Director Corin Hardy has insisted that you don’t need to have seen any of the past installments to The Conjuring franchise to appreciate and be terrified by The Nun.
I recently had the chance to speak to Hardy over the phone about “The Nun,” which marks the fifth film in “The Conjuring” universe, after “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2,” “Annabelle” and “Annabelle: Creation.”
Considering the past of the franchise, and the fact that “The Nun,” which is set in 1952, chronologically comes first, I decided to ask Hardy whether he believed moviegoers needed to swat up on its four predecessors to appreciate the film.
“Well ‘The Nun’ is obviously the first movie in the timeline of ‘The Conjuring’ universe,” Hardy explained. “Which is ‘The Conjuring 1’ and ‘2’ and ‘Annabelle 1’ and ‘2’.”
“‘The Nun’ was an important part of ‘The Conjuring 2,’ but only on screen for a small amount of time. You don’t know anything about her or it, if you want to believe it is a demon in there.”
“Fans of ‘The Conjuring’ world will obviously want to know more and understand how ‘The Nun’ and Valak came to be and came to haunt the Warrens. You find that out in this movie.”
“But if you haven’t seen any of ‘The Conjuring’ movies it works as a standalone, and will allow you to connect up if you want to rewatch the other movies.”
Making a standalone movie, which still connected to the other films, was always Hardy’s intention, especially after he read Gary Dauberman’s script, as it clearly took the franchise into a new direction.
“The intention going into ‘The Nun’ from James, and I could see it in the script that this was a slightly different direction for the ‘Conjuring’ films to go in. Because it was more of a investigative adventure thriller.”
“It is a classic gothic horror movie, with a sort of adventurous side. The tone is marginally different. It felt like we could have a more colorful palette to the movie. We can be atmospheric, dark and scary, but with a sort of richness.”
“Because we have this heroic trio that forms in the film. Burke is haunted by the demons of his past, Irene is afraid of her future, and Frenchie being the physical character that takes them on the ride.”
“It was something that was instinctual, we didn’t have a set of instructions, it was all clear what we were going out to make.”
“The Nun” is now in cinemas.