The Conjuring is one of those unique series that puts us in mind of anthologies: American Horror Story, Insidious, Paranormal Activity (and, if I dare say it, the original anthology, Creepshow). Horror sequels that are more than just sequels, but an entire universe built from that very first film. The Conjuring is one of my personal favorite worlds. Now, we’re getting three new chapters. Definitely with The Nun, whose official trailer just dropped, and possibly with the Crooked Man and The Conjuring 3.
“God Ends Here”
The Demon Nun—or Valak—is potentially the most horrifying creature to come out of The Conjuring series. So, way worse than Annabelle, unless dolls really freak you out. The Crooked Man is up there with her, but mostly because he’s got that creepy song. Anything that comes with accompanying devil music—or a book, you know who I’m talking about—is automatically terrifying.
The newest trailer for The Nun notably features AHS alum Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene. Incidentally, she’s the younger sister of The Conjuring star Vera Farmiga. Bonnie Aarons reprises her role as Valak. We don’t know much right now. It’s set in 1952 Romania, it involves a priest (Demián Bichir), a novice (Taissa Farmiga), and a nun’s mysterious death.
No One Does Drama Like the Catholic Church
Because The Conjuring series is notoriously faith-based, The Nun promises to be the darkest, most religiously centered of the series. In an article about the newest installment, Film School Rejects writes of The Conjuring’s overall religious tones: “Trying to overcome the separation of church and box office has proved tricky for Hollywood distributors. Conventional faith-based films tend to cater too specifically to believers to find a greater viewership, while critically acclaimed films that dramatize faith … aren’t able to appeal to Christian audiences en masse. It is downright remarkable that the happy medium between Evangelical values and secular tastes can be found in a Catholic horror franchise.”
Writers Chad and Carey Hayes said of The Conjuring 2—where the seed of Valak was planted—“Our film allows believers and non-believers to travel their journey with them, and in some ways, maybe affect someone who is on the edge of faith, and somehow give them the strength they need.”
Therefore, my latent Catholic tendencies and love of dark religious imagery are so ready for The Nun. I’m hoping for someone being choked to death with a rosary. I’m waiting for a real live sacred heart on a silver platter. I want a blatant reference to the eyes of St. Lucy. In my opinion, the more sacrilegious the better.
The Crooked Man and His Crooked Spin-Off
As far as the Crooked Man spin-off is concerned, James Wan—writer and producer of The Conjuring series—says it’s still in “early-stages.” In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wan said, “…We think we have a really exciting story. What we want to do, with The Conjuring universe, is we want each of our little offshoots to have a very different flavor, right? So, for example, Annabelle is the classic sort-of haunted doll subgenre. And with The Crooked Man, I would love to push it more down somewhat of that dark fairytale, and more whimsical, subgenre. I love the idea that, within the Conjuring universe, each of our little movies all have their own flavor, so that way they don’t feel like they’re the same films.”
Just a Warning if You Haven’t Seen The Conjuring Yet:
The dog dies within the first fifteen minutes, so prepare yourself.
The Nun will release in September 2018. Directed by Corin Hardy. Starring Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, and Ingrid Bisu.