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The Nun | 2018 | R | - 1.7.2

This prequel to The Conjuring is set in 1952: A haunted priest (Demian Bichr) and a novitiate (Taissa Farmiga) about to take her final vows are summoned by the Vatican to Transylvania to investigate the apparent suicide of a Romanian nun. Their faith and very lives are at stake as they discover unholy secrets and a powerful demonic presence. Also with Bonnie Aarons, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope and Ingrid Bisu. Directed by Corin Hardy. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Romanian and Latin and a few in French without translations; a few lines are in Romanian and are accompanied by English subtitles. [Running Time: 1:36]


 - A man holds a woman's hand and tells her that she is young, not-so-innocent and beautiful; when another man says that she is to become a nun, he drops her hand saying, "Forgive me for my unpure (sic) thought."
 A man gives a woman mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after she nearly drowns and tells her, "I hope you don't mind. It's called the 'kiss of life.'"
 A man sleeps wearing long underwear (we see the outline of a fly opening, but no outline of anatomy).


 - A long black knife blade cuts through a man from the back through the chest and into the air as he shouts in pain and falls back against a wall. Two nuns take a large gold key to a secret room and open the door; one nun enters, we hear a loud scream off camera and the second nun falls out of the secret room with her face and hands covered in blood and something unseen pulls her screaming into the dark room and the door slams itself shut leaving the other nun crying and praying; she shudders as we hear growling, groaning, and creaking off camera.
 A woman awakens from a nightmare one night and we see her brief dream of a woman covered completely in blood, writhing as she startles awake and sees a nun kneeling on the floor, rocking and praying, with rosary beads scattering; the nun disappears and reappears behind the woman's back and jumps out a window. A risen corpse roars and grabs a priest: another man shoots it with a shotgun and the demon falls to pieces. A dead nun comes to life screaming and two men restrain her, pouring holy water on a cross and touching it to a sheet covering the nun; the corpse catches fire and burns to ash as another man shoots her with a shotgun and the hot metal of the cross burns a man's hand.
 A man escapes from a locked room by shooting off the lock, only to confront a group of novitiates with their heads covered by bloody bags; some of the heads turn sharply with the sound of necks breaking and he removes the bag from a novitiate floating over a pentagram and she roars with a bloody mouth and teeth, sending him crashing into a wall; she then chokes him against the wall, he pushes her away and a demon nun comes out of the novitiate, slams a shotgun barrel under his chin, roars, and fights the novitiate under water; the demon takes the relic, lifts the woman by the neck and she spits blood onto the demon's face, melting it and the demon screeches, screams and disintegrates as it swirls down a drain among sewage and the man gives the novitiate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details).
 A nun steps up to a window, places a rope around her neck, and jumps, hanging herself. A man hangs a relic containing the blood of Jesus around a woman's neck with a chain and the man and another man are slammed hard into walls by unseen forces; a demon nun appears behind the woman and another demon nun rushes in and chokes her against a wall (both are screaming) and the woman escapes to another room where several candles light themselves and she screams at the sight of a pentagram under her feet. A priest sees a group of faceless nuns approaching in a dark hall and sets fire to a large cross on the floor, which repels them; a reanimated young man jumps onto the priest's back and a snake coils out of the young man's mouth and around the priest's neck, but he escapes after being slammed into a stone wall.
 A priest finds a young man who had died come to life again, and blood and a thick black snake are coming out of his mouth to wrap around the priest's neck and the priest falls backwards into an open coffin in a grave and the lid slams shut; he screams and shouts for several minutes, pulling on a cord attached to a bell on the headstone and a woman in the graveyard, shouts, and hears all other headstone bells ringing and finally finds the priest, she digs and he lights a cigarette lighter and hears groaning and growling and hands appear from around the back of his head, squeezing his head and face until the shovel blade pierces the coffin and stops an inch from the man's face and he is helped out. A novitiate prays as unseen forces rip the back of her habit, scratch her back, and finally etch a pentagram in her shoulder blade as she winces; other nuns in the room are thrown across the room, hitting stone walls and many dying (there's no blood).
 A flashback shows a priest entering a dark room where a young man is tied between two pillars, growling and mumbling in a deep voice as objects around the room break apart and roll around and the room shakes; the priest calls out exorcism rites, calling angel armies, and the young man falls, his face covered in bloody cuts (we hear that he died).
 A nun's neck breaks by itself and her head falls over to the side; she is completely covered in black robes and a priest reaches for her veil, she comes to life as a screaming demon with bloody teeth and when he grabs one of her hands it breaks off and falls onto the floor, dry and lifeless and the woman disappears. A man hears a disembodied voice and sees hands of corpses breaking through crypts in a tomb room; one corpse with bloody teeth and mouth emerges and roars while other corpses expose black snake-like tongues as the priest shouts and runs away. A frightened man with a lantern walks through misty dark woods and sees a tall nun walking and dragging a noose behind her when another nun falls out of a tree, hanging by a noose above the man's head, the rope breaks and the falling nun knocks him down as she screams with a large bloody mouth and many sharp teeth and he scurries backward, screaming.
 A man sees a nun hanging with crows on her, her face shredded and bloody (we see a flashback of her face later); a thick pool of red blood covers the stone steps below her and when the crows fly away the rope snaps, dropping the woman to the steps as the man gasps. Five bodies hang by their feet from the ceiling with blood dripping onto the floor; the floor breaks apart as what looks like a snake's head emerges and knights push it back and seal the floor by swinging a relic containing the blood of Jesus. A frightened horse refuses to walk farther along a road to an abbey and the three people (two men and a woman) in the cart it is pulling walk; one man takes the other two people to an ice house where he stored a body and a lantern shows the grimy, desiccated body sitting against a wall and the man says he left it in a lying down position; the other man touches a hand of the body and a finger makes a snapping sound but does not break and the scene cuts to a new grave with a priest making the sign of the cross and sprinkling holy water.
 A tall demon nun wearing a black habit looks like a zombie, with white face streaked with black lines of gore, black lips, a long pointed nose, and black-circled sunken eyes that are bright green; its hands are white with long black nails. In two scenes, several dead people rise from graves and look like zombies with gray faces streaked in black, bloody mouths, and long dirty fingers with ragged nails and we hear their bones creaking and snapping as they move. A man sees the figure of a dead body that he buried, standing several yards away and it disappears.
 A door opens itself with a creak and a woman walks into a dark corridor where she sees a demon nun's gory face and begins staggering, the hallway rotates sideways and then upside down, causing the woman to fall and two hands grab her through a door, she runs and another hand grabs her shoulder (it's a real nun telling her to come to the sanctuary to pray). An abbey tomb room contains several crypts with carved bodies on top and a nun sits at the head of the room, completely covered in black robes and veils and she speaks with a croaking voice.
 Bucketsful of blood splash down onto stone steps and toward the audience and the camera cuts to a man waking up from a nightmare with a gasp; a priest touches the blood after weeks and it is still bright red and a woman later says that even more blood has appeared on the steps. A novitiate enters a room of kneeling nuns that are praying and sees a tall shadow move across a wall and out a door; a nun with bloody sharp teeth appears in a mirror and reaches out to grab the novitiate as a very large crucifix falls loudly to the floor and breaks into pieces. A novitiate enters a room of praying nuns and sees a white sheet on the floor and when she lifts it she sees a dead nun with a bloody face and hands (the corpse is dried and old-looking later).
 A woman levitates above the floor with a bag over her head and several novitiates with bloody bags over their heads stand in a corner. A radio switches on by itself at night but switches off when a priest approaches it; we glimpse someone running across the background and see a ringing bell move across the floor by itself. A crucifix on a wall rotates sideways and then upside down. A man pulls one of many large crosses from the ground and the scene cuts to the man with the cross, seated in a tavern. A flashback features a painting of a demonized nun with white zombie-like face and black gore around the eyes and mouth. A man is shown with an upside down cross scarred into the back of his neck, indicating evil.
 A man examines magic books found in the bottom of an old grave containing a broken coffin and a shattered skeleton; the books contain ink drawings of a demon nun and a man vomiting out a black snake. A classroom slide show features a man that the instructor says was demon possessed; a tall nun-like figure has a thick black snake extending from her mouth into the man's mouth and another shot shows a younger woman screaming as she stands face-to-face to the man. Many scenes take place in dark corridors, darker catacombs, and the basement of an old stone abbey in Transylvania. A door to a secret passage has an inscription in a foreign language that means "God Ends Here."
 We hear that a demon nun wants to kill nuns in an abbey. A man says that a 12-year-old girl hanged herself in a building long ago. A man says that he hunts miracles, tests church grounds for holiness, and does exorcisms. A teacher tells a dinosaur story to school girls and she roars, making them jump.
 A man spits on the ground and we see white spit. A woman bandages a man's hand and later his eye (we see neither injury).


 - 1 scatological term, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (Frenchman), 10 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, My God, Thank God, Jesus Christ, In The Name Of God, Holy Mother Of God, Holy [scatological term deleted]. | profanity glossary |


 - A man pours wine and drinks from the glass and a man sits in a tavern and holds a mug of beer as a woman takes away three empty mugs.


 - The Catholic Church, belief, faith, secrets, risk-taking, sacrifice, courage, supernatural occurrences, paranormal investigations, demons, exorcisms, miracles, clairvoyance, visions, hauntings.


 - The Catholic Church has a long history of combating demons but is not always successful


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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