sCryptDoctoring ‘The Nun’ — A Better Ending?

WARNING: we’re about to go deep into spoiler territory — proceed at your own risk!

The Nun made big bucks this past weekend, meaning we can expect more of the same. It’s a decent enough fright flick… at least right up until this bizarre exchange when the village idiot looks at a found artifact and says “Holy shit!” By itself, this was kind of funny — and uttered by the perfect person for it — but then the character we’re trusting to be an expert and provide guidance for this Vatican-sponsored quest says the most unbelievable thing in response: “The holiest.”

Guys. Seriously?!

“A nun, a priest, and an idiot find the Blood of Christ…”

What followed was an ending that both borrowed and outright stole ideas from a slew of earlier horror films, all of which did those things better. This story, however, could have been fixed by shoring up the things it did very well, so let’s sCryptDoctor this thing, shall we?

Here’s how I would have done it:

1. The graveyard — The characters already surmised the crosses were keeping something in and later discover the last nun sacrificed herself to keep the evil from possessing a host to escape the convent. They effectively scared the village idiot off already (loved him carrying the cross all the way to the bar), but their champions had arrived and needed information. When the priest is tricked into the graveyard, they’re trying to guide him to the grave with the necessary clues. This had to be why the evil only actually attacked the priest when it realized the nun was about to save him… and find those dangerous books.

2. Beyond the portcullis — The mother superior’s spirit in the main hall wasn’t the evil; she was helping by getting the living nun to the ghosts, knowing her sight would show her what was done and still needed doing. Since the priest had the information about the portal to hell, it was only a matter of finding what they needed to seal it after the bombings cracked it open again. The idea that evil was held at bay by the constant prayers of the nuns was a good one; it showed ordinary people using faith to ward it off. To stop them, the evil had to kill everyone to curb their power but save one to escape… until it couldn’t because she sacrificed herself. The evil also demonstrated it could possess the corpses of the nuns killed but not to escape within.

3. The catacombs — Armed with knowledge and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (you thought it, too) the village idiot says “Holy shit!” and both the nun and priest glare at him in Catholic for the blasphemous statement, prompting a stuttered apology; the priest allows a faint smirk for the hasty repent. As our heroes make their way toward the cracked portal, the evil summons the corpses of the slain nuns to divide their forces and bear witness to its triumph: possessing the living nun so that it may escape the convent forever.

4. Prayer warriors — When the idiot interrupts the possession, the priest also arrives before being batted into the cistern (instead of the living nun) which is actually the portal they’ve been looking for. One of the possessed nun corpses attacks the priest in the cistern and attempts to drown him. As the evil threatens to destroy the idiot, the living nun is able to act and attempts to stab evil with the crucifix stake from earlier. While she succeeds, the action has no effect — it’s incoporeal evil, after all. The nun is smacked down again but relatively unharmed — the evil still needs to possess her — and the stake clatters to the ground. With no one else able to help, the living nun does the only thing that’s been effective… and prays. The evil laughs at her pathetic effort, but the nun prays harder, gathering her will and conviction until one of the empty corpse habits materializes as the first ghost nun she met. That nun joins in on the prayer before more of the nuns start to appear, her conviction becoming their conviction, each joining the chorus.

5. The last sacrifice — The corpse drowning the priest materializes as well, recognized by the audience as the crying nun from earlier, who nods at the priest toward the portal before exiting to join her sisters; he knows what he has to do and so does she. The prayer chant is enough to hold the evil at bay while the priest begins to repair the seal, but evil isn’t going down without a fight. Flinging the idiot away and rendering him unconscious, the evil must reach the living nun and repossess her to stop the priest and escape, but the ghost nuns block its way, still chanting their prayers. One by one, evil dispatches the undead prayer warriors until only the living nun’s voice remains, but just as evil smiles in triumph, the living nun reveals the crucifix stake again and plunges it into her own heart. The evil shrieks in horror as all the ghost nuns materialize to scream back like keening banshees, drowning her out as the portal is fully sealed again — evil is vanquished in a fury of expensive special effects.

6. New coda — The soaked priest stumbles out of the cistern to find the idiot coming to, both turning to see the young nun’s body collapsed on the floor. The priest confirms that she’s dead, but even as grief sets in, a hand falls on his shoulder: it’s her, all in white, smiling down at him. Another hand touches the idiot’s shoulder: the nun he found who hanged herself. The priest and the idiot watch as all the nuns appear together, even the mother superior (who nods to the priest in respect). With their mission successful and ended, they fade away to be at peace. The priest and idiot bury the nun in the cemetery beneath the sunlight, declaring the grounds holy once again. The idiot rubs his neck and shoulder, revealing the taint of the inverted cross just beneath his skin.

See? All done, and it makes way more sense from what was suggested.

Thoughts? Tell me what you think of my sCryptDoctoring in the comments below!


Speak up, Mortal -- and beware of Spoilers!

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