Let’s Talk Horror Movies: The Nun

Am I a little late to talk about The Nun, movie-lovers? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Because sometimes movies need a second chance. Sometimes parts of the story we think are missing… aren’t.

The poster for the 2018 movie The Nun

Story by James Wan and Gary Dauberman, The Nun hit theaters September of 2018, AND I RAN TO SEE IT. Could not run fast enough. Seriously. The Conjuring universe is one of my very favorites, and a film dedicated to the creepy nun that haunted the Warrens in The Conjuring 2 sounded perfect.

I held my hopes held high and left the theater slightly disappointed. The atmosphere of the movie was great! The creepy nun WAS CREEPY as good and evil waged an epic battle. The images were spectacular, but I missed a connection between the main character and the event. Why was Sister Irene there? No one seemed to know, leaving my horror-loving heart with a hole, a dark hole of incompleteness.

Maybe my hopes were too high.

When The Nun appeared on DVD, I bought it because, overall, I liked it. The movie was beautiful, creepy, and fun. I plopped the disc into the player, reminding myself to enjoy it for the fight between good and evil, for the darkness, for the scenes with the creepy nun, and not to look for deeper stuff.

And that’s when I found it. The link, so subtle, but it’s there.

For Irene had visions as a child, one phrase lingering after each: Mary points the way. The church helped her through the turmoil of visions, and the church sent her to the Abbey because she had inside knowledge. BINGO! Her connection with the abbey is her visions of the fight with Valak, where a force reveals how to defeat the demon. The church knew and waited until it was time to unleash their weapon.

It took the second viewing to see it, maybe because I had seen it before did I catch the phrase when Irene said it. Mary points the way. It took rewinding the scene of Sister Irene and Father Burke eating a quiet dinner twice to understand, to fully make the connection. Sister Irene was guided by a good presence, the nuns of the abbey perhaps, to drive Valak back. A battle foreseen and a hero chosen.

Now, why the writers chose to keep that information, necessary information, quiet and dump the entire backstory, not so necessary, on us, I’ll never know, but there it is.

Possibly, on the initial viewing, I was so wrapped up in seeing Valak, in seeing the nun that I had come to love from The conjuring, I missed the hints. Maybe I fell into the images that I didn’t quite make the connection. The nun’s shadow silently sliding over the stone walls. Frenchie’s terror-filled walk through the group of nuns (KINDA LIKE THE NURSES IN SILENT HILL, AM I RIGHT?). Wonderful fear-inducing long, dark hallways. Who knows. What I do know is that I enjoyed re-watching The Nun more than I thought I would, because I found what I was missing.

I learned a valuable lesson, to never give up on a movie, to never decide it has nothing else to offer. Second chances are good, and sometimes the connections are subtle, waiting to be caught.

Cheers and nightmares,


  • Victoria Nations
    February 20, 2019

    Yes! I love that there is a backstory that ties Irene to the abbey. That, along with the photo of the nuns that ties the movie to Annabelle is subtle and satisfying. My affection for The Conjuring universe keeps growing. And you are exactly right that the nuns at night are like the Silent Hill nurses. Brrrrrrr!

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