find ourselves in the unknown. This is what drives a good horror movie, it is why the first Paranormal Activity was such a success for example. The horror of things happening, but not knowing what it is or where it is. The Nun fails to deliver this horror of the unknown. As we, in almost all scenes, see what it is that should terrify us, in great and gory detail. And while I love a tip of the hat to a more old school type of horror (more gore and monstrous feelings), I do not like how The Nun delivers it.
Unfortunately The Nun takes this to a whole new comical level. How can such a IP go so wrong?! Creepy demon nun? Check! Old isolated abandoned castle? Check! Pseudo-religious lore to build on? Check! Romania? Check! – The producers and director had all the ingredients to create a great horror flick. They ended up making a movie more tailored to a young adult/teenage fan-base, relying on cliche story-line, extremely dumb protagonists and never ending predictable jump scares. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good ol’ jump scare when used right, but this movie almost solely relies on them.
Considering the success of the first Conjuring, I always hoped that the next sequel/prequel builds on the strengths of the first, where tension and horror is built slowly and gradually, culminating in tense and horrific scenes and a climatic finish. Unfortunately with each new installment, I found that the same narrative and scare tropes are implemented, making the movie more predictable and mundane.
Overall, I still enjoyed watching it because the movie just looks great, but I admit I rolled my eyes quite a number of times, mostly if not all during the random unnecessary jumpscares. The demon nun deserves a better effort than this.