‘The Nun’, the newest and the darkest chapter of the ‘Conjuring’ franchise has hit theatres and it is sure to send chills down your spine. The film precedes the events of the previous films: ‘Annabelle: Creation’, ‘Annabelle’, ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘The Conjuring 2’. Touted as one of the spookiest horror series of all time, just when one thought the ‘Conjuring’ franchise couldn’t get any better (or rather scarier), the character of Valak (the nun) was introduced in ‘The Conjuring 2’ thus laying the foundation for a stand-alone film ‘The Nun’. Even before its release, the eldritch image of the Nun had become synonymous with horror, such is the impact of the character.
The film was released amidst much audience interest and as you make up your mind (if you haven't already) about whether or not you wish to be spooked by Valak, we bring you some interesting facts about the film;
1. The head of the makeup department Eleanor Sabaduquia, along with co-producer James Wan, created the look of the demon Valak /Nun. Notching up the spooky quotient, the makeup is hand painted with the help of a simple, single prosthetic appliance to cover the eyebrows in order to ensure that no two applications were identical.
2. During a night shoot at Castle Corvin in Hunedoara, a bat flew into one of the tents where Bonnie Aarons, who plays the titular demon nun, was resting. The bat was dazed (who wouldn’t be after a close encounter with “The Nun”?) But it was eventually rescued safely by a visual effects artist and was released outside the tent.
3. ‘The Nun’ stars Taissa Farmiga, who is the younger sister of Vera Farmiga, who had starred in ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘The Conjuring 2’. Vera guided Taissa about how to deal with the daily frights that came with working on a horror film. Vera advised her younger sister to seek calm at the end of the day and to leave the stress and horror at work.
4. As difficult as it may be to believe, director Corin Hardy had to go an extra mile to convince actor Demian Bichir not to perform a stunt (yes you read that right) in which his character, Father Burke, falls backwards into an open grave.
5. Hardy splashed a bucket of fake blood down the steps of the faux entrance to the and then “painted” it to look gorily realistic. The filmmaker strongly believes there is an art to “conducting” blood.
6. Hardy discovered a mysterious “handprint” in the dust on one of the sets at Corvin Castle.
7. Castel Film Studios in Izvorani (about 23 miles north of Bucharest), housed four tombs in the “Tomb Room” set for the film. Interestingly, the tombs had death masks cast from the faces of director Corin Hardy, screenwriter Gary Dauberman, director of photography Maxime Alexandre, executive producer Michael Clear, and 1st assistant director Harry Boyd.
8. A massive set of the “Abbey of St Carta” Church was built at Castel Film Studios since it is forbidden to shoot in the Churches of Romania. To provide production designer Jennifer Spence with a visual reference, Hardy took measurements and photos of the church in the village that he grew up in, in Sussex, England. Spence then recreated that church’s scale, look and design for ‘The Nun’.
These interesting facts just add to the fact that watching ‘The Nun’ is a bone-chilling experience as the makers throw a challenge to the audiences with the text “Make sure you watch to the end” sprawled across the screen in the film’s trailer.