The highly anticipated horror film The Nun arrives on September 7, 2018. Despite a few delays and only a teaser for a full-length trailer existing, fans and media alike have pieced together facts about the story and production of The Conjuring series' fifth installment.
Since it began in 2013, the Conjuring franchise has created its own unique horror universe, with Easter eggs aplenty. While much speculation remains over plot details, many facts about The Nun have been verified - leaving fans eager to learn more.
Technically a follow-up to The Conjuring 2 from 2016, The Nun takes place in 1952 Romania, according to distribution studio Warner Bros. The story reportedly begins with a nun's mysterious suicide at the Cârța Monastery; the Vatican promptly sends a sister about to take her final vows and a priest to investigate.
With Corin Hardy directing and American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga playing the protagonist, The Nun promises to deliver an abundance of surprises and to send viewers even further into the darkness of the Conjuring universe.
Because the story takes place in Romania, the studio reportedly took advantage of the country's vampiric qualities by filming most of The Nun on location.
Cast members reported feeling more in character because of the old, stoic buildings and the perpetual gloomy atmosphere in the area - think Hotel Transylvania and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Due to the nature of the film, the crew took precautions and asked an Eastern Orthodox priest to bless the set.
Even so, director Corin Hardy and his team had a few mysterious encounters they claimed were probably ghosts. First, they found an unexplained outline of a hand in the dust on set at Corvin Castle. Then, while filming at an old fortress, Hardy had, as The Mirror reported, "a supernatural encounter with what he believes was a pair of ghosts of Romanian soldiers."
Hardy wasn't scared by the sighting; he welcomed what he thought was curiosity on the ghosts' part. He's not the first to see entities in this area. Allegedly, the spirits of soldiers are a fixture of the old fort.
Corin Hardy came onto the horror scene in 2015 when he co-wrote and directed The Hallow. His directorial debut opened to critical acclaim and multiple awards, landing him the directing gig for the remake of The Crow (though he later left the project when he began work on The Nun). According to one review of The Hallow:
Because of his lifelong fascination with monster makeup, Hardy created the creatures using almost entirely practical effects, making the film stand out in the CGI-heavy horror landscape.
The Nun was shot on location in Romania, where cinematographer Maxime Alexandre has filmed multiple times. Horror fans know Alexandre for his work on films like High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, P2, The Crazies, and Silent Hill: Revelation.
In an interview, Dread Central asked Alexandre if a production's location affects how he shoots the movie, and Alexandre responded:
Yes it does... this is a very important point of cinematography, except if it’s a real creative intention. I feel that it’s wrong to detach the photography from the rest of the storytelling. A movie is successful when the audience has been transported into a story. I believe that if an audience appreciates a single art and not the movie by itself, the effort would be wasted.
Incidentally, Romania has a policy against filming in real churches, which could have been very problematic for a movie titled The Nun. The production team reportedly got creative, designing a church-type entrance in an old fortress - thus lending an authentic feel to the set.
A few Easter eggs have already been spotted in the teaser for The Nun. Bloody Disgusting says that "if you listen closely... it sounds like the ringing bell from the first Conjuring."
Director Corin Hardy has also hinted at Easter eggs that connect The Nun back to the other films in the Conjuring universe, though he hasn't given any specifics.