Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Nun (La Monja)

Hallelujah! I am Nun! Here Me Rooaaar!

This week's surprise screening at GV turned out to be the horror movie The Nun (La Monja). Seriously, I think that horror movies should try and come up with more imaginative titles, even though the story's about the character as described in the title. Who knows, soon we'll have spinoffs like The Monk, The Priest, and others belonging to various religious sects.

The basic premise goes very simply, that a ghoul dressed up in a Nun garb (so that it can lay claim to the title) goes around killing ex-convent girls. There seemed to be some sort of conspiracy involved, as the daughter of one of the victims, Eva (played by an eye candy Icelandic Anita Briem), goes on to discover, with the help of a few good friends, like a rip off of I Know What You Did Last Summer (mentioned also, by the way).

So as the body count increases, it's a race against time for our emotionally scarred (aren't they always?) heroine to uncover the truth and save the day. Delving into the sins of the mothers, the movie did the unthinkable, that with a dream sequence as the introduction. I hate dream sequences as it's a pretty cheap technique if not done correctly, and there are a couple of them in the movie.

In part, the movie played at times like Ju-On gone wrong with the plenty of Dark Water references, and they could have retitled this Unholy Water, for the circumstances and plot points in the movie. However, there are plot holes abound, so don't be looking into the storyline too deeply. You'd come to expect the standard textbook twists towards the end about the sadistic nun, and sets which look like they can rival recent Thai horror movie Dorm.

The acting's pretty forgettable, with the cast speaking in perfect heavily accented English. And since most of them are pleasing to the eye, the story must weave in a love scene in the middle of a witch-hunt. What gives? Hello, got hantu, still got mood ah? Then again, the ghoul is a pretty cheap animated/SFX which has a built in AI of popping up every now and then, in various fashion, just to elicit screams from timid audiences. The characters also break every unwritten rule in the Do-Nots in horror lore, so you know and expect their just desserts.

Can you possibly enjoy this movie? Sure you can. Just ensure that you're watching it in a full house (should be easy, since local folks are suckers for anything remotely horrific), and laugh at those who are so jumpy they scream at every "frightening" scene. It's pretty fun, and adds to the atmosphere, besides what's going on the screen. Surround sound doesn't even come close.

Think of it as watching an episode of Scooby Doo without the wisecracks, and it's a pity that the gory moments in the movie had to be censored for a PG rating. Those could possibly have been the best bits, now left rotting on the censor's floor board.

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