Rrrrriiiiiiiggggghhhhtttttt… At first, I couldn’t tell if I was getting old or if the jump scares were getting old. But… what if it was something else? Then by the process of elimination, I started crossing factors out. But that didn’t make much sense either. Individual departments worked well on their own. Directing, cinematography, production design, editing, acting… Hold on… And then it dawned on me… It was the story! Or the lack of it to be precise.
In “The Exorcist” (1973), Pazuzu, the demon that possesses Regan, unfolds gradually certain abilities: It controls her body and mind, launches things around in a telekinetic manner, reads her’s and everyone else’s soul, speaks every language under the sun (even the dead ones), and upon being cast out, it can possess someone else. For unnecessary complexities and their outcome, please see “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (1977).
In “The Nun”, Valak, can do all of the aforementioned plus… whatever the hell the studios decide that it’s convenient for the script. So, it always comes down to the bloody script! There is this side of Hollywood with the inexplicable mentality of a “financial shark” where, the moment producers “smell” success in something – “The Conjuring” (2013) and “The Conjuring 2” (2016) – they “attack”, blow it out of proportion, rip it apart, and move on to the next!
“The Nun” suffers from inscrutable improbability. As if it isn’t hard enough to specify the demon’s abilities… the ghosts (wtf?!), the heroes’ choices and actions, and an entirely fictitious chapter, in an otherwise “based on true events” saga, come into play amounting to a head-scratching, eye-bleeding nothingness beyond comprehension.
Producers: Stop seeing filmgoers as financial dairy cows and films as cheap canned food for mass consumption. I guess you are making money anyway so, why care…
Below, you can find my top 3 quotes on scripts. Maybe I’m not such a stuck-up snob after all.
- Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.” — Steven Spielberg
- “To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script, and the script.” — Alfred Hitchcock
- “You can’t fix a bad script after you start shooting. The problems on the page only get bigger as they move to the big screen.” — Howard Hawks