Cast: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto
Director: David F Sandberg
Capitalising on the success of the Conjuring franchise, the producers of the horror series have announced a spin-off called The Nun which is alluded to in a post-credits scene of the film under review. No Oscars for guessing what that’s going to be about. Given the religious/spiritual bloopers in Annabelle: Creation, it is, my fervent hope that the film-makers will pay a little more attention to an accurate depiction of the Catholic faith in the next production. In this film, wrongful representation of Catholic practices is most telling in the matter of the sacrament of Confession and Absolution.
It is set in 1950s California, where a nun Sr Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) is mothering a clutch of orphan girls in the home of bereaved dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) and his wife, Esther (Miranda Otto). The Mullins had lost their daughter, Bee (Samara Lee), in a car mishap years before and hope to be cheered up by the presence of the new incumbents for whom the late Bee’s bedroom is out of bounds.
For the weak in matters of faith, there is always the terrifying prospect of being attacked by malignant supernatural forces. But what do little girls know? Unsurprisingly, some of them want to know what’s behind those locked doors but curiosity as they say, killed the cat. In this movie, needless to say, in very many gory ways. So be warned.
In the best tradition of the horror genre, the characters confront the fiend, not evade it. Worse, the film suggests that Hell’s minions can “steal” human souls. This is as nonsensical as the belief in voodoo et al. Though that hocus pocus could well be the “reasoning” of the weak or wicked to the belief in holy objects. After all, where the sacred is, the profane must be? Let it be said, no demon can ever have power over the faithful in whose heart God dwells. But whether you believe this or not, be prepared to get scared, very scared by whatever demonic creatures traverse the screen in this unoriginal but spirited thrill ride.