Review: The Nun (2018, dir. Corin Hardy)

Taissa Farmiga on “The Nun”, Valak, and her sister Vera

Review: The Nun (2018, dir. Corin Hardy)Remember Valak? That ol’ demon nun Vera Farmiga fended off in the second “Conjuring” movie. Well, she’s back with her own spinoff movie directed by Corin Hardy titled “The Nun”.

The film, the fifth in its ever-expanding series, will look into the origin of the eponymous demoniac, and like other “Conjuring” films before it, will tie itself to each one, making an entire mini-empire of horror I.P.s. Conjuring Cinematic Universe = CCU? Read my review.

It stars Taissa Farmiga as a novitiate who has yet to vow herself to the habit and gets enlisted by the Vatican to investigate a suicide that kicks off the new film.

I’ve had the great opportunity of speaking with Taissa via phone. Here’s our conversation:

Start of conversation

Unreel: “The Nun”, you’re in it, and it’s finally coming out this year. Tell us a little bit about the movie.

Taissa: The story centers around Father Burke and Sister Irene, who are sent to investigate a recent suicide at an abbey. They are sent by the Vatican. The Vatican selected them because of their specific experience or expertise with these unusual matters.

My character, Sister Irene, had a series of visions when she was a girl and that led her to a life in the Church. The Vatican believes that Sister Irene’s visions could come into play and help them deal with this evil that is surrounding the abbey.

Review: The Nun (2018, dir. Corin Hardy)

Valak is in here, right? The creepy nun from Conjuring 2?

Yes! The demon Valak who loves to take on the persona of a demon nun. This movie is sort of an origin story for the character that everyone met in the “Conjuring 2” film.

Yeah, what the heck is her deal?

*Laughs*

You know, I wish I knew! She just seems to be this bitter, grumpy demon and I don’t know what she wants. What’s really interesting is that we get to see where the Valak character was first. and where she came from, and why she entered this world. The movie will explain some of that. You have to go see it!

Taissa Farmiga on "The Nun", Valak, and her sister Vera

It’s interesting because you sister Vera, plays Lorraine Warren in the “Conjuring” movies, right? She actually had some time with Valak, and now you’re faced against the very same demon. Tell us about the possibility of you and Vera sharing scenes together in the “Conjuring” universe.

I’d be more than welcome to share the screen with my sister! I don’t know if Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren will cross paths but we’ll have to see what James Wan creates.

Great! A lot of people don’t know this and I really just want to give this movie a proper shoutout, but you and Vera already appeared in the same movie together in “Higher Ground”, that’s in 2011, I think. It’s such a tender and beautiful work. Was it your acting debut?

Yes!

“Higher Ground” was the first time I have ever acted in a movie and pretty much the only time I have ever acted in my life. The first time I acted, I was about six years old, and it was this play for school, and I couldn’t remember my line so that wasn’t a very good start.

But this is my first real project – “Higher Ground” – and Vera starred in it and directed it, and she brought me in to play the younger version of her character.

The movie was such tender work. Congrats on that.

Thank you!

Corin Hardy on "The Nun", influences, and filming in Transylvania

Going back to “The Nun”, what should “Conjuring” fans such as myself expect from it?

You know, what I love about “The Nun” is that it feels like a perfect “Conjuring” universe as it is.

What’s really special about this one is the setting, it’s the landscape of the film that feels very grand, and big, and beautiful. You know, the location of the movie is set in – it’s 1952 in Romania, and we actually shot the film in Romania. So the movie is just naturally beautiful and it has that dark, eerie, gothic feel to it because we’re filming in a place where that’s naturally there, it naturally occurs. Transylvania it’s the home of Dracula. So I feel like that Conjuring fans, they’re really gonna appreciate that, that atmospheric look of the film.

You sold me on it easily!

Great!

Taissa Farmiga on "The Nun", Valak, and her sister Vera

Let’s take a turn here a little bit. So what can you tell me – get ready for this – about “American Horror Story: Apocalypse”.

*Laughs*

I can’t tell you anything! I don’t know anything! I feel that you could probably tell me more than what I could tell you!

Okay, here’s one thing that I wanna know – are you in it, in any capacity?

I don’t know. I sincerely do not know. Everyone’s been asking me this and they’ve been saying that I’m bluffing but I’ll tell you – I don’t know! If Ryan comes knocking me on my door and wants me to come back, I will do it in a heartbeat.

New featurette teases how the “The Nun” fits into the “Conjuring” universe

Fair enough. Last question. Who are you more afraid of: Valak, or Sister Mary Eunice from “AHS: Asylum”?

*Laughs*

I’m gonna say the demon nun Valak because I have experienced her up close, in person, dripping blood over my face, screeching at me, and I still have nightmares about it. So I’ll have to go with Valak.

I have the same answer! Thank you so much for sitting with us, Taisa, and best of luck with “The Nun”!

Thank you so much, it was great talking to you! I appreciate it.

End of conversation