Everything about The Nun just immediately feels unsettling.
Of course the fact that it is the fifth installment to “The Conjuring” Universe means that moviegoers expect, even demand, to be terrified by Taissa Farmiga’s novice nun and Demian Bichir’s Father Burke exploring the supernatural goings on in a Romanian Monastery in 1952.
But “The Nun’s” posters and especially its trailer have teased it is a horror film that will burrow its way into your subconscious.
It turns out that there’s a integral reason why “The Nun” feels authentically terrifying, too, because during my recent discussion with director Corin Hardy he revealed that they shot the film in Transylvania, a place he calls the “heartland” of horror.
“My first film ‘The Hallow’ was written and made around Irish folklore. I was pleased to be able to go to the heart of Irish mythology and shoot in Ireland. So I am 2 for 2 with ‘The Nun’ being set in Romania.”
“We were able to actually go to Romania. We were based in Bucharest for the studio part. But we scouted and found the right type of gothic castle for our main location, and for the convents and cemeteries up north in Transylvania. So it was very fitting to do the film in the heartland of Dracula.”
Just to make sure that the press were suitably terrified, New Line and Warner Bros also decided to hold the first junket in “400-year-old covent in the mountains of Mexico City,” too.
But while Hardy clearly believes that shooting in such a creepy and disturbing location aided “The Nun,” he insists that the script already had all the ingredients to create a “classic, old school, gothic horror movie.”
“As a fan of horror generally, and having grown up through the ages of horror, and as a child growing up loving Hammer horror, gothic horror and Dracula, to get sent the script for ‘The Nun,’ which was written by Gary Dauberman and James Wan, the story was on the page.”
“It sort of steadily dawned on me as I was reading the script and then as I was making the movie that we were making was a classic old school gothic horror movie, and we were shooting it in Transylvania. It is quite rare in this day and age to get those elements.”
Hardy only had a short window of time to appreciate these circumstances, because after landing the job of directing “The Nun” he was put to work almost immediately.
“It was quite a rollercoaster because when I got sent the script I read it immediately and was really excited to feel that this was something that I could really apply myself to.”
“After meeting with the producers I pretty much got the job the next day. Then we rapidly went in pre-production and production. Especially since I flew straight to Romania to scout, prep and then shoot 10 or 12 weeks later. So we had to hit the ground running.”
“But James Wan and his Atomic Monsters company, New Line, Warner Bros, they’re all such a tight knit group because they have done so many of these movies. New Line has such a good reputation with the horror genre, having done Nightmare On Elm Street and then onwards. It was like joining a family.”
You can now see the latest addition to “The Conjuring” family as “The Nun” is finally in cinemas.