Sometimes tragic things happen in life that force a person to need to get away and have a change of scenery for a minute. Some place new and secluded is the perfect spot to clear the mind. Unless there is darkness hiding in that seemingly perfect spot. Formerly known as The Watcher, The Bad Nun spins a tale of what can happen in new surroundings.
Set for release via ITN Distribution on DVD as of Tuesday, September 4, 2018, the film follows Aesha (Becca Hirani: Fox Trap 2016, House on Elm Lake 2017), a character whose father recently passed away. While grieving, she has become a bit wild and erratic in her behavior. Her mother decides the best course of action is to send her away to a Bed and Breakfast in Kent to spend time alone and regather herself. Aesha is greeted by the owner and innkeeper, Dan (Thomas Mailand: The Inconsiderates 2018, Deadly Callback 2018). The B & B is a converted nunnery miles from any neighbors. The perfect place for introspection.
Aesha will not be completely alone. Dan, and his daughter, reside on the property. Tilda (Mika Hockman: It’s Natural to Be Afraid 2010, Mummy Reborn 2018) is also a guest on an adjacent property. Aesha is not willing to be alone, and invites her best friend Imogen (Tiffany-Ellen Robinson: MANHUNT: KILL or be KILLED 2018, Cry of the Magpie 2018) to stay with her.
With Dan out of the house, his daughter sick in her bedroom, Tilda on her own property, and Imogen several hours away; Aesha is alone. Until she is not. A nun suddenly appears knocking at the door. She claims to be Sister Cindy Lamb (Cassandra French: Shoot on Sight 2007, Losing Faith 2018) and sweetly asks Aesha to let her in. What Aesha does not realize is that by repeatedly refusing the nun entry she would unleash a side of the seemingly holy woman that will change her life forever.
Religious figures such as pastors, priests, or nuns are supposed to elicit comfort and safety to those around them. They are people of God after all, if they are not to be trusted, then who on this earth is? It is for these reasons that using a religious figure as the terrifying element usually succeeds and does so in this film. At the same time that they are supposed to be trusted, the image of a nun suddenly appearing at the door in the middle of the night is shocking. Everyone has been warned about strangers at the door. Especially the most innocent seeming ones.
Written and directed by Scott Jeffrey (Fox Trap 2016, Unhinged 2017), the most interesting aspect of The Bad Nun is the set up of why Aesha needs to be away to rethink her life. It is touched on briefly, but she is in the middle of grieving for her father. Her mother simply did not understand her choices after such a monumental loss. At one point she even bemoans to her friend, Imogen, that she thought she was mourning properly. Is there even a proper way to mourn? After losing a parent, especially at a young age, it is not uncommon for the child to feel weak and useless. Having Aesha in such a weak state while being confronted by a creepy and demanding, strange Nun gives the character incredible depth. It also allows the viewer to root for her to overcome everything she is facing.
There are several different layers to The Bad Nun. To touch on all of them or any more would give the entire plot away. Scary films do not always have to be over the top in order to instill fear in the viewer. Often times, the subtlest ideas can chill to the bone. Religion can be scary. Being alone and cut off from the world has the potential to be frightening. It is the carefully laid depth The Bad Nun possesses that makes it an impactful film. It is for these reasons that CrypticRock gives The Bad Nun a rating of 4 out of 5.