Featured photo courtesy of: www.goodyfeed.com
One of the most talked about movies this month that featured the beautiful country of Romania — A European country where lies Count Dracula’s castle, has been a venue for numerous films of horror-lovings, has garnered so much attention even before its official release.
This horror film showcased different angles of monastic order and its loopholes that makes one feel eerie. As such, the unfitting of the person that commits suicide for a proper burial, the ringing of the bells, the process of exorcism, the non-stop pervent prayings of nuns inside the monastery and Vatican’s system of validating paranormal events and miracles.
This film has a strong feminist approach of using nuns as both protagonist and even antagonist in the image of Valak — a strong devilish entity that has been kept at bay inside the convent by centuries of devoted nuns. Later did we know that this fiend wasn’t fully sealed in the abyss but find its way out. I wasn’t able to grasp how it managed to escape the seal though, that is the question left hanging. (Maybe, I’m not paying too much attention to the background story).
What adds to the film’s horror stance is the eerie musical score everytime the camera rolls to every side of the convent. That rambling nun-shaped shadows that appear in unexpected scenes and the never-ending anticipation of “where will it appear next?” Plus, this film disrupts the tradition of demonic forces only attacking innocent human and taking their forms. The film explores the so-believed invulnerable priests and nuns from these forces and how their devotion would protect them. The mere fact that the evil in this film distorted the religion’s most recognizable image and devotee, which is the nun, is horriying indeed.
Also, the film shows different symbolisms which most horror films have. Of course, the symbol of the cross is expected, with or without figure of Christ, is the main religious symbol of Christianity. The symbol is prominent widely inside the monastery and cemetery.
Also, the inverted cross or upside down cross that signifies the powerful presence of evil spirits and symbol for satanic worship. I am adamant to say that this symbol is somehow an allusion. The truth of the matter is, inverted cross originated in the Bible when St. Peter insisted to be crucified upside down as he believed he’s not worthy to be crucified as his Savior. Meaning to say the symbol is not demonic at all contrary to what horror films in general suggest.
And the circled pentagram, the most overused symbol in the world of horror films. The symbol of satanism, of witchcraft or web-weaving black magic. The grounding of each elements according to the nature of ritual is being used to implore demons. In this film, the symbol was used to implore Valak and possess the nun.
Nevertheless, this film will challenge your literary skills of identifying symbols.
As far as scaring the audience is concern, the film was able to do the job. Although,it is not as good as everybody else does like its spin-off film – The Conjuring. To compare it with the last horror film I’ve watched (Insidious 4 – The Last Key), I can say that this is just a beginner due to multiple hiccups. I didn’t feel trembling as to what the latter does given the fact that the cinema was full at that time. (Btw, I don’t watch horror films a lot. I’m honestly a chicken).
There is also something that I felt missing on this film — the character connections, I guess. It is really different when a horror film involves family or circle of friends because anyone would feel great lost for the victim, or would shatter when one is being chased. It is also apparent that the film is not fully paranormal with the presence of shotgun and dead nun being zombienized. You will know what I mean after you watch the movie.
Be awesome even when you’re scared. Watch it with your family and friends.”