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  • The Nun is a big step forward for The Conjuring series, giving the shared universe of horror

  • movies its biggest opening weekend yet.

  • The third franchise sub-series after The Conjuring and Annabelle movies, The Nun works harder

  • than any of its predecessors to make connections to the films that came before it.

  • Whether it's a visual reference to a past movie, the conclusion of a series-long plot,

  • or the presence of the demon Valak's name all over the place, the movie has plenty to

  • offer for eagle-eyed viewers looking for clues about how everything connects.

  • If you watched the spooky movie through your fingers, we've got you covered - here are

  • some small details you might've missed in The Nun.

  • Original creation

  • The Nun is the fifth entry in the expanding Conjuring universe, and it asserts itself

  • within that continuity in a variety of ways.

  • For one, the movie's opening scene about two sisters in the St. Cartas Abbey fighting off

  • the demon nun features an almost-perfect recreation of the post-credits scene of Annabelle: Creation,

  • which teased the demon nun spinoff in 2017.

  • In The Nun, it's revealed that the spooky spectre coming down the hall is pursuing Sister

  • Victoria, who sacrifices herself to keep the demon from possessing her and entering the

  • real world.

  • Curiously, The Nun lacks a similar post-credits sequence of its own.

  • For whatever reason, it looks like the series' producers don't want to give people any hints

  • of what's to come before Conjuring 3, Annabelle 3, or their next spinoff, The Crooked Man.

  • Demonic DJ

  • After Father Burke and Sister Irene arrive at the abbey for an overnight stay, their

  • sleep is interrupted by Valak, which proves itself to be a real nuisance of a demon.

  • Instead of killing everyone immediately, the monster's first move is to wake Burke up in

  • the middle of the night by blaring the abbey radio with an on-the-nose song choice.

  • Specifically, the radio that interrupts Burke's slumber is playing Jo Stafford's version of

  • the tune "You Belong to Me," which means exactly what it sounds like it means.

  • Real subtle, Valak.

  • Precious memories

  • Visible in the background of Irene and Burke's first dinner in the abbey is a photograph

  • that will be familiar to anyone who watched Annabelle: Creation.

  • The black-and-white snapshot was originally referenced by Sister Charlotte in the demon

  • doll story, which chronologically takes place in 1955, three years after the events of The

  • Nun.

  • The photo shows Sister Charlotte alongside three nuns of the St. Cartas Abbey, whom she

  • says she became very close to at some point in the past.

  • Those relationships aren't built on in The Nun though, since by the time Irene and Burke

  • arrive at the abbey in 1952, every one of the nuns Charlotte knew is presumably dead.

  • Considering what we learn about the abbey, it's almost a little jarring to see the Sisters

  • there ever having a moment of levity.

  • Does Charlotte in 1955 even know her friends are dead, or that they gave their lives for

  • such important work?

  • It doesn't seem that way.

  • She doesn't even recognize the face of Valak that haunts her copy of the photograph, and

  • seems to have no idea how lucky she is to have made it out alive.

  • What's your name?

  • Supernatural activity is at work in The Nun before Burke and Irene ever arrive at the

  • abbey.

  • If you look closely, you can see the demon's name pop up in the world around them - a strange

  • phenomenon that seems to surround the demon's activity.

  • As Burke and Irene prepare to embark for the abbey with their local guide Maurice, Burke

  • accidentally places his bags in the back of an unrelated truck.

  • It's a humorous moment, except for one odd thing: the vehicle's license plate.

  • Aside from a few junk letters and numbers breaking up the sequence, the plate for the

  • most part reads "VALAK."

  • The demon's name can also be partially seen in Irene's introductory scene, spelled out

  • backwards and vertically on the wall of her school classroom.

  • Valak's presence did the same thing in The Conjuring 2.

  • It's a weird and unexplained phenomenon, considering that the demon's name is its biggest weakness.

  • For some reason or another, Valak can't stop spilling the beans.

  • Pazuzu style

  • Like a lot of demon-centric horror movies, The Nun owes a lot to The Exorcist.

  • At least one frightening image in the movie is a very clear visual reference to that 70s

  • classic.

  • As Father Burke lays trapped in a wooden coffin, buried alive in the abbey's graveyard, he

  • is grabbed from behind by Valak.

  • As the demon claws at Burke's face, the audience can briefly see the twisted visage of the

  • demon flash within the darkness beside Burke.

  • The moment is highly reminiscent of The Exorcist, with that movie's demon appearing in snarling,

  • near-subliminal flash frames.

  • In both movies, the quick glimpses at the faces of the demons are blink-and-you'll-miss-it

  • moments, making them some of the scariest parts of either one.

  • Conjuring a connection

  • The Nun brings its story full circle in its final minutes, cutting from Romania in 1952

  • to Wakefield, Massachusetts, 20 years later.

  • This postscript scene loops the finale of The Nun back into the very first Conjuring

  • movie, revealing that the lecture given by Ed and Lorraine Warren in that film was all

  • along referring to an encounter the couple had with Maurice, aka "Frenchie."

  • Just before the epilogue kicks in, Maurice is revealed to have been possessed by Valak

  • during the final battle in the abbey's catacombs.

  • It makes for a pretty sad end to the otherwise charming tour guide.

  • "So what happened to Maurice?"

  • "Well he triedgun on himself."

  • The ending of The Nun briefly recreates The Conjuring's scene, using brand new footage

  • of The Nun's Maurice, played by Jonas Bloquet in place of the original actor.

  • It's a moment that solidifies The Nun's connection to the first two Conjuring movies, revealing

  • that the Warrens' visions of the demon nun were implanted into them by their encounter

  • with the possessed Maurice.

  • What began in Romania in 1952 ultimately comes to an end in 1977 London, when the Warrens

  • decisively banish Valak from the earthly realm - for now, at least.

The Nun is a big step forward for The Conjuring series, giving the shared universe of horror

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Small Details You Missed In The Nun

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    April Lu posted on 2018/09/20
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