New movie, new monster: Inside the latest ‘Conjuring’ installment

Tyler Yakimisky , Co-editer-in-Chief

  “The Nun,” the most recent installment of the “Conjuring” series and the most anticipated horror movie of 2018, had a divine opening weekend, topping the North American box office with $53.5 million and the overseas box offices with $77.5 million.

The revenue generated by the movie’s release easily breaks the previous record of $41.8 million, which was generated by the 2013 release of “Conjuring.”

These opening weekend numbers, unfortunately, do not align with the reviews that this most recent installment to the “Conjuring” series has received, but those reviews do not reveal how suspenseful the movie is.

The movie starts off in darkness with two nuns walking down a hallway in the Abbey of St. Carta, Romania, with lanterns lighting the way. One of the two nuns then drops to her knees and begins reciting a prayer.

The other nun wishes the praying nun luck before being ripped away into the darkness by a demonic presence, which many viewers believed to be the introduction of the demonic nun character the movie is based off of.

At this point in the movie, Corin Hardy, the director of the movie, has gained the attention of everyone in the theater with many already shriveled up to the person sitting next to them.

The movie then proceeds to follow the surviving nun throughout the church, where she witnesses the cross turned upside down, the lights go out, and the cross get set on fire. This signals the end to the opening scene.

The movie then shifts to its true ‘start’ as the dark, eerie scene gives way to a light-filled one where the plot begins with a man walking a wheelbarrow in a forest. He takes a break and stumbles across a hanging body in front of an unknown stone structure. Then the body falls, prompting the ravens to scatter due to the loud noise and the movie to get rolling.

Now, I am not going to just sit here and spoil the rest of the movie for you, but I will issue this warning: Be ready for multiple jump scares and suspenseful scenes where you will find yourself curling up waiting for the creature to pounce on the character.

As a follower of the ‘Conjuring’ movie series, I thought that this fifth installment of the series was as good, if not better, than previous installments due to the advanced plot and anticipation build up.

However, many critics do not agree with this opinion and believe that the movie left them unsatisfied, wishing for more.

In fact, “The Nun” received a 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a less-than-desirable 5.6/10 on IMDB, but based on a quick Google search definition of “critic,” a critic is defined as someone who is “a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something.”

Now factor in how a critic is supposed to review a movie, and you see why the film has generated such descriptively negative responses.

One critic on even went as far to say, “Were it not for sudden blasts of Dolby fury, there would be nothing to provide shocks, let alone scares. What terrifies most is the complete and utter lack of plot,” Scott Marks of the San Diego Reader said.

Contrarily, I thought that the plot, written by Gary Dauberman and James Wan, was exceptional, and that it was very easy to follow. It left viewers making predictions about what would happen next or how the on-screen character would fare versus the demonic nun.

Furthermore, the character development in a movie that included just a few key characters, which were Father Burke, played by Demián Bichir, Sister Irene, played by Taissa Farmiga, and The Nun, played by Bonnie Aarons, was stellar, using circumstances and actions to form the characters’ personalities.

All in all, I thought that this fifth edition to “The Conjuring” series, rated R for its horror, gore and violence, was impressive, giving new life to a series that was searching for fresh storylines and angles in order to preserve what has served as the pinnacle of horror movies in the U.S. since its introduction in 2013.