Monday, September 3, 2018

The Nun: Newest Clips

Opening this weekend is The Nun, which excites me terribly: the more I see, the more excited I get! Some new clips have been released and it's worth our time to explore the meaning behind them. A few of these you might have seen before, but for the most part, this is new material:
Let's start with the name "Valak."
Valak means "the defiler," is--according to Wikipedia--depicted as a boy riding a two-headed dragon and capable of finding treasures, and The Conjuring universe has employed the "theology" behind this image well. A "boy" doesn't seem to have any power, and seems "harmless" because he's just a child; this is how sin presents itself to most of us: it's just harmless, it doesn't have any power over me, but this is where the two-headed dragon comes in. Dragons, as reptilian creatures, are symbols of sin, specifically Original Sin, but even the devil embodied because of the temptation in the Garden of Eden being in the form of a serpent (so any reptile can symbolize sin or Satan). That there are "two heads" means there are two governing functions to the dragon, because our head "governs" our body and tells our body what to do (we can still function without an arm, or without our legs, but we can't without our head). The first head is the governing function of the role of temptation and sin so we will become damned for eternity, that's straightforward enough; this head seeks out the treasure of that which we refuse to give over to God so we can distance ourselves from God and therefore bargain away our eternal souls for the sake of some sin to which we have committed ourselves. The second head, however, is the "good" which can come from being tempted, and this is the "saving Grace" of God, namely, that God reaps from that which he didn't sow: the devil sows the seeds of discord, the sin, the temptations and the fall, but when we turn to God and give it over to Him, He then sows the fruit of our battle and uses THAT as the treasure which we store up in heaven in the form of Grace and salvation. Now, let's talk about the blacked-out faces of the nuns in the clips.
We have all ready discussed this image at length in the initial trailer release, what we didn't realize at the time was how prevalent the "blacked out faces" of the nuns would be throughout the film which the new clips tease.
We know that the face of a person symbolizes their identity, it is a person's identity, because it is by means of our face that other recognize us for who we are. So, to have their faces completely blacked-out means they have their identities completely blacked out; sound familiar? The devil has had his name blotted out from the Book of Life, and the nuns with blacked out faces at least suggest the very same. Why? "Valak, the defiler," is likely the one who takes something that is good, and turns it into something that is bad, and we have all ready seen this in The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist when Valak is first introduced by taking Lorraine Warren's marriage to Ed and making it a bad thing (please see the hyper-link at the film for a more detailed explanation). At some point, Lorraine was likely considering becoming a nun, but she met and married Ed, and Valak uses that "shadow of a doubt" against Lorraine tempting her to think that she didn't do God's will in marrying Ed, rather, she should have become a nun. This is the thing about evil that Christians have to keep in mind: there is no consistency to the devil, so what he tempted us with five minutes ago, could change in the next ten seconds to tempting us with the exact opposite.
In the clip above, at 1:15, in the upper-right hand corner of the screen, there is a body covered with a white sheet, and it may be Father Burke's body. There are two types of death, there is the death when we are all ready dead, and the death just emphasizes that (we lost the spiritual battle, in other words) and then there is the death of self-sacrifice, that one is so completely dead to themselves and alive to things of the spirit, that they can completely follow Christ and lay down their lives for love of someone else. The body is covered by a white sheet: we know that white symbolizes faith, hope, purity and innocence, and a holy person who has been alive with these virtues, still lives after death by merit of these virtues, however, a person who is dead to these virtues--such as the thickly painted white face of the demon Valak--turns white like a corpse in decay because their soul cannot bear these virtues. So, when we watch the film, we need to notice the white sheet and determine whether the person beneath the sheet had a holy or a unholy death.
In the same scene, Sister Irene, which means "peace," is told by a nun to pray and look forward, no matter what happens. Sister Irene, stumbles and looks around, she's not completely obedient, and because this nun has obviously battled this spiritual temptation before, she has the right of authority over Sister Irene, who owes that nun her own complete obedience; not being obedient is the doorway to letting a demon in to lead us away from God, and it's possible that whatever happens once the wind begins blowing in this scene, that it's all actually in Sister Irene's head, just as the scene (the clip is below) of Valak meeting Lorraine in the hallway of her house and leading her into the spare room to "attack her" is also in Lorraine's head. If you have time to watch The Conjuring 2 before watching The Nun, it would be well worth your while.
Let's take a quick look at an important clip from The Conjuring 2 because the same elements at play in this clip are going to be prevalent in The Nun (the clips is below but I would like for you to know what to look for), especially the way God uses the devil to do God's work. In the clip below, at 4:11, a statue of Mary suddenly appears that wasn't there before. At 1:01 into the clip, there is no statue of Mary in the corner where Lorraine is thrown; at 1:47 there is still no statue of Mary, but the music has started playing reminding Lorraine that God is the king of righteousness and is there with her protecting her; the light goes out, and that is the "Light of Faith," Lorraine's temptation to believe she didn't do God's will has begun. At 1:54 there is still no statue of Mary in the corner. At 4:11, just as Lorraine hits, the boxes, there is a statue, and we see the back side of it, and this is Mary. It's the backside of Mary because the back usually symbolizes our past, and in this case, we see the backside of Mary because she puts herself with Lorraine in this temptation to help Lorraine win. Because the statue is located in the same area where the "shadow" originates from in the room, we can say that when the shadow first appears, it's actually Mary herself, why? Mary wants one thing and one thing only: for ALL PEOPLE to be saved and come closer to her Son (I used to be a Protestant, so if you are not Catholic, I understand your hesitancy to accept this, but trust, Catholics do NOT worship Mary, but we honor her because Jesus honored her and because she is the first and greatest disciple of Jesus since He first revealed Himself to her).
Mary unites her will to God's Will in all things, so if God wants Lorraine to be tempted by Valak, Mary wants Lorraine to be tempted by Valak as well, even going so far as to aide Valak in tempting Lorraine so Lorraine can come out of this battle victorious for the sake of her soul, and the souls of others (because we can't help people win a spiritual battle if we haven't all ready won that battle ourselves). This is going to be at work in The Nun, so as you watch it this weekend, be conscious of what it was that was good in an of itself, and then how it was defiled and made evil and people fell for it, because there is certainly a lot of that in our world today. I am in the process of moving, but I am planning on seeing The Nun Friday and getting up at least a short post, so, God willing, I will be able to finally test my theories and see if they were right. (Again, if you would like to review The Conjuring 2, you can find the complete review at this link).
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner