Be warned: if the kind of nun movies you like star Julie Andrews, the upcoming horror film The Nun certainly won't be for you. That's because it's all about the demon nun from The Conjuring 2. Now that nightmarish sister, better known as Valak, is getting her very own spinoff and from the looks of the official The Nun teaser trailer it's going to be a real doozy. Seriously, this trailer is definitely NSFW, but for the very specific reason that once you get to the end of this clip, you might find yourself screaming for mercy. That is if you can even make it there.
Boy, do the makers of this film want you to. "Make sure you watch to the end," is the first thing you see when you watch the trailer, which yes, ends with a good ol' fashioned scare. The kind that will make you jump out of your seat, and probably being a little extra cautious when walking down any dark abbey hallways. You really never know what could be lurking around the corner.
But, in the lead up to that final scare there's some other creepy moments that are worth mentioning starting with that close up on the image of the nun with her blacked out eyes and pale white face. This is the face that haunts the dreams of Taissa Farmiga's Sister Irene and is being called "the darkest chapter" of the Conjuring series, which is certainly saying something. Not to mention, it might be the scariest thing Farmiga's ever done and she's been on three different seasons of American Horror Story.
This movie, in theaters Sept. 7, takes place before The Conjuring and even Annabelle, the 2014 thriller, which looked at a Raggedy Ann doll that played with your sanity, looks at the most disturbing character to come out of these movies that focus on the work of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. In The Conjuring 2, the nun also appears in the visions of Lorraine, played by Farmiga's older sister, Vera Farmiga in one of the scariest scenes of the movie.
But, this demon doesn't just exist in the Conjuring universe, it's actually a very real demon. According to the website Week in Weird, Valak is the "great president of hell," which speaks to just how powerful this guy is. According to The Lesser Key of Solomon, a 17th century guide to demons, is often depicted as a two-headed dragon or a young child with wings. It's known to be a strong demon and is often the one demonologists call upon to help them unlock secrets. It's a demon that has been known to shares its strength with those who call upon it, but if he doesn't deem you worthy of his power, he'll basically ruin your life.
So, why then, in these movies, is Valak dressed up as a nun? Well, you can thank the real-life Lorraine Warren for that. Conjuring 2 director James Wan told i09 in 2016 that the demon was based on a vision Warren once had of a "spectral entity that has haunted her in her house. And it’s this swirling tornado vortex with this hooded figure in there."
From there, Wan started to think about what this hooded figure would look like, but also what it would be doing in the movie. "Because it is a demonic vision that haunts her, that only attacks her, I wanted something that would attack her faith," he said. "Something that would threaten the safety of her husband. And so that was eventually how the idea of this very iconographic image of a holy icon cemented in my head.
What might be most surprising about the standout demon is that it wasn't in the original cut of the movie, it was actually added to The Conjuring 2 in reshoots. He told i09:
“I had a strong outlook on the whole movie, but the one thing I wasn’t quite sure of [was the design of the demon character]. I felt like I was still discovering it. And believe it or not, I always knew that I was going to do additional photography. So I was saving it because I was hoping I’d discover what that thing would look like as I was putting the movie together in post-production.”
Now that post-production demon is the star of her own movie, one that will have Sister Irene teaming up with a priest and a member of the Catholic church, sent straight from the Vatican. While that sounds like a bad joke, it's actually the plot for a movie that might be the scariest one you'll see all year. Now, isn't that funny?