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Sunday, March 3, 2013
Detenti...nope, The Nun!
Wow...been quite a while since the last SAW, huh? Sorry about that! I've been in the process of moving from one apartment to another, and everything "extracurricular" has had to be put on hold for a little bit. Also, the last movie I selected, Detention, turned out to be narrative-proof.
Seriously! Among the many random elements the movie had, it featured(in no particular order): a stuffed grizzly bear statue that was revived and abducted by aliens; a student who was slowly turning into a fly; a slasher flick within a slasher flick within ANOTHER slasher flick; a cheesy 1980's body-switching comedy; another student who was in detention for 19 years; and time travel. There's a shitload more, but it would take years to dissect every element of the film.
So...instead, I popped in a nice, simple, non-brain-tumor-causing movie called The Nun. It's slashery, it's simple, and it can be described. Thank the Gods! Oh, and it's time for some real SPOILERS...
Our movie begins with the credits alternating between a murky body of water, and some yellow pages from an old book. Then we meet our cast of victims, female students at a parochial school. There's Joanna, Zoe, Eulalia(I shit you not, that's her name), Susan, and Mary. As the film begins, the girls are all smoking together in a classroom(except for Eulalia, a disabled girl who is standing guard at the door), until their teacher, Sister Ursula, nearly catches them in the act.
She lectures the girls about their lack of discipline, then moves to front blackboard, and writes "SIN", in letters big enough to be seen on the surface of Mars. One of the girls tries to hide a love letter in one of her books, but Sister Ursula hears her, finds the romantic note, and rips it to shreds. Yeah! Take THAT, human emotions!
You'd think that would be the end of the incident...Nope! the enraged nun grabs the frightened girl by her neck, and lifts her out of her seat like the Nuninator. She then uses her Hulk-like rage to slam the girl into a wall, and growls at her in a demonic voice.
Alas, this highly entertaing chaotic scene is just a nightmare sequence. The girl, now an adult, sits straight up in her bed. Damn, I was loving the idea of a demon-possessed nun terrorizing high school girls.
Then we get jolted away to a loud, obnoxious prom or formal school dance. There, we meet Julia, a short-haired brunette; Eve, an attractive blond; Joel, who is making a prom night video; Artie, a wide-eyed doofus-y guy...and a few more whose name I haven't caught yet.
Joel listens to his friends yammer on and on about a trip to Spain, then takes his camera in search of the ever-elusive girl that Artie wants but can't have. He sneaks up on her make-out session, then watches as a water pipe bursts, drenching the horny couple in toilet water. Fun.
Eve's mother turns out to be Mary, the sleeping woman in the previous scene. She's restless, and decides to rummage through some of her old stuff from high school. Scattered in the pile is a newspaper article about a woman in London, who apparently died in a fire. Hmmm...could this have been the work of a certain Nun?
Mary hears a noise, and assumes that Eve has come back from the dance. Finding the house empty, Mary steps into the bathroom, where the faucet is dripping. As she calls out to her daughter, she discovers that a plant has fallen off of a countertop, spilling water in the living room. Idon't think this movie has enough water in every scene.
She then enters the kitchen, where the sink is overflowing with water. As Mary tries to use a plunger in the sink and clean up the mess, the water in the sink begins to flow up toward the ceiling. Mary sees her daughter pull into the driveway, then Sister Ursula bursts out of the water to lunge at her. Eve walks into the house just in time to see The Nun slit her mother's throat, before crashing out of the nearest window.
The cops arrive, and Eve describes the apparition that killed her mom, even suggesting that it resembled a nun. The lead detective assumes that Eve was drinking at the dance, takes a statement from her friend Julia, and we learn that Eve doesn't know the identity of her father. Julia tells him that Mary probably committed suicide, because she had previously tried to kill herself, back when Eve was only about 5 years old.
There's an extremely brief flashback showing Eve glancing through that book we saw in the credits, then the movie picks up the story again in Barcelona. We catch up with the adult version of Eulalia, who lives in Spain, She gets a call from Zoe, who fills her in on the current body count.
At her mother's grave, Eve is encouraged by Julia to go along with her friends to Spain. Then the adult version of Christy shows up at the graveyard. She warns Eve that there have been other deaths, and that she and Mary were supposed to attend a reunion of sorts, with their best friends from Catholic school. Christy then hands her a business card, and they part ways.
Eve finds the school memorabilia that her mother was poring over on the evening of her death, and decides to look through the pile. There, tucked away among the old pictures and papers, she finds a love letter, a possible clue to the identity of her father. The author of the short letter is somebody by the name of Miguel.
Christy wraps up a phone call with Eulalia, promising to see her in Barcelona. When she hangs up the phone, we see a small puddle of water starting to take form on the bed. Uh oh...guess who won't be going to Spain?
She steps into the bathroom, and gets splashed when her hotel room's toilet sprays water into her face. This movie has a toilet fetish...and it's not as much kinky fun as you might think! I may get more grossed out by these scenes, as opposed to the actual killings.
Christy calls the front desk, and we can see The Nun morphing out of more levitating water in the bathroom mirror's reflection. Pretty cool effect, actually. Of course, Christy doesn't see a thing...the characters never do.
She slips on her bathrobe, and decides to leave the hotel room. Once she's in the hallway, she actually sees The Nun floating down a corridor, and gets understandably upset. She backs away until she gets to the elevator, and hurries inside.
While this is happening, Eve arrives in the hotel lobby. The elevator starts to fill up with water, and now Christy is really scared. The elevator stops between floors, and as Christy tries to pull herself up to the floor level, the door chops her arms off! Pretty nifty effects, too. The elevator then opens up at the lobby, where Eve gets a bird's-eye view of the stumpy corpse. As a really nutty way to end the scene, the elevator door closes again, which probably means that some random hotel guest is about to get a really memorable souvenir of their visit! 2 guests, actually...after all, we can't forget and the arms!
On the plane to Spain, there is mainly rain. Eve sees The Nun outside the tiny window, but it's another nightmare scene. Oh, and during the flight, there is a massive storm going on. Oddly enough, Spain appears to be the sunniest place in the world, when the plane finally lands. I guess the rain over Spain mainly hit the plane.
Eve decides to begin her investigation into The Nun right away, getting a ton of reference material from, in another ironic twist, a nun. Eve looks up her mother's old classmates in an old yearbook, and begins to match the old pictures with more current ones, as well as numerous articles about their deaths.
As Eve decides to make photocopies of some of the articles, a young man named Gabriel offers to translate them for her. He happens to also be studying to join the priesthood, so the information about the school(which has since been closed), is right up his alley.
Gabriel meets Eve and her friends a local nightclub, where he provides her with the translations that he promised. Her friends discover that Gabe is joining the priesthood, and crack jokes about it until he leaves. Oh, and the nightclub is filled with tanks of water, so expect a massive slaughter soon...
Eve catches up with Gabriel, and he confesses that he's joining the priesthood because of a traumatic driving accident. Meanwhile, Eulalia is feeding her dog, clipping her toenails, and drawing herself a bath. Of course, the water goes haywire, but eventually Eulalia gets it under control-ish. It feels like the camera crew just filmed everything that ever happened, then left the compelling footage on the floor of the cutting room.
She finds her dog dead, though. Except that it's just messing around with her head, gets up, and strolls away... Eulalia limps back into the bathroom, and finds the faucet in the tub running again. She switches it off yet again, and sits wearily on the bathroom floor, completely oblivious to the fact that The Nun has popped out of the tub behind her.
Seriously, The Nun just stays the like that, waiting patiently for Eulalia to turn around and see her. I kinda wished that she had said "Boo!" and made a silly face to cap it off. This movie is the best kind of "WTF?" there is. It's like The Blair With is pulling a move out of The Matrix. How long can she stay stuck like that?
Eve, of course, decides to visit Eulalia at that very moment, just because. She finds the disabled woman's corpse, crucified. She and Gabriel rush out of there as fast as they can. In the car, Gabriel, Eve and her friends Joel and Julia debate whether or not to tell the police what they know, and whether or not to warn the few survivors who are left. Then they run the car off the road to avoid a crash, and the car won't restart.
They walk home in the rain(!!!), only to panic when they can't find Susan or Zoe. There's a power outage, so they briefly switch on the video camera for night vision...and we get a cheap scare involving a flock of birds. Those mutha-flockin' birds, on that mutha-flockin' plane, man.
Eve finds Susan and Zoe wandering around, and she tries to warn them about The Nun. The adult pair then confess that The Nun can't be the killer...because they and their friends killed her back when they were students at the school. In a flashback, we see all of the girls doing something wild and crazy: drinking milk in the school's kitchen late at night. Those wacky rebels. They soon realize that Mary is missing from the group, and then they hear noises in the distance.
They find Mary being attacked by The Nun, and force her off of the frightened girl. In the scuffle, The Nun slips, hits her head, and falls into a tub full of water. The teenagers are stunned, then even more shocked when she opens her eyes. As The Nun attempts to sit up again, the girls decide, as a group, to drown her once and for all.
They take the body outside, and make it look like she slipped on a bridge and drowned in a local pond or lake. Then the flashback ends, and they wonder what their next move should be. One character even describes the predicament as I Know What You Did 18 Summers Ago. Heh. They wish.
Eve and Gabriel decide to poke around in the living quarters that The Nun and the students used to occupy. Eve tells him that part of her past is a mystery, because she has repressed memories. Meanwhile, Joel and Julia work on getting the power restored.
Gabriel and Eve decide to explore each other instead of the bedrooms. Nice way to prioritize, you dumbasses! Luckily, the lights come back on, and they decide to stop goofing around. Oh, and Susan and Zoe just stand around chatting. "So...what have you been up to since we murdered a nun as teenagers?"
Gabriel decides to leave Eve alone in the bedroom, and she sees water in the bed. Then a shape forms, and Eve has her lost memory restored. Gabriel returns, and he calms her down. Everyone else then joins them, and the pair reveal that they have discovered paintings depicting saints. Each of the murder victims was named after a saint, and the murders were all recreations of how each saint died.
Zoe then pulls a "Jennifer Love Hewitt", taunting the ghostly killer to finish what she started. She takes off down the hallway, and the others rush after her. Man, this thing is getting kookier by the second! Susan is left alone with Eve, and tells the teen that she and her friends are somehow responsible for The Nun coming back. She locks herself in a section of the old building to distance herself from the rest of the group, then freaks out as she realizes how utterly stupid that idea was. Susan Einstein, Resident Genius.
Susan's "alone time" doesn't last very long. As she races around the room, potential exits mysteriously begin to shut and lock on her. Meanwhile, the others catch up to Zoe, who is testing out random objects as potential weapons. Then she and the other couple finally realize that they abandoned Susan and Eve. Oops!
And speaking of Susan...the floor around her is suddenly getting very watery. She tries to use the Power of Prayer, but The Nun lunges at her, and passes through her body, Thinking that the prayer kept her safe, Susan doesn't realize that the spirit is behind her. The Nun grabs Susan, pushes her forward, and breaks a glass door, decapitating her victim in the process.
Then here's another flashback, showing The Nun abusing Mary with a shower head. Then, back to the plot. The surviors decide to shut off the water supply, and keep the pipes empty. An accident with one of the pipes reveals Gabriel to Joel. He looks like he was impaled on a pipe.
The water starts to flow again, and The Nun attacks Zoe. Then Eve devise the dumbest plan eve heard in he history of planning...Eve is going to explore, while Julia sits underwate, trying to lure The Nun into killing her. These folks are dead from the neck up.
Joel finds Julia and rescues her, then tells her that the killer is actually Eve. She seems to believe that The Nun is inside her, because she learned when she was a little girl that her mother had killed The Nun. In flashbacks, we see the murders, with Eve present at every scene somehow. Yeah, so this teenager went to London, New York, Barcelona, and wherever else, and managed to kill around 10 people without anyone ever getting suspicious. And believe it or not, that's where the movie just grinds to a halt. THE END...Oh, and Eve ends up killing herself. Yay.
Geez, this one had a great concept and killer, but a terrible plot. And way, waaaaaay too many characters to keep track of as well. The Nun should have had more scenes, and not been a figment in a person's head. A near miss. 2 out of 5.
And what did I learn from The Nun?
-Ghost nuns look damn creepy!
-Guys training to become priests still want to "get some".
-Teens with mental disorders can teleport whenever the need arises.
Next movie on my queue is Phantom of the Mall, which sounds pretty odd. Cross your fingers!