Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's really scary

Yes, this really is a post with something else than a picture in it. Sorry for the last couple of days, but I didn't have the time to write long posts - and no real topics either. This post is about the movie I watched this weekend (and named already in my Weekend Update): "The Nun".

I don't really expect a lot from low-price movies I've never heard about before. If they aren't very good, I'm not angry, because I haven't paid much for them. And if they are good, I've made a good deal. "The Nun" definitely was a good deal.

The movie was produced in Spain - where a lot of the action also takes place. It's divided into two stories: what happened to a couple of girls in a religious school in Spain about 20 years ago and what becomes of them in the present. Most of the movie centers around a young woman, Eva, who is the daughter of one of the girls. Eva's mother also is the first to be killed by the Nun - a vengeful spirit of a nun murdered by the girls.

The nun herself was not an innocent victim, either. She was a sadistic woman who should not have worked with teenagers at all. But, of course, that doesn't justify drowning her and then hiding her body in a pond.

20 years later the former school is converted into a wellness hotel and the pond is dried up - freeing, as it were, the vengeful spirit kept imprisoned by the supposed 'holiness' of the water. The Nun is bound to this element, she can only strike where there's a certain amount of water - but then she's impossible to destroy and extremely powerful. In the end, there's even a surprise, but I won't tell you about it. (About all of the elements of my summary can also be found on the back of the DVD package, so I'm not spoiling anything this way, either.)

What fascinates me most about this movie, is how the Nun herself is show. The actress playing her spent hours in the water, being pulled through a pool in full habit (without shoes and socks, as she didn't wear those when she was murdered and her body was disposed of). This way the movements of the vengeful spirit (which only the murderesses and Eva can see) are always special. She doesn't walk out of the revolving door of a hotel early in the movie - she floats out of it.

Then there's the colour scheme, a lot of dark blues, hinting deep water. And there's Eva - who has got more to do with the Nun than she knows herself. Eva seems so fragile, blonde, slender, young. A woman, one thinks, almost broken by seeing her mother die.

Also well done - and only slightly out of the ordinary ("The Abominable Dr. Phibes" has a similar approach with the ten Plagues of Egypt) - are the ways the murderesses die. Each of them was named for a Catholic saint - and they all die like the saint they've been named after. This doesn't seem too constructed, as names like Mary or Sarah are quite common and not usually associated with saints. And - in accordance with the countries the girls come from - the names don't seem too unusual. The Catholic Church knows a lot of saints, both male and female. It's not a surprise to find six girls going to a Catholic school and having the names of six female martyrs.

Especially towards the end, when Eva and a few others try to trap the nun in a bathroom (the bathroom she was murdered in, actually) and you see two young woman diving and floating through the water - Eva's long hair flowing around her not too unlike a veil itself -, the movie also has a great look and suspense.

The idea of a vengeful spirit coming through the water is scaring all by itself, because humans can't live without water - but having the story executed that well, makes it even worse. A scary movie and a good one, too.

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