What’s up! I’m Marlon, and this is Ulven Reviews: movies and series from all over the world.
Today let’s talk about the 2017 Mystery Thriller Nun A.K.A. Gas Light, starring Julianna Robinson and directed by Chad Dossett.
Sister Gracie Rose (played by Julianna Robinson) is traumatized after suffering a car accident that left her boyfriend in a wheelchair. The relationship ended, the two lost contact, and Gracie became a Nun.
Years later, the lonely nun is going through psychoanalysis with Dr. Ernest Hancock (played by William McNamara), recommended by her friend Clementine (played by Kirsten Roeters).
One day, Gracie receives an email from her ex, asking to see her in the neighboring town. So, Clementine asks her for a favor in a storehouse in the city she’s going to.
While doing the favor, Gracie gets locked up in the vast storehouse, and things are only gonna get worse.
This is a re-release of a review made in 2020. I had to change some things so here it is.
From now on, the review will contain spoilers.
The movie’s alternative title comes from the term “gaslight”, originated in a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton. In it, a husband dims the gas lights in his house to make his wife believe she is losing her mind. The play also inspired two film adaptations in 1940 and 1944.
Today, it’s used to name a type of psychological manipulation, in which the individual persuades one or more persons to doubt their own sanity for whatever reason.
Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D., in a Psychology Today article, points out that gaslighting “is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed.”.
So this title gives away too much of the upcoming plot twists. But let’s talk about the plot in order, we get back to gaslighting in a minute.
A good portion of the movie consists of Gracie locked up inside the storehouse screaming “hello” for, at least (and I’m not exaggerating) 40 minutes.
Then we have the terrible plot twists: Clementine and Dr. Hancock have an affair, they stole money from the church to run away together and gaslit Gracie to think she was the one who stole it.
We have the confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonists, and when Gracie seems safe, we have a second plot twist. She wakes up in a hospital, implying the whole movie was in her mind.
But not so fast… there’s a third twist, in which she wakes up in the storehouse, and all of that was a dream she had while napping locked in.
I don’t think there’s a real ending. I believe they only made this mess of a conclusion to be ambiguous, to leave the viewer to decide. It’s a stupid gimmick.
Nun is devoid of anything that might resemble a feeling. They failed to make any of the characters have believable emotions and to make the movie evoke any reaction on the viewer, be it for the characters or responses like fear, excitement, joy, or curiosity.
The best character is Clementine, and mostly because of the lack of competition. She’s upbeat, shows a little bit of empathy towards the suffering nun, and that’s it.
Still better than Gracie, that’s just annoying, especially after 40 minutes of hello.
The doctor is the worst character, and it’s clear he’s not a proper psychoanalyst. I don’t think the people who made the movie knows how psychoanalysis work, and it was probably an aspect of the film that was poorly researched.
In Gracie’s third session Dr. Hancock is pressuring her for results. It’s bizarre enough to squeeze a psychological result from a patient, but it’s even worse three sessions in. Psychoanalysis is known for lasting decades of a person’s life, not three weeks.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of Psychoanalysis, wrote “Recommendations for Physicians on the Psycho-Analytic Method of Treatment” (1912). At that time, psychoanalysis was a very young practice, and there was a necessity to give some orientations to the doctors with interest in using such a technique.
Among other things, in the previously mentioned text, Freud says that the physician must guide the process according to the patient’s capability, not to the doctor’s desire. In other words, respect the subject’s psychic process, do not rush it.
The acting is not great but is above the expectations considering how disgusting everything else is.
The cinematography is also not all that bad, most of the time. I liked the colors, framing, light, and sets that make sense culminating in some decent still shots.
But the camera work is awful. The shaky camera takes it to a whole new level of shit. Also, when the scene gets too dark is irritating, and there are lots of unnecessary extreme close-ups of random things.
I think they also missed the level of sexiness of the film. There’s just cheap tease, baiting. There are at least the masturbation and shower scenes, and her clothing for the struggle scenes.
The shower was the best example. It’s chosen to show Gracie taking a shower very close to the shower curtain, so we can see her body naked, but blurred through the curtain.
It’s pure baiting, and the sexiness is not even the only bait of the movie.
I’m not sure which is the actual title and which is the alternative one, regardless, the Nun title and poster are misleading. They’re clearly trying to make it look like it’s The Nun, part of The Conjuring universe.
This poster I have on the wall beside me is one I only saw the week of the original video, it’s way better than that Nun atrocity, and it’s quite beautiful. If they went this route all the way, the movie would still be terrible, but it would at least be more honest.
Nun is atrocious from beginning to end. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt until the locked in the storage part, but from then on, I knew it was going to be awful, and I was right. I’ll give Nun A.K.A. Gas Light 1 Moon A.K.A. The Moon of Shit!
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