The spinoff prequel The Nun was the most successful entry in James Wan’s The Conjuring universe yet, sweeping up tons of cash at the box office with its mix of schlocky scares and excellent marketing. But it wasn’t a perfect movie, with critics noting its cliches and logical leaps. But with its home release, out today on Blu-ray and DVD, fans can watch some deleted scenes that deal with at least one major concern in the film.
While there are a few special features — about the shooting location of Romania and the Nun herself — the best features are the seven deleted scenes. Some flesh out the backstory of Father Burke, like when he hears the confession of a young boy who hates his sister….all while Burke does a crossword. He ends the scene by asking the boy to pray for him, “a sinner.” Others show him packing up religious artifacts and exorcism tools before receiving the call from Rome that sets him off to Romania.
Another sees Burke tell Sister Irene that she should wear civilian clothes while travelling because this is one time where they don’t need to broadcast their faith. They’re heading into enemy territory and surprise may be an important element. But when the Vatican asks...you don’t say no.
This all leads up to a scene between the pair in which Burke is reading the tomes discovered in the abbey’s graveyard. Witchcraft, summoning spells, and portals to other realms — all bad stuff. But, as he says, some believe that destroying them would only release whatever evil magic was stored inside. So that’s why all these creepy and powerful books were buried in the grave of the castle’s original owner, who fans will know was pretty into that whole “bringing demons into the world” thing. Unfortunately, that means that rather than, say, burning down this cursed abbey and its evil nuns and portals, the holy folks have to jump through a few more hoops to deal with the demon.
The scene goes on to showcase Irene’s visions, her link with the spirit world, as the demon-fighting duo venture back to the evil convent. There, Burke prays for God to give strength to Irene — all with the demon nun watching behind him. Yikes. It’s one of the quieter, creepier scenes, so it makes sense to be dropped from the final, more rip-roaring film. The same applies to a scene of Irene walking around the abbey with a single candle that’s flame flickers just enough to tease that evil nun again, right behind her.
That abbey features another scene of the good nuns explaining their roles as gatekeepers to the portal to Hell locked beneath their castle. Here, an older nun explains that WWII bombs unleashed strange happenings onto the nuns. Hauntings, in fact. Many nuns fled. Twelve remained and made a pact to remain. However, as their numbers dwindled, the demon nun acquired more and more power. After that nice little bit of exposition, the organ plays on its own and it becomes time to pray, pray, pray.
The final deleted scene comes after the final confrontation, offering up a small rumination on faith that also serves as a set-up for the Conjuring franchise. Burke explains that he’s not worried if the evil returns because there’s going to be someone good to take care of it.
As the hugely successful The Nun already has a sequel in discussion, horror fans can have faith that they’ll get to see even more religious evils in the Wan-verse that simply can’t be dealt with easily.