On paper, the casting of Taissa Farmiga in Corin Hardy’s The Nun was a fun and perhaps even inspired choice, as Taissa’s sister Vera Farmiga is of course synonymous with The Conjuring Universe, starring in the main series of films as the real life Lorraine Warren. In execution, however, it has proven to be one of the strangest casting decisions in recent years.
Obviously, this article will contain spoilers for The Nun, so feel không tính tiền to turn away now. Also, this is not a review of the film, but if you’d lượt thích to read ours, Scott Weinberg has ya covered.
To make one thing perfectly clear right off the bat, I am personally a big fan of Taissa Farmiga, an incredibly talented young actress who has been killing it in the horror genre. Farmiga, in many ways, is a modern day “scream queen,” a frequent star of “American Horror Story” who turned in perhaps her best genre performance in 2015’s horror-comedy, The Final Girls.
Taissa Farmiga is great. I love Taissa Farmiga.
Now here’s the problem. In The Nun, Taissa Farmiga plays Sister Irene, who for much of the film has not yet actually committed to being a nun. Over the course of the film, we learn that Sister Irene has paranormal super-powers, so to speak, as her whole life she’s had visions that eventually allow her to overcome the evil entity Valak in Romania, in 1952.
Yes, The Nun is set in 1952, twenty years before the events of The Conjuring. And Taissa Farmiga is exactly twenty years younger than her older sister, Vera Farmiga. And yet, The Nun‘s biggest twist is that there’s not actually a final act twist at all. Somehow, Taissa Farmiga’s Sister Irene does not actually grow up to become Vera Farmiga’s Lorraine Warren.
The Nun‘s connection to The Conjuring films, instead, is far less compelling, with the final moments of Corin Hardy’s film taking us directly into a scene from The Conjuring; it’s in those final moments that we learn that a character from The Nun was actually the same man featured in footage Ed and Lorraine Warren showed off to a classroom in The Conjuring.
It was a possessed Maurice (aka “Frenchie”) who introduced Lorraine to Valak.
So why then was Taissa Farmiga cast to play Sister Irene in The Nun, a character that ends up having no connection whatsoever to her sister’s Lorraine Warren? It’s a downright befuddling choice, to say the very least, as Taissa Farmiga and Vera Farmiga look *so much* alike. Taissa is a dead ringer for a young Vera, and the film’s timeline works out perfectly for Sister Irene to have eventually moved away from being a nun and into being a demon-fighting hero. And again, Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren even have the same set of supernatural skills.
Essentially, the film seems to be working overtime to set up Irene being Lorraine, or at least a relative, but then nothing ever comes of the seemingly obvious connection. It’s not just a huge missed opportunity, but also a hugely confusing aspect of The Nun. Literally *any* actor could’ve been cast to play Irene, so why Vera’s doppelganger if it means absolutely nothing?
The decision is especially confusing because The Nun actually does jump ahead 20 years in its final moments, from Taissa to Vera. And yet, there’s weirdly no link between the two. If you left the theater wondering whether the film had poorly conveyed to you that Irene and Lorraine are the same person, well, just know that you weren’t alone in being incredibly confused.
Granted, the real life Lorraine Warren never spent any time in her youth as a nun, but when have horror movies ever been beholden to reality? The Nun easily could’ve had a compelling connection to the core Conjuring films, showing us a young Lorraine’s very first battle with Valak. By not featuring that twist, the film’s casting instead muddies its own waters.