CURSE OF THE NUN Review – A Flawed But Fun Killer Nun Flick

Starring Lacy Hartselle, Rae Hunt, Brad Belemjian, Jonathan Everett

Written by Aaron Mirtes

Directed by Aaron Mirtes

Last year, writer / director Aaron Mirtes released his film Clowntergeist, when It was the hot horror property. This year, we have Curse of the Nun. Again, we have a title that echoes a mainstream theatrical film that was recently released. The titles could be coincidence, especially since neither film has anything to do, plot-wise, with the big budget flicks that their titles reflect. Despite the marketing, these aren’t cynical cash grabs.

I was anxious to review Curse of the Nun because I had very much enjoyed Clowntergeist, despite some major flaws in the story and acting. Curse of the Nun isn’t a huge improvement in those areas, and the production quality is even a bit spottier. But the film is very fun, and it delivers on the promises made by the title, trailer, and poster art. If you’re looking for a film with plenty of demonic nun attacks, boy has Curse of the Nun got you covered. You certainly won’t feel cheated. This is an 80-minute feature that gets into the meat of the story quickly, and with barely any filler. It’s pretty much wall-to-wall demonic action, so you’ll get your money’s worth if that’s what you were hoping to see.

After a pre-credit sequence involving the nun and comic relief character KK (Brad Belemjian), we’re quickly introduced to Anna (Lacy Hartselle) and her family. She and her dentist husband Mike (Jonathan Everett) are moving into their own place after spending some time renting a house from Mike’s crabby real estate agent aunt, Donna (Alice Raver). Along with them is Claire (Kate Kilcoyne), Anna’s daughter from a previous marriage. It looks like a new beginning for the family, but a demonic nun named Sister Catherine (Rae Hunt) wants Clair to stay a little while longer. And by a little while, she means forever.

As soon as Mike takes Claire to school and Anna is alone in the house, the shit hits the fan in a major way. I was actually quite taken aback at the frenzied pace the movie sets for itself by the time we’ve reached the fifteen-minute mark. It’s goddamn relentless, which is definitely cool, but I wondered about the violence coming so intensely so early on. Would the film be able to sustain this pace? As it turns out, yes, it would, with a few strategically placed quiet moments, of course. Be prepared: this is a film that will jostle you virtually from beginning to end.

Exciting, yes, but on a technical level the film leaves a lot to be desired. The acting is solid, at least, and the creature design and makeup on the nun was pretty great…as long as she remained in the shadows. There were a few very brightly lit scenes that expose the low-budget nature of the makeup and somewhat took me out of the movie. The verisimilitude comes in the shadows, which is how it should be.

Director of photography Chaz Olivier does a great job when grey is the dominant color, but when things get bright, they get intensely bright. It doesn’t really take too much away from the enjoyment of the movie, though it is quite annoying at times. There are some almost breathtakingly gorgeous night shots, though.

Though you’ll no doubt see much of the plot coming, Mirtes adds enough dream-logic surrealism to keep you guessing quite a bit about what’s real and what’s a product of Anna’s paranormal psychosis. There’s not a lot of answers, even though there is a satisfying, if somewhat predictable, ending.

No one’s going to get this mixed up with a film that has an actual budget, but who needs all of that anyway? Curse of the Nun is a solid effort that a lot of people clearly put their hearts into. I very much like any director who puts the viewer first, someone who is concerned with giving them what was promised, without any tricks or added fluff to pad the runtime. There are more than a few technical flaws, but if you have a high tolerance for that kind of stuff, and most horror fans do, then you’re going to have a very good time with this one.

  • Curse of the Nun


Technically flawed, but a lot of fun, Curse of the Nun is a solid straight to video effort.



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