Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Nun (2005)

A horror movie about an undead ghost nun killing people. If that isn't the worst idea you've heard all month, I'm really quite afraid to ask what could possibly be less dignified, scary or interesting.

Director: Luis de la Madrid
Starring: Anita Briem, Manu Fallola

This review is a personal thing for me. I rented this movie years and years ago and tried to watch it twice, failing both times to even make it halfway through. In the course of doing this I also ruined the rental DVD case the movie came in – by water, nonetheless; which is how the killer in the movie kills its victims, which makes this whole thing extra poetic. It was as if the movie was cursed, and I was the unwitting victim of that curse. Eventually, I gave up and decided never to touch its toxic exterior again.

Until now.

We start off with a bunch of girls at boarding school being taught by a nun who likes to shove paper in girls' mouths and turn into a horrific hell-demon in the middle of class. The second one is expected, but the shoving paper in their mouths is a bit much. Maybe someone ought to tell the head nun about this.

But it turns out that was just a dream. Next we get a party scene where a jackass with a camera talks to some people at a party about going to Spain for no reason other than to get killed by this movie's ludicrously over-thought and simultaneously under-written plot devices.

Why is he filming this? We clearly saw in the previous scene this guy had his own girlfriend he could've been spending time with, but I guess being a weirdo stalker is cool too.

Oh, did I spoil that last part? I'm so sorry. I just can't seem to get this review right. I just know you were all on the edge of your seat about whether or not they'd die in this horror movie.

So I guess tragedy strikes as main girl Eve's mom – the woman from the opening – has some serious plumbing problems as her sink is overflowing.

"I will find the Mushroom Kingdom down here if I flood my whole house doing it!"

Maybe she should reconsider using a plunger in the sink and instead just call the fucking plumber. But while she's doing that she should also call the exorcist – these are supernatural plumbing problems that mean a ghost nun is coming to kill her. 

"How are you taking me seeeerrrrriooooouuuuussssllllyyyyy?!?"

Man, if only she'd have just fixed the pipes when she had a chance, and then a watery nun-ghost wouldn't have been able to get in. That's really the #1 danger when it comes to pipes and plumbing.

Eve comes home and finds out that a clearly hungover cop tells her her mom committed suicide, even though Eve actually saw the nun ghost kill her and she slashed her throat, which isn't a very common way of doing that. But whatever. Investigation shmvestigation.

"Whatever...can I go back to drinking vodka in my car yet?"

At the funeral, Eve meets an older woman who says she knew Eve's mom from a long time ago at boarding school. She talks about what's going on a little bit, but later on I guess the ghost nun didn't like that, because she also gets plumbing problems, followed by a swift arm-decapitation by elevator. Well I dunno about you, but this was the kind of kill I expected when coming into this movie about a ghost nun.

What? It's not weird at all!

Eve and her friends go to Spain because why wouldn't you after a horrific death in your family that left you an orphan? It just seems the most logical. I also love how the friend is constantly so flippant about Eve's mom dying – she continually tells her to cheer up, wonders why she's acting kind of weird, etc. Jesus. With friends like this who even NEEDS a phantasmagorical watery ghost-nun killing off everyone you know? I mean they're kinda one in the same.

"I know your mom just died, but cheer up, we're on a vacation to Spain!" Also I just realized they don't even do anything there besides the plot of the movie. What was their plan? Go to Spain and just stare at the walls of their hotel room? Good thing Eve's mom died and gave them a mission, then.

Then we get a scene at the library where Eve is researching the old boarding school. Some doofy looking dude who says he's training to be a priest comes up and offers to translate it all for her. She says yes and then later on he meets them at some night club to give it back to her. They bond over the fact that he killed his last girlfriend by running her over with a car. Yes, really. I guess that's just what Eve is into. I don't even have to make jokes here – the movie itself is just one big punchline. How did anyone keep a straight face when working on this? I know I fucking couldn't.

I mean, when you really get down to it, this movie fails at even the most basic tenet of scary movies – setting an atmosphere in which to be scared later. It can't even get that right. Every kill scene starts off with the unsuspecting victim in the bathroom or kitchen when water starts filling up the sink, tub or whatever. When you really get down to it, as an adult, you aren't scared by this – you're just annoyed because in real life, you'd have to clean up all that overflowing, leaking water. How is the movie supposed to scare you when THAT'S the only reaction most of your audience will get out of it?

"Aw, dammit, now I have to clean all this up..."

They leave the club to go do their real passion, which of course is playing detective and finding dead bodies all over the place. They see the one lady's body and then immediately decide they can't call the cops, because there are still two more victims who don't know about the nun-ghost yet and they have to warn them. Uh, so how about calling the cops while you're going to warn the others? Nope, then we couldn't have a movie!

This whole 'not calling the cops' thing goes so far that Eve actually throws the other guy, Joel, out of the car for wanting to do so. Eve persuades Priest Boy that they shouldn't do it because 'she just wants to find our what happened to her mother.' So because you need to chase around some ridiculous story about an old boarding school, that woman's friends and family don't get to know what happened to her when she's lying dead on the floor of her own bathroom. You little asshole.

She also brings up the fact that they are a lot alike, as no one believes HER about the watery ghost-nun, just like no one believed HIM when he said he wasn't drinking when he killed his girlfriend. They really are like peas in a pod!

I also love the scene where Joel is just standing out there in the rain. “Wait! I forgot it was raining out here! Let me back in! No, I can't relent! I have to preserve my manhood and dignity! CURSE MY OWN IMPULSIVE DECISIONS!!!”

"Curse the heavens!"

They make it to the old boarding school and meet up with the other two stock characters who we haven't seen until now, so obviously they have a lot to contribute, by which I mean they only exist to shovel exposition in our faces like melting snow off a driveway in March. We learn that apparently back in their boarding school days, they came across the nun shooting a shower head up Eve's mom's vagina.

Never mind that this is a serious situation we could get her fired for; we need to re-enact I Know What You Did Last Summer!

As this is a horrific abusive situation, they accidentally kill her – you know, like you do.

Don't pretend you've never had a night end up this way...oh, wait, is it really only me and the girls in this movie? Weird.

They somehow haul her body outside without being noticed. Are they the only people in the entire fucking school? How did they not get caught? Then they dump her in the water outside.

"If she ever comes back to life as a ghost through our plumbing, we'll be ready...well, on second thought, that sounds really stupid."

Uh...wait a fuckin' second here. What happened next? How did no one notice she was dead? How did she never get found in that pool of water? Was it just a bottomless ocean made possible by the mystical powers of Christ to kill off his most odious of followers? Did the girls just get to go home when their teacher was missing the next day and never have to come back to Catholic school? “Oh, sorry girls, your teacher went missing mysteriously. I'm going to ignore the shifty-eyed, sweaty-faced looks you all have and just send you home. We won't be investigating the disappearance of that nun, either. Have a nice life forgetting all our dogmatic Catholic teachings!”

In the present day again, they go hunting through the old boarding house and find a bunch of paintings that they determine are actually the ways all their friends have been getting killed, because apparently nun ghosts really like to base their killings off of old paintings in boarding schools that no one can see.

And yeah, really; hands decapitated by an elevator sure was an easy thing for those classical psychic prophets to paint back in the day when elevators didn't exist. What a bunch of geniuses they must have been.

Also, to up the stupidity from “eating paint chips while smoking dirt-weed and watching Kim Kardashian videos” to “permanent cranial damage,” we also see that apparently the nun put up a portrait of how to kill her – a harpoon through the heart. I guess she forgot to take that one down in the incredibly rare occasion someone comes in there looking for clues on what's going on, huh?

One of the two women from the boarding school sees that her painting is being decapitated. So logically she locks herself in a room away from everyone else and then somehow, through an overly long sequence, gets her head lopped off by a broken glass door.

That looks like a baby with vampire teeth dressed up in grandma's old nun habit. What the hell am I even supposed to be watching?

We get some flashbacks which reveal Eve's mom had sex with a priest named Miguel, which is why that nun was trying to wash out her ovaries like your dad washing your car for you on Thanksgiving weekend home from college. Because you know how the Catholic Church feels about abortions. They love 'em!

Isn't this like being against gun control by eviscerating gun-control-proponents with a Bowie knife?

Then somehow they flood the place, apparently because that's the only way the nun can't kill them. Even though she apparently comes from water to kill people, having a whole room flooded apparently negates the entire thing and means she can't kill? Why not just go for complete abject randomness and say she can't kill people in rooms with three windows instead of two, or can't kill people on Tuesday nights while Glee reruns are on? Just stop even trying at all. We'll all be better for it.

They split up a bunch of times, which just seems to prove the characters have never watched a horror movie in their lives. If there was any logical reason for splitting up it'd be one thing, but no, really; they just leave one person behind when they go and do things for no reason but “WE NEED MORE PEOPLE IN RANDOM ROOMS FOR SCARES!”

A lot of other random, boring things happen, which lead up to the big twist of Eve being the real killer all along. Yes, apparently instead of the watery ghost-nun killing people, it was Eve being possessed by the nun. Which really doesn't make sense, because of...well, the entire fucking movie before this. Why try to shoehorn in a twist? Did you lose a bet? Did the previous writer die in a plane crash and so the director replaced him with an M. Night Shyamalan devotee?

Actually, really, even a Shyamalan twist would be better than this. At least his are entertaining in that you have no idea what the fuck he was thinking. This is just the kind of “the main character was the killer all along, ooooooh!” crap that you'd get in a Freshman writing class.

There was no logic here – from the idiotic plot to the acting, which was made up of a bunch of exaggerated Spanish accents and all the actors seeming like they were confused at all times. Which doesn't surprise me at all given this movie's abysmal script-writing. All in all, I learned from this movie that plumbing is serious business, and if you don't fix your bathroom or sink pipes, a vengeful ghost of someone you killed will come back and kill your mom's friends. Yeah, that about sums it up.

I also am grateful to finally be able to finally put to rest my curiosities about The Nun, which I started many years ago and never finished. Now I'm kinda just wondering, honestly, why I bothered renting this in the first place all those years ago. Was I just a serious masochist back then? I guess that would explain how I turned out the way I am today; watching these movies and so desensitized nothing in them even remotely surprises me anymore. Such is life.

Eh, whatever. This sums up my opinion on the movie:

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